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Study: Mentally ill patients experience longer ER waiting times

Houston Chronicle | January 5, 2017

BOSTON (AP) โ€” A study of 10 hospitals in Massachusetts found that mentally ill patients taken to emergency rooms for treatment are routinely beset by long waits that could last nearly one full day.

The Boston Globe reports (http://bit.ly/2iDIwKL ) the study discovered that patients with mental illness are stuck waiting an average of 16 to 21 hours for placement into a psychiatric hospital or unit.

In comparison, the average wait time for patients suffering from a medical issue is just four hours before they are admitted to the hospital.

Medical professionals attributed the excessive waits for mentally ill patients to the lack of beds and restrictions put in place by insurance providers.

The research was published online Wednesday in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. The hospitals that participated in the study weren’t identified.

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