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Grantee Spotlight

EMF funds have launched the careers of many of the most respected and published researchers in emergency medicine. Many grantees go on to receive NIH and other large-scale funding projects as a result of EMF’s investment in their work.

EMF Funded Research Demonstrates Value of Emergency Medicine Care

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Dr. Laura G. Burke, MD, MPH, FACEP
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Value of Emergency Care Project

Trends in the Cost and Quality of Emergency Care

Dr. Laura Burke and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Harvard School of Public Health embarked on a study, funded by the Emergency Medicine Foundation Value of Emergency Care grant, and examined whether changes in the practice of emergency care have been associated with changes in clinical outcomes and total costs of care.
Dr. Burke used eight years of national Medicare data and confirmed that ED visits have continued to rise and that emergency physicians are admitting fewer patients from the ED.  More importantly, the study team found that mortality rates have fallen over time.
These results suggest that outcomes for emergency patients have improved in recent years, a trend which was greatest for the sickest patients. This study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine (JAMA Internal Medicine. 2019 Nov 4:1-9), received substantial media attention, as well as an accompanying editorial highlighting the salient policy issues facing emergency medicine.   
In an era of quality measurement and alternative payment models, an understanding of the value of emergency care should be informed by data rather than opinion alone and the evidence provided by these studies suggests that patients may already understand what policymakers often miss, that emergency care offers substantial value to patients with acute care needs.


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