More than two-thirds of emergency physicians expect emergency department visits to increase, and nearly half predict conditions will worsen for emergency patients despite the new health care reform law, according to a poll conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Additionally, 54 percent of emergency physicians say the number of specialists willing to respond to calls from EDs, such as neurosurgeons and cardiologists, will decrease. More than half of the respondents (61 percent) don't believe the new law will effectively address uncompensated care, which has closed hundreds of EDs in America, most recently St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City.
Most emergency physicians (73 percent) report crowding in their EDs at least three or four days per week, with 23 percent reporting at least five days per week and 24 percent reporting every day. Nearly 30 percent say that crowded conditions have significantly worsened, and 36 percent say conditions increased slightly.
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