Lawmaker to Introduce Five Bills to Address Emergency Room Overcrowding
Assembly member Dean Florez (D-Shafter) plans to introduce five bills today to address overcrowding in state emergency rooms, the Fresno Bee reports. The five bills are:
- AB 2947: The bill would require hospitals to share physician and specialist "on-call" schedules to encourage coordination of regional emergency services.
- AB 1398: The legislation would require physicians to provide on-call ER services as a condition of their licenses to practice at hospitals.
- AB 883 and 2407: The bills would increase funds for county emergency medical services and require them to "spend the money more effectively."
- AB 2377: The legislation would require hospitals to disclose on-call arrangements to allow county emergency medical services and patients to determine which facilities to visit in an emergency (Correa, Fresno Bee, 5/1).
Florez said that some of the provisions in the bills, such as the on-call mandates, "will be controversial" (Bedell, Bakersfield Californian, 5/1). He said he became concerned about ER overcrowding after Fresno County officials asked the Department of Health Services to help address the increased number of hospitals that divert ambulances. Hospital officials "commended" Florez but said that his bills "don't go far enough" to address the problem. "Nothing in this package of legislation is going to correct" ER overcrowding, John Zelezny, senior vice president of communications for Community Medical Centers in Fresno, said. He added, "This is a big, complicated problem. This package of legislation might tackle certain pieces" (Fresno Bee, 5/1). 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.