Archives for February 9, 2008

ERs fail as the nation’s safety net – Los Angeles Times

It’s official: there’s an ED crisis!

ERs fail as the nation’s safety net – Los Angeles Times
The long waits that government inspectors say endanger emergency room patients at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center can also be found in backlogged hospitals across the country, according to emergency care experts who have been trying for years to draw attention to the nation’s overloaded safety net.

“Overcrowding in our emergency departments is a national crisis,” said Dr. Linda Lawrence, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, an advocacy group based in Washington D.C. “We no longer have the capacity to serve as the safety net for society.”

The perfect storm continues.  In any other sector of society increasing demand and decreasing supply would increase prices, and reimbursement.  Increased profits could be used to provide for more supply (or not, it’s not a perfect world).  But ‘Medicine is Different’.

A guaranteed way to lose is to have a business that must give away their product, facing continual and grinding decreases in all payments, with increasing mandates and regulation.

You get what you pay for.  And vice-versa.