In The News
ACEP Member Uses Report Card During Congressional Hearing
March 26, Washington DC - Report Card Task Force Chair Jon Mark Hirshon testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations during its hearing, “Where Have All the Patients Gone? Examining the Psychiatric Bed Shortage.”
Dr. Hirshon’s full testimony can be read online, and a video of the entire hearing is also available (Dr. Hirshon’s opening statement begins at the 30:55 mark). Here is an excerpt -
“In January, ACEP released its 2014 National Report Card on Emergency Care. One of the data points we used to evaluate access to emergency care in each state was how many psychiatric care beds there were per 100,000 people. The average of all the states was 26.1, with the fewest being 5.5 and the most being 52.7. This represents a decline in all categories compared to the same data collected five years ago in the 2009 iteration of that report (29.9 average, 8.2 fewest, and 54.8 most).
As the capacity of the mental health system continues to decline, patients turn to the ED for their unmet health needs. The ED has seen sharp growth in psychiatric visits, accounting for 12.5% of all ED visits in 2007, compared to 5.4% of all visits in 2000. This growth in psychiatric visits to the ED can be seen as an indirect measure of the failures of the outpatient mental health system.”
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