HELP Subcommittee to Discuss Emergency Room Care

Will Release GAO Report on Preventing Unnecessary Use of ERs

WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, May 11 at 10:00AM, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging will convene a hearing to discuss ways to reduce the use of emergency departments for non-urgent health care services. HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Subcommittee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) jointly requested a Government Accountability Office study on how best to relieve unnecessary burdens on emergency rooms, increasing costs, and even delaying care for true emergencies by utilizing strategies to increase the use of community health centers and other primary care settings.

The hearing will be webcast live at

Following the hearing, testimony and archived videos will be posted at:

HEARING: "Diverting Non-urgent Emergency Room Use:  Can It Provide Better Care and Lower Costs?"

CONTACT: Michael Briggs (Sanders) - (202) 228-6492


Panel I: James Macrae, Associate Administrator, Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD

Panel II: Debra Draper, Director, Health Care, Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC

Peter Cunningham, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for Studying Health Systems Change, Washington, DC

Alieta Eck, MD, Founder & Co-Director, Zarephath Health Center, Zarephath, NJ

Dana Kraus, MD, Family Practice Physician, Northern Counties Health Care, St. Johnsbury, VT

DATE: Wednesday, May 11, 2011

TIME: 10:00AM

PLACE: 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building