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Report Grades States Based on Hospital Care

Update Date: Jan 16, 2014 01:53 PM EST
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Across the United States, individual states were graded based on hospital care and efficiency in the emergency room. The list, which is titled the America's Emergency Care Environment report card, was compiled by the American College of Emergency Physicians. This advocacy group gave failing grades in many categories to several states, which suggests that emergency care needs to be improved upon across the nation.

The group calculated the grades based on 136 measures, which borrowed data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. When grading the states, the doctors' group focused on people's access to emergency care, a state's medical liability environment, public health programs, injury prevention programs, disaster preparedness, and the safety and quality of the facilities.

The group found that one of the worse overcrowding situations is in California, which received an "F" for having the lowest number of emergency rooms per capita out of the entire nation. The rate of 6.7 per one million people was called a "critical problem." In California, patients had to wait over five and a half hours in the emergency department from the time they entered the hospital to when they left. California also earned an "F" when it came to patients' access to care. 20 other states were given "Fs" for this category as well.

California's overall grade was a C-, which is an improvement from the D+ it received in 2009. California is currently ranked number 23. New York also improved its ranking, moving up eight spots to number 13 with a "C."

"There is some really good news and some really bad news with this report," Dr. Lynne Richardson, vice chair of emergency medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine said, reported by the New York Daily News. "The good news is that we're among the top five states in terms of disaster preparedness. The bad news is there's gridlock in our emergency departments and we're very slow to implement tort reform."

Overall, the group gave the nation a D+, which is lower than the 2009 grade of a "C-". Some of the states that made the top ten included Colorado and Ohio. Washington D.C. earned the top spot with a "B-" and Wyoming came dead last with an "F."

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