KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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LifePoint Health Buys Hospitals In Georgia, North Carolina

In other regional hospital news, Cleveland officials are urging hospitals against diverting ambulances to emergency rooms that are farther away. And the outgoing director of a St. Louis Veterans Affairs facility talks about changes made at the hospital.

Kaiser Health News: Cleveland Pressures Hospitals To Keep ERs Open To All Ambulances
The patient walks woozily out to the ambulance from a tan house on a tree-lined street. Anthony Savoy, the head medic, calls ahead to University Hospitals, which has the closest emergency room. Savoy wants to make sure the ER has space for the patient. The man gets in that day, but it was by no means guaranteed. For years, it’s been common practice for University Hospitals to switch its status to diversion. That means when Savoy would call the hospital, people in the emergency department would say they didn’t have the room or the staff to handle the patient. The EMS team then would have to drive to another hospital — often the Cleveland Clinic — about a mile away. (Tribble, 1/5)

St. Louis Public Radio: Outgoing Director Says Access Is Better At St. Louis VA, But Needs To Be Monitored
The VA St. Louis Health Care System has cut the waiting time for appointments in recent months, but the improvement is “fragile,” says Patricia Ten Haaf, who is leaving the agency after serving as its acting director since May. “As of the beginning of December, our average wait times for primary care, mental health care and specialty care are all five days or under,’’ she said. (Leonard, 1/5)

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