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Massachusetts ER policy passes checkup

Boston Globe, December 14, 2009

A new Massachusetts policy requiring crowded hospital emergency rooms to accept all patients delivered by ambulance has not worsened conditions, as some doctors had feared. According to an analysis by state public health officials, the average time patients spent in 75 of the state's emergency rooms remained about the same since the rules went into effect in January 2009. Patients who were admitted to the hospital spent between 5 and 5 1/2 hours in the emergency room, while patients who were sent home spent about 2 1/2 hours, the Boston Globe reports.