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Study: Emergency room closures can be deadly for area's residents
Study: Emergency room closures can be deadly for area's residents

It stands to reason that when a hospital emergency room closes, people in the surrounding neighborhood suffer. But how much? A new study quantifies the impact in California, finding that patients affected by ER closures were 5% more likely to die after being admitted to a hospital than were patients who didn’t lose an ER in their neighborhood. The authors of the study, published Monday in the journal Health Affairs, couldn’t say exactly how the disappearance of emergency rooms translated into higher mortality for hospital patients. Fewer ERs leads to longer wait times for treatment. It also means patients have to travel farther to get emergency room care, and it may prompt some...

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