Emergency doctors slam new HHS chief

Wow, this honeymoon didn't last. The ink was barely dry on HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' appointment as agency chief this week when the country's largest emergency physicians' group came out to accuse her of spreading misinformation.

American College of Emergency Physicians President Nicolas Jouriles, MD, has gone on the offensive, calling Sebelius "uninformed" about emergency doctors' role in delivering healthcare. Dr. Jouriles objected to remarks she made this week that emergency care presents the "least effective, most expensive" care option.

Jouriles argued that by making these remarks, Sibelius was "perpetuating myths" about the emergency healthcare system. "The bottom line is that larger number of patients are drawing on fewer resources," he said. "And most of the patients in the emergency department need to be there."

Sibelius, who later appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press," stuck by her statement, contending that too many ED visits are driven by Americans visiting the ED who don't have health coverage or a primary physician. She's pushing to move the nation into a medical home-based primary care model.

To learn more about the tete a tete:
- read this Health Leaders Media piece

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