KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Michigan Hospitals Focus On ERs For Seniors; Ga. Voters Consider Funding New Trauma Centers

Some hospitals in Michigan seek to address the unique needs of senior patients, including the use of specially designed emergency rooms, while voters in Georgia consider new fees to help improve trauma units.

The Detroit News: "Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, which will have eight senior emergency rooms open in southeast Michigan by year's end, is not the only health system adapting to meet the needs of a growing elderly population. That population is expected to jump from about 567,000 in 2000 to nearly 1.2 million by 2035, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. Henry Ford hospitals in Warren and Clinton Township plan to renovate their emergency rooms to include space especially for seniors by mid-2011. ... While senior ERs are one mechanism to care for seniors, some hospitals also have opened special geriatric centers, such as an inpatient center at Henry Ford Hospital in Warren. Hospitals systems are not only looking to better serve an aging population, but to prevent readmissions" (Burden, 10/25).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Georgia voters will decide on Nov. 2 whether they want to add $10 to the cost of annual vehicle registrations to improve trauma services statewide. Hospitals, emergency services workers and public health officials say the $80 million that would be raised every year by passage of Amendment 2 is needed to save lives. Georgia has 17 hospitals designated as trauma centers, short of the 25 to 30 centers that public health officials say the state needs" (Teegardin, 10/24).

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