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U.S. Facing Dramatic Decline in Number of Emergency Departments, According to Study

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that about one-third of U.S. emergency departments closed during a 20-year period ending in 2009.

According to UC-San Francisco researchers who conducted the study, the ED closures predominately affected safety-net hospitals that see a large proportion of low-income patients.

In a California Healthline Special Report by Kelly Wilkinson, experts discussed some of the factors that likely contributed to the recent decline in EDs. The Special Report includes comments from:

  • Renee Hsia, assistant professor of emergency medicine at UC-San Francisco;
  • Sandra Schneider, professor of emergency medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and president of the American College of Emergency Physicians; and
  • Caroline Steinberg, vice president of trends analysis at the American Hospital Association (Wilkinson, California Healthline, 6/8).

The complete transcript of this Special Report is available as a PDF.

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