Sending Office: Rush, Bobby L.
In an emergency, our constituents depend on ambulances to get them quickly to the hospital to receive necessary medical care. However, this care can be jeopardized if a hospital has instituted a strategy known as “ambulance diversion,” in which a hospital
temporarily closes the emergency department to incoming ambulances.
While ambulance diversions were initially used by hospitals as a last resort, this practice has recently become much more widespread. Ambulance diversions are more likely to negatively impact minority patients, as well as those who are sicker, poorer, and
older. When an ambulance is diverted, patients receive delayed treatment, wait times for ambulances increase, and neighboring hospitals become overcrowded.
Although preliminary studies have suggested the benefits of reducing ambulance diversions, gaps in available data have limited these findings. Further research and data are needed to determine how best to minimize the impacts of ambulance diversions and
to ensure the health and safety of patients in need of timely care.
It is for these reasons that I am proud to introduce H.R. 5727, The Research Empirical Solutions to End Ambulance Reversals from Closed Hospitals
This bill would:
- Authorize the National Academy of Medicine to conduct a systematic study on ambulance diversions, including whether such diversions have increased over the last 10 years, whether such diversions disproportionately impact underserved communities, the steps
which have been taken to reduce diversions, and what more the federal government can do; and
- Require hospitals to report to the Department of Health and Human Services when and why they implement an ambulance diversion each quarter.
I hope you will join me in fighting to improve our understanding of ambulance diversions in order to ensure our healthcare system works as effectively and efficiently as possible for all who depend on it. To learn more or to cosponsor the RESEARCH Act,
please contact Lauren Citron in my office at Lauren.Citron@mail.house.gov.
Bobby L. Rush
Member of Congress
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