Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has launched a new PSA campaign focusing on the rising cost of health care and the over use of emergency rooms.
On May 8, Adams announced the “Is It an Emergency?” multimedia campaign, which aims to advance patient education to help address Brooklyn’s hospital crisis. This comes on the heels of the Trump administration’s proposed repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.
ERs have become a common solution for many low-income Brooklynites or those lacking health insurance, even for what Adam’s office calls “minor” medical issues. The campaign recommends that patients use a federally-qualified health clinic, primary care physician or urgent care clinic in those situations.
Emergency room use costs $38 billion a year nationally, according to the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, and the “Is It an Emergency?” campaign aims to reduce the over use of ERs that results in that high national cost.
“If you have a life threatening condition, go to the ER or call 911; however, if you have a minor issue, such as a cut or a cold, visit a local urgent care facility, your primary care doctor or a local health clinic,” said Borough President Adams in the PSA. “Leave the emergency room free to those who really need it. You’ll be saving time and money in the process. Know the difference and avoid the wait.”
The PSA debuted at Brookdale Urgent Care Center in East Flatbush, which serves a community that is disproportionately dependent on ERs for its medical needs.
Todd Latz, CEO of GoHealth Urgent Care, applauded Adam’s announcement. In a statement to this paper, Latz said, “Our Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care centers are designed to put patients first – through our seamless online check-in, unified electronic medical records and high quality, compassionate and convenient care, we deliver an unparalleled patient experience at a much lower cost than emergency room care and allow patients to regain control of how, when and where they are cared for.”
Adams will continue his initiative to educate Brooklyn about preventive health through the One Brooklyn Health Fair he is hosting on July 20 at Brooklyn Borough Hall. His office has also created a map of all health care facilities in Brooklyn, which can be found his website, brooklyn-usa.org.