Calif. Emergency Departments in ‘Critical Condition,’ Scripps Health Executive Argues in Opinion Piece
Across California, emergency departments "are reaching capacity more frequently, beds for new patients are unavailable and full [ED]s must request ambulances to bypass them for other hospitals," Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of San Diego-Based Scripps Health, argues in a San Diego Union-Tribune opinion piece. Van Gorder writes that the issue should be addressed not by expanding or building new EDs, but instead by encouraging patients in non-emergency situations to visit a primary care or urgent care provider; expanding the hours, locations and telehealth capabilities of existing hospitals; increasing Medi-Cal reimbursements; and better addressing behavioral health problems. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. "None of this will be easy to do," he writes, adding, "But something must be done -- and soon -- because what's happening in the [ED]s is a public health crisis, and it's happening now."
- "California ERs in Critical Condition" (Van Gorder, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/6).