On this West Virginia Week, we learned about plants that can thrive in former mine lands, we kayaked along the Gauley River, we learned about an art exhibit inspired by recent cuts at West Virginia University, and we saw dogs fly from Charleston to Michigan to reach their forever homes.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
A health system has planned to begin charging patients up-front co-pays for non-emergency visits to a West Virginia hospital’s emergency room.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Thomas Memorial Hospital’s administration says starting Wednesday staff will inform patients of the change and explain other options for their non-urgent care. Thomas Health System president and CEO Dan Lauffer says the charges will begin in about a month.
Hospital spokeswoman Paige Johnson says 30 percent of its ER patients are deemed with non-emergency problems. She says there’d be a minimum $8 up-front fee and that maximums “depend on their insurance copay.”
Lauffer says patients who’d be better served at walk-in clinics or doctor’s offices are less likely to receive the care they need at the ER and that they lengthen its wait times.