Posted Thursday, January 16th 2014 @ 2pm by By Heather Jordan
The 2014 State-By-State Report Card for “America's Emergency Care Environments” has been released. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, Iowa overall received a "C" grade, but ranked 11th in the nation overall, for emergency room care.
All 50 states, along with WashingtonDC, Puerto Rico, and military emergency medicine were graded in 5 categories:
1) Access to Emergency Care
2) Quality and Patient Safety and Environment
3) Medical Liability Environment
4) Public Health and Injury Prevention
5) Disaster Preparedness
Iowa's lowest grade was a "C-" for Access to Emergency Care
Iowa's highest grade was a "B" in Public Health and Injury Prevention
Other Iowa grades: "C" in Quality and Patient Safety Environment, "C" in Medical Liability Environment, "C+" in Disaster Preparedness.
Positives:Iowa's best performance was in Public Health and Injury Prevention. Iowa has the 8th lowest rate of homicide and suicide, Iowa has a very low rate of traffic fatalities that are alcohol-related, and has one of the lowest pedestrian fatality rates in the country. For disaster preparedness, Iowa has more than doubled bed surge capacity since the last report card, with the 3rd highest number in the country. Iowa also has the 5th highest percentage of nurses who have received disaster training.
Negatives: The state is facing a severe shortage of health care providers. Iowa has the lowest per capita rate of emergency physicians in the nation. Iowa also lacks neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, orthopedists, and hand surgeons; ranking almost last in all of these specialties. The state's Medicaid fee levels have declined by 1.2%, which the doctors at the AmericanCollege of Emergency Physicians say is troubling in light of the state's decision to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Iowa also has one of the higher rates of fatal occupational injuries.
The AmericanCollege of Emergency Physicians says that Iowa's limited access to health care providers, including the lowest per capita rate of emergency physicians in the nation, burdens the Iowa health care system.
The nation's overall grade was a "D+".
21 states scored an “F” in Access to Emergency Care. 10 different states received an “F” for Quality & Patient Safety Environment, Medical Liability Environment, Public Health and Injury Prevention. 13 states received an "F" for Emergency Preparedness.