|Date:||August 20, 2008|
|Location:||CSAC Conference Center|
|1020 11th Street, 2nd Floor|
Hospital emergency departments are a critical part of the state’s health care system, providing the only guaranteed health care for the uninsured and offering 24-hour health care access to everyone. In 2006, more than ten million visits were made to California hospital emergency departments. To assess the stability of this system, a new study of California’s emergency departments describes trends in their capacity and use, and creates detailed profiles of emergency department visits. Heavy use of emergency departments, especially by patients seeking treatment for nonurgent conditions, and hospital and emergency department closures, have contributed to overcrowded conditions that increasingly concern policymakers and the public.