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Hospitals Getting Shortchanged–Again

May 7, 2008

From the Mississippi Hospital Association’s Office of Emergency Preparedness blog:

Three White House-backed Medicaid regulations, if imposed, would severely cripple how hospitals respond to a mass-casualty event and could ultimately harm patients who were already admitted, according to a staff report released by House Democrats and supported by emergency department personnel who were on Capitol Hill for a hearing on the topic.

…and…

Overall, the report found that the nation’s emergency departments are ill-prepared to handle a mass influx of patients. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the committee’s chairman, lashed out at health and security leaders for supporting the rules without first studying their impact on emergency care. “This is incomprehensible,” Waxman said. “It appears that (HHS Secretary Mike) Leavitt signed regulations that will take hundreds of millions of dollars away from hospital emergency rooms without once considering the impact on national preparedness.”

Presented with only this comment: This is not the kind of press one wants to get the week after a major report written, in part, by DHHS, comes out recommending that doctors withhold care from vast segments of our society in the case of a pandemic.

The Homeland Security Digital Library blog pointed us to the report here (PDF).

Photo by jenn_jenn.

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