National Preparedness: Ambulance Diversions Impede Access to Emergency Rooms   [open pdf - 146KB]

"Rep. Henry A. Waxman asked the Special Investigations Division to examine ambulance diversions, their impact on the access of Americans to hospital emergency rooms, and their significance for national preparedness. Because no governmental or other organization collects national data on ambulance diversions, the Special Investigations Division compiled for the investigation a database of relevant state and local news reports from around the country. This database was then analyzed to assess the magnitude and impact of ambulance diversions. This report is the first national report on ambulance diversions and their impact on preparedness. The report finds that ambulance diversions have impeded access to emergency services in metropolitan areas in at least 22 states since January 1, 2000. More than 75 million Americans reside in the areas affected by these ambulance diversions. Multiple hospitals in these areas have repeatedly restricted access to their emergency rooms by diverting ambulances, with the result that patients had to delay needed care."

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Committee on Government Reform Minority Office: http://democrats.reform.house.gov/
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