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Emergency doctors can help lower costs

As the nation implements health care reform, emergency care has never been more important. We treat everyone, from babies to seniors, and we see the full spectrum of medical problems that exist. We are available at all times for all people.

A new report by the RAND Corporation finds that emergency physicians are playing a role in reducing health care costs. This report urges policymakers and hospital administrators to pay closer attention to the role that emergency physicians can play in evaluating, managing and preventing hospital admissions. Four out of five of those who called their doctor first were referred to us for evaluation and treatment.

The sickest patients in our communities present to us for care, and we play a key role in determining where their care can be delivered most effectively and efficiently. Emergency departments must be fully integrated in health care delivery systems.

William Jaquis, Baltimore

The writer is director of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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