Wisconsin Emergency Care Gets Low Grade

A national report gives the Wisconsin a 'C-minus" ' when it comes to emergency care.

But, Wisconsin emergency caregivers say the report's categories and data are misleading.

The American College of Emergency Physicians says Wisconsin ranks 29th among states and could easily slip from that ranking if it doesn't make major improvements.

The state gets its best mark -- a 'B-plus' -- for the high number of emergency departments. But, it gets a 'D-plus' for quality and patient safety because of the limited number of medical residents and medical residency programs.

Former president of the Wisconsin chapter of ER doctors, Howard Croft, says the report doesn't mean emergency physicians are doing a bad job. He says it's meant to call attention to the "environment" of emergency medicine and the "constraints of state and federal laws."

Still, doctors agree that several things need attention, including the need to improve Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates. Also, more uninsured patients are using emergency departments instead of primary care doctors.