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2nd National Ranking of States for Emergency Medical Services to be Released
Date:12/8/2008

VERNON HILLS, Ill., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A national report card aimed at calling attention to the support states provide to emergency patients will be released by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) this week on Tuesday, December 9. Among other factors, it is expected to mention the impact on Wisconsin hospital emergency departments from the state's extremely low Medicaid payments for physician services.

"As we detailed in our own 'white paper' written earlier this year, Wisconsin's emergency physicians are seeing increases in the number of Medicaid patients while at the same time receive payment for services that are among the lowest in the nation," said Timothy Pavek, MD, president of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (WACEP). "This places extreme financial pressure on the emergency physicians in the state at a time when the nation is facing major economic challenges."

ACEP's report card measures each state in five weighted categories: Access to Emergency Care (30 percent); Quality and Patient Safety Environment (20 percent); Medical Liability Environment (20 percent); Public Health and Injury Prevention (15 percent); and Disaster Preparedness (15 percent).

Wisconsin ranked 29th in the first report card issued by ACEP in 2006 with an overall grade of "C-minus."

Emergency physicians in Wisconsin have been calling attention to the challenges facing the profession, and in particular the impact on access and availability of care resulting from the underfunded Medicaid system. Dr. Pavek pointed out, "Unlike other medical providers, emergency physicians are required by federal law to see all patients who come to the emergency department, regardless of whether they have insurance or their ability to pay."

WACEP says that because Medicaid payments to emergency physicians do not adequately cover the cost of the care they provide
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SOURCE Wisconsin Chapter - American College of Emergency Physicians
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