Ouch! Michigan Hospitals Rank 46th for Emergency Care


tMichigan received a low mark of “D” — ranking 46th in the nation — in the 2014 American College of Emergency Physicians’ annual state-by-state report card on emergency care.

tAlthough Michigan showed improvements in the category of quality and patient safety, it failed in the category of access to emergency care for issues including severe shortages of on-call specialists to care for emergency patients. The state also received poor marks for a weak medical liability environment and issues with adequate hospital capacity.

t“Michigan has worked to improve our quality and patient safety environment, but a large number of patients in our state are delaying medical care or not getting the care they need because of financial barriers and limited access to on-call specialists,” says Dr. Michael Baker, president of the Michigan College of Emergency Physicians. “The state must work to improve access to care by reducing these financial barriers and increasing the capacity of hospitals.”

tAlthough Michigan has high per capita rates of emergency physicians, it has below average rates of specialists, such as orthopedists and hand surgeons; plastic surgeons; and ear, nose, and throat specialists. In addition, Michigan lacks an adequate supply of psychiatric beds.

tThe state also received a D+ in the area of public health and injury prevention, for falling below average in many areas. Michigan ranked among the worst in the nation for adult obesity (31 percent) and a relatively high proportion of adults who smoke (23 percent). The state has one of the lowest rates of pneumonia vaccinations among older adults and the proportion of older adults who receive the annual influenza vaccination has decreased significantly.

tIn the report card, the American College of Emergency Physicians recommended increasing the number of medical specialists in the state by enacting medical liability reforms that include protections for medical care mandated by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. Other recommendations include reinstating an all-rider motorcycle helmet law and promoting immunization, especially among older adults.