Nevada legislators are pushing forward a bill to require hospital to treat patients within 30 minutes of their arrival at the emergency room by ambulance. The bill wouldn’t impose any penalties, but supporters say it would shine a spotlight on wait times because none of the hospitals would want to perform poorly.
I’ve posted on this topic before, but usually about hospitals taking the initiative. This bill seems well intentioned, and maybe it will work. It may produce some unintended side effects, however.
- By only covering patients arriving by ambulance, it may encourage abuse of the EMS system by patients who could get to the ER under their own power
- It could cause busy ERs to divert patients to other hospitals, which could increase the total wait time