Broader look needed to lower medical costs
Joplin Globe, Letter to the Editor

August 21, 2018

In an editorial (July 25), The Joplin Globe called for legislative action to protect patients from surprise emergency room bills. While laudable, it would seem that Missouri’s lawmakers already had the issue on their radar screens. This year, lawmakers passed SB 982 expressly for the purpose of protecting Missourians from surprise medical bills.

It is important to acknowledge that emergency rooms are — by a large margin — the most expensive places to go for routine care, but there are still a number of people who choose to go to the emergency room for every medical concern instead of seeking treatment from a more appropriate venue, such as a general practitioner or an urgent care facility.

Rather than blaming individual companies that are trying new strategies to help lower costs for Missourians or calling for legislation that has already passed, we should work together to come up with solutions that will address the rising cost of care. This is a complex issue, and it requires a broader look and input from all — insurers, doctors and patients.

Jimmy Morris
Webb City