Minnesota Press Release
Embargoed For Release at 11 am (ET)
January 16, 2014
Mike Baldyga, 202-370-9288
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MINNESOTA RANKS 12TH IN NATION FOR POLICIES
THAT SUPPORT EMERGENCY PATIENTS
WASHINGTON —Minnesota received an overall grade of C in the American College of Emergency Physicians’ (ACEP) state-by-state report card on America’s emergency care environment (“Report Card”), ranking 12th in the nation. The state improved its ranking in the category of Access to Emergency Care, reflecting the highest per capita rate of physicians accepting Medicare in the nation and relatively high Medicaid fee levels for office visits to physicians.
“Our state’s commitment to public health and injury prevention is reflected in its low fatal injury rates and fairly health population,” said Dr. Thomas Wyatt, president of the Minnesota Chapter of ACEP. “At the same time, our state needs to make investments in emergency care a top priority. We need to build on the strengths we already have, such as in the areas of public health and injury prevention.”
Minnesota received a D in the area of Quality and Patient Safety. This is partially because of a lack of statewide policies and procedures for enhancing emergency medical services (EMS) systems. The state did not report funding for a state EMS medical director position.
The state received a C- in category of Disaster Preparedness. According to the Report Card, Minnesota’s medical response plan does not specifically address the needs of mental health patients or patients dependent on medications or dialysis. Minnesota also has a very low number of intensive care unit beds available (226.4 per 1 million people) in the event of a disaster.
The Report Card has recommendations that include:
- Enhance safeguards for quality and patient safety by ensuring that stroke and STEMI patients are triaged to appropriate medical facilities.
- Enact medical liability reforms that include a cap on non-economic damages and reasonable protections for medical providers who provide care that is mandated by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.
- Address the high rates of binge drinking and expand access to substance abuse and psychiatric treatment.
- Increase the number of accredited chest pain centers in the state.
“America’s Emergency Care Environment: A State-by-State Report Card – 2014” evaluates conditions under which emergency care is being delivered, not the quality of care provided by hospitals and emergency providers. It has 136 measures in five categories: access to emergency care (30 percent of the grade), quality and patient safety (20 percent), medical liability environment (20 percent), public health and injury prevention (15 percent) and disaster preparedness (15 percent). While America earned an overall mediocre grade of C- on the Report Card issued in 2009, this year the country received a near-failing grade of D+.
ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies