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Grading the Nation’s Support for Emergency Care

Grading the Nation’s Support for Emergency Care

Since 2006, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has periodically released a state-by-state report card on America’s emergency care environment. In 2014, the third installment of the report card was released. “The information from ACEP’s report card provides clinicians with data on how well emergency care is supported in the United States,” says Jon Mark Hirshon, MD, MPH, PhD, FACEP, who served as chair of the task force that directed the development of the report card. ACEP’s most recent report card forecasts an expanding role for EDs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and describes the harm that is being done from fewer resources and greater demands. It measures conditions and policies under which emergency care is being delivered rather than the quality of care that is being provided by hospitals and emergency providers. The report card grades states on 136 measures in five categories, including: Most EDs Scored Poor Grades According to the 2014 report card, the continued failure of state and national policies to support emergency care is endangering patients who require emergent and urgent care. Overall, the United States received a near-failing D+ grade. In a breakdown of the five categories of the report card, the nation received a D- in the access to emergency care category; a C- in the medical liability environment and disaster preparedness categories; and a C in the quality and patient safety category as well as the public health and injury prevention category. The District of Columbia ranked first in the nation with a B- grade, a mark that surpassed Massachusetts, which held the top spot in the 2009 report...
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