27 Oct ERDMAN E-News – Emergency Department Regulations Varies Widely
NEWS FOR DELIVERING HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES
Regulation of Freestanding Emergency Departments Varies Widely
Health Affairs, October 2016
As health systems seek to expand access to their ambulatory care network, freestanding emergency departments (FEDs) are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to hospital-based EDs. This article discusses the FED market on the whole, with attention to the variability that exists in state regulations and services being offered. The biggest differentiation in types of FEDs is between independent, which can range in ownership from one physician to a group of private equity investors, and hospital-affiliated EDs, which can receive uniform Medicare reimbursement and tend to be lower cost for patients.
The Health Affairs article finds that state regulations greatly impact the rate of proliferation of FEDs, such as in Texas where market trends and regulations have allowed 190 FEDs to be built since 2010. One concern is the understanding that patients have of FED services and the delays in treatment that can be caused by misunderstandings. To illustrate, the article noted that only 12 of 32 states with FED regulations require pediatric equipment. The trend in new acute medical care locations is changing healthcare and the article suggests that policymakers seek greater consistency when creating new regulations.
How a Swedish Model of Care is Making an Impact in the U.S.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Blog, October 2016
Disease registries have been used effectively for research into disease control and population health management, and this article explores further use of the registries in Sweden as a route to improved patient-centered care. The Swedish Rheumatology Quality Registry (SRQ) allows patients to input their own detailed health information and review their physicians’ entries in an effort to facilitate more effective care during their office visits. This also allows for some degree of home treatment of their conditions.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who published the article, are discussing US applications of disease registries with the same intent. They note the ability for patients to explain their concerns related to what is most important to them and their surrounding life circumstances can positively affect patient health outcomes. Providers are encouraged to support exploration of disease registries as they focus on patient-centered care.