Report: FL scores C- when it comes to ER care - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Report: FL scores C- when it comes to ER care

By Lindsay Cohen email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

(WFLX) - Florida's hospitals get a mixed grade when it comes to the quality of their emergency rooms; although, access to emergency care ranks worst in the country, according to a new national study.

The American College of Emergency Physicians surveyed and graded the nation's hospitals, calling the results a wake-up call for policymakers.

"The report underscores the challenges facing patients who need emergency care and... should motivate state and national policy support for improving emergency care systems," the college said. "With a financial crisis and failing health care system, never before has the emergency department been more vital to everyone."

Florida ranks last in the country when it comes to emergency care accessibility. The report chalks this up to the high number of uninsured people in Florida - almost 22 percent of adults - in addition to a shortage of primary care physicians.

The state scored well when it comes to patient safety and disaster preparedness.

"Florida has made significant progress in preparing for disasters and in improving our quality of care, but our biggest challenges is making sure people have access to physicians and to emergency care," said Dr. Ernest Page, president of the Florida College of Emergency Physicians, in a statement. "Our state also has a poor record of vaccination for our large elderly population, as well as a low Medicaid reimbursement rate."

Overall, the report says, the state's hospitals are "blessed with considerable strengths but also beset with glaring weaknesses."

Florida scored a C- minus on the report when it comes to overall emergency room care. Massachusetts earned the highest overall grade of a B, and the state of Arkansas ranked last in the nation with a D-.

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