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Burgess, Green Bills to Improve Trauma Systems Pass Committee
Posted by Jill Shatzen Kerr on February 12, 2015 | comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C – Congressmen Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) today announced two of their bills to improve treatment and access to care for trauma patients were reported out of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The bills, the Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act (H.R. 648) and the Access to Life-Saving Trauma Care for All Americans Act (H.R. 647), both address the issue of disparity within areas with access to proper trauma systems and those without, as well as closure of these systems.

H.R. 647 reauthorizes the Trauma Care Center Grants and Trauma Service Availability Grants. These programs are designed to provide grants to prevent further trauma center closures, address shortfalls in trauma services and improve access to and the availability of trauma care in underserved areas. H.R. 648 reauthorizes Trauma and Emergency Care Systems Grants. These programs are essential to ensure the coordination of trauma care delivery among trauma centers, as well as implement and evaluate innovative models of regionalized emergency care systems. 

“Following a trauma, a patient needs access to care as soon as possible – within the ‘golden hour,’” Burgess said. “But sadly, 45 million Americans lack access to a trauma center within this amount of time. As a physician, I know how important it is that we have adequate, fully developed and functional trauma systems in the U.S. To let another system atrophy and widen the disparity between areas with access to trauma systems and those without is unfair to patients who need urgent care when the unthinkable happens.”

“Reauthorization of these programs will help to prevent trauma center closures, facilitate the development of more efficient regionalized systems of care, and improve our ability to save lives,” Green said. “Trauma can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. The importance of a robust and efficient trauma care system and quality trauma centers is an issue we where we can come together to ensure that all Americans have access to care when their life depends on it.” 

This legislation has been endorsed by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Burn Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American College of Surgeons, the American Trauma Society, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Association of Critical Care Transport, The American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, Emergency Nurses Association, Society of Trauma Nurses, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, The Orthopedic Trauma Association and the Trauma Center Association of America.

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