Survey: More People Turn to California Public Hospitals for Treatment
The number of patients seeking care at public hospitals in California has increased by 4%, according to a survey the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems released Wednesday, the Stockton Record reports.
The association conducted the survey of its members based on a comparison of data for the month of October over the past two years. The survey found:
- Public hospitals saw a 10% jump in the number of patients without health insurance;
- Public hospital emergency departments had a 6% increase in patient visits; and
- California's 19 public hospitals provide almost half the hospital care to the state's 6.6 million uninsured, deliver 10 million outpatient visits a year and train almost half of all new physicians in the state.
In addition, of CAPH's 19 members, San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp has seen the largest spike in patients, treating 15% more overall in October 2008 than it did in October 2007.Melissa Stafford Jones, president and CEO of the association, said, "Without access to their regular health care provider, or the ability to pay for prescriptions, thousands of Californians have found their way to their local public hospital for needed health care" (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 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.