PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The emergency room is the default choice for most Americans when they need medical care, a new study says. The study, released by Zocdoc.com, found nearly three in four Americans, or 73%, think it’s easier to go to the ER than to get a doctor’s appointment.
The average wait time to see a primary care doctor in America is 24 days.
The study’s research found despite the fact that 84% of Americans have a relationship with their primary care doctor, 65% of them would visit the ER if they couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment quick enough.
“It is a failure of our healthcare system that Americans are turning to the ER because they lack solutions that help them secure faster access to care,” Zocdoc founder and CEO Oliver Kharraz said.
Researchers say the cost of an emergency room visit can be up to 12 times more expensive than a visit at a primary care doctor.
And more than two-thirds (69%) of Americans admit they are unsure of the costs for an ER visit.
More than 86% of Americans would avoid a costly trip to the emergency room if they could see an in-network doctor within 24 hours.