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.
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