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At UC San Diego Health System, our primary focus in the Emergency Department (ED) has and always will be to provide high quality care in a timely and efficient manner to anyone who comes to our ED — no one is ever turned away.
All patients that arrive at our ED, regardless of the severity of their complaint, are evaluated by a physician and provided all of the necessary evaluations and treatments as required by Federal and State law. Although most patients think of non-emergent ED visits as “Urgent Care,” beginning July 1, 2012, we will no longer distinguish between the ED and Urgent Care designation — this will allow us to improve compliance, billing and patient satisfaction. All patients presenting to the ED will be treated as an ED visit, with co-pays and deductibles based on ED fees and pricing.
Although we have not wavered from our commitment to deliver high quality care, our model of Urgent Care has been a major source of confusion over fees and wait times, and a large driver of ED patient complaints. As a result, this change is intended to improve customer service through better management of patient and provider expectations.
Historically, patients have often been referred to Urgent Care for minor problems that required ancillary diagnostic tests by a primary care or specialty physician. While our EDs have the capability to expedite lab and radiology tests in emergent situations, they are not an ideal location for these tests. Through EPIC, patients can be scheduled directly with the lab or radiology site. To expedite the care of those patients that do come to the ED with more minor problems, the ED will continue to operate a “Fast Track” area.
Many minor illnesses and injuries may be initially managed with triage advice and a follow-up medical office visit on a same day, evening or first available appointment basis. To facilitate continuity of care and ensure that our patients are cared for in the most appropriate setting, all physicians (primary care and specialists) and their staff should encourage their patients to contact their medical office first to determine if their need is an emergent medical condition.
Since patient financial responsibility for an ED visit typically has a higher out-of-pocket cost than a standard medical office visit, those wishing to be more prudent with their health care dollars are encouraged to be judicious about using an ED facility for non-emergent care. Should a patient choose to come to one of our EDs, a Patient Access Representative is available to assist with a cost estimate for co-pays, deductibles and Medi-Cal Share of Cost (SOC) after the evaluation is completed.
For more information, we have updated our website with new Frequently Asked Questions at health.ucsd.edu/billing.
Emergency Department Care
Emergency Department Care and Costs
UC is working to resume payroll deductions for employee contributions to ScholarShare, the California college savings plan, starting with the first full payroll in April 2012.
Can’t make it to our Hillcrest HR office? A benefits representative will be available at the MCM2 building in La Jolla on Thursdays to assist you with your benefits questions.
Please contact Maria Morante at 619-543-8215 to schedule an appointment.
As a major employer in the greater metropolitan San Diego area, we provide an environment where you can make creative contributions, enjoy your work, and achieve a satisfying work/life balance.
*Based on full-time appointment
Read more about long-term care benefits on atyourservice.ucop.edu
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