ACEP is pleased to provide our members with a recent publication from the American Hospital Association (AHA) “Always There, Ready to Care,” promoting the extraordinary value of emergency medicine. The AHA is promoting this report by sharing it with policymakers, media and the public.
This publication describes the invaluable role of emergency physicians who must be prepared to respond to a wide range of medical conditions and are now experiencing capacity constraints in the face of rising demands.
It also describes the challenges of psychiatric patients in emergency departments, the complex issues of rural America and the nation’s increasingly heavy reliance on 24-hour access to care. In addition, it demonstrates the crucial role of emergency medicine in responding to disasters, featuring last year’s Ebola emergency and the outstanding response of emergency physicians following the explosions during the Boston Marathon.
The report concludes with a description of the funding challenges to maintaining the emergency department’s 24/7 role in an environment of declining financial support, asking the following policy questions:
- How will financing mechanisms need to be designed in order to support the 24/7 role in the future?
- How can the standby role be financed in an increasingly competitive health care marketplace where payers want to pay the lowest price?
- What is the appropriate role of government in supporting hospital-based disaster preparedness and relief?
- Should all health care facilities be required to support the community’s standby capacity and care needs?
- What steps can be taken to promote greater access to and utilization of primary care among low-income vulnerable populations to improve their health status and reduce the need for ED care?
Please share this report with key leaders and policymakers in your community and state and promote through social media.
|Michael J. Gerardi, MD, FAAP, FACEP
AHA President and Chief Executive Officer