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Physicians Group Gives Poor Grades to Emergency Care in New Jersey

Limited access due to hospital closures, malpractice rules cited in giving state a “D-Plus”

By Andrew Kitchenman, Courtesy of NJ Spotlight

New Jersey’s emergency care nearly earned a grade of “F” on a report card released by a physicians group this week. The American College of Emergency Physicians’ report card gave the state a “D-plus,” which is a full letter grade lower than the grade New Jersey received for the last ACEP report in 2009.

There is one small consolation: The state’s dismal grade is the same grade that the group gave emergency care nationwide. However, New Jersey’s mark fell further than the nation’s grade since the report issued five years ago, when the United States received a “C-minus.”

The reasons for New Jersey’s low score were concentrated in two areas: access to emergency care and the state’s malpractice rules. ACEP officials identified the state’s hospital closures as a factor in declining access to emergency care, while the state’s long-standing relative friendliness to malpractice plaintiffs makes other states more attractive to emergency doctors. Current ACEP New Jersey President Dr. David Adinaro said access to emergency care has gotten much worse in the state over the past give years, with the ACEP grade for access falling from “C” to “F.” He said hospital closures, the low number of emergency physicians and insurance treatment of emergency visits are among the factors that fed into the grade.

Read more at NJSpotlight.com

NJ Spotlight is an issue-driven news website that provides critical insight to New Jersey’s communities and businesses. It is non-partisan, independent, policy-centered and community-minded.

Joe R January 18, 2014 at 09:17 AM
If we had true universal health care, single payer or Medicare for all, then the ER would not be burdened with the uninsured who use the ER because they can't afford to visit a doctor. And these people have neglected to visit doctors and have regular check ups because they can't afford insurance or regular medical care or they have crappy insurance with high deductibles. Oh what a surprise, ACEP would like to reduce the ability of patients to sue. Patients who have been butchered or maimed for life by a doctor, other ER staff, poor conditions at the ER, malfunctioning equipment or other screw ups. Tough luck if you come out of the ER with a lifelong disability because of an ER error.

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