Emergency Departments Undergo Renovations To Address New Challenges
As the national rate of emergency department visits soars, hospitals in major U.S. cities are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate, rebuild and expand their EDs to meet patient needs, the New York Times reports.
Many New York hospitals also are contending with a greater influx of patients who would have obtained care at nearby hospitals that have now closed, merged with other hospitals or will soon close.
The remaining EDs are trying to reorganize their space to deal with:
- Rising numbers of uninsured patients;
- Rapid population growth;
- A shortage of primary care physicians; and
- President Bush's proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
New York hospitals have begun dividing their EDs into areas for patients with minor injuries and more acute problems, as well as offering specialty services to attract more insured patients to boost revenue (Kershaw, New York Times, 2/12). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.