Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Health Reform must include emergency medicine

ACEP members will demand that emergency medicine be addressed during health care reform.

Nearly 400 emergency physicians from across the country will be converging on the nation's capital April 19-22 to advocate for greater patient access to lifesaving emergency medical treatment. As part of their visit, these medical specialty leaders will meet with key policy and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to educate them about the nation's emergency care crisis, which was recently documented in ACEP's National Report Card on the State of Emergency Care.  The report, issued in December, assigned the nation an overall grade of C- for its support of emergency care and a D- in access to emergency care. 

Emergency physicians will urge their elected officials to hold hearings on and enact the Access to Emergency Medical Services Act (H.R. 1188 and S. 468), a bill that outlines measures to strengthen access to emergency care for patients. The meetings are part of the 2009 Leadership and Advocacy Conference of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), a key component of which is to urge members of Congress and the administration to include an array of critical emergency care issues in the discussions of health care reforms.

Invited conference speakers include former Clinton Administration senior health care advisor Chris Jennings, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), political pundit Charlie Cook, executive director of Families USA Ron Pollack and executive vice president for government affairs of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce R. Bruce Josten (final confirmations pending)

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