Gov. Weighing Bill To Combat Overcrowding in Emergency Departments
ED traffic rose by 12% year-to-year during the first half of 2009, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, and is expected to increase if the H1N1 influenza becomes more widespread.
The measurement system would be based on:
- How many people are in ED waiting rooms;
- How many available beds the department has;
- How quickly the patients are seen; and
- Other variables.
The bill, by Assembly member Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), was easily approved by the Assembly and Senate.
Gov. Schwarzenegger has until Sunday to sign or veto the bill, or it will become law without his signature.
The California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians supports passage of the measure, but the state Department of Public Health opposed the bill in a letter sent to Lieu in June.The California Hospital Association has taken a neutral stance on the current measure, but opposed an earlier version of the bill (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 10/7). 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.