America’s failing to support emergency patients

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

ER map
Hmm, not a single A+ on the map…

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) released a Report Card grading the nation’s medical emergency quality, and the US got a big fat D+.

This is a letter grade down from the C- America received on the last report card in 2009. According to ACEP President Dr. Alex Rosenau, part of the problem is the nation’s focus on saving money. “Congress and President Obama must make it a priority to strengthen the emergency medical care system,” said Rosenau. “There were more than 140 million emergency visits in 2010, or 247 visits per minute.”

Even though those numbers sounds really large, emergency care only represents about 5% of overall US healthcare spending. Rosenau explains that such minimal funding is putting patients at risk across the country.

The 5 lowest scoring states were: Wyoming (F), Arkansas (D-), New Mexico (D), Montana (D), and Kentucky (D). Meanwhile, the top 5 scoring states in the nation were: the District of Columbia (B-), Massachusetts (B-), Maine (B-), Nebraska (B-), and Colorado (C+). If you want to see how your state scores, the ACEP provides an interactive map on their website.

Featured image courtesy of Canadian Pacific on Flickr. Image of ER grades map courtesy of ACEP.