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GAO: Crowding, longer-than-recommended waits persist in emergency rooms

A Goverment Accountability Office review showed that, in 2006, emergency rooms remained crowded and patients were sometimes forced to wait for longer-than-recommended time periods in such facilities. The report includes numbers on average wait times for various circumstances as well as numbers for how often ambulances were diverted away from overcrowded hospitals. The GAO undertook the report because, according to the report, "of the estimated 119 million visits to U.S. emergency departments in 2006, over 40 percent were paid for by federally-supported programs."

View the GAO's findings:

Highlights (1-page PDF)

Full report (58-page PDF)