KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

ER Overcrowding A Problem At Calif. Hospitals Serving Many Minorities

A new study says California hospitals in areas with large minority populations are disproportionately affected by overcrowding at ERs -- often leading to ambulance diversion, delayed care and poorer health outcomes for patients.

San Francisco Chronicle: Overcrowded ER Points To Larger Problems
California hospitals in areas with large minority populations are disproportionately affected by emergency room overcrowding, making them more likely to ease the congestion by diverting ambulances to other hospitals, according to a UCSF-led study. The study, which looked at 2007 data from 202 hospitals around the state, found hospitals that served the greatest percentage of minority patients turned away ambulances because of overcrowding as much as four times as often as those that served the smallest number of minorities. Health experts say ambulance diversion, the practice of turning ambulances away temporarily when a hospital's emergency department becomes overcrowded, can lead to delayed care and poorer health outcomes (Colliver, 8/6).

KQED: ER Overcrowding Hurts Minorities Most
Overcrowding in California emergency rooms disproportionately affects minority populations, according to a study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs. The findings shed light on flaws in the emergency care system that affect vulnerable populations, including communities of color, lead author Dr. Rennee Hsia says (Lawrence, 8/7).

California Watch: Minorities Hit Hardest By Calif. Hospital Overcrowding, Study Finds
California hospital overcrowding disproportionately affects minority patients, according to a study published today. The study by UC San Francisco, Stanford University and UCLA researchers measured hospital overcrowding in 202 California facilities by analyzing ambulance diversion rates, or how often ambulances are turned away from an emergency department. They found that hospitals that serve large minority populations were more likely to divert ambulances to other hospitals (Young, 8/6).

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