Council Connect Articles

Addressing Emergency Department Challenges in Northern Sierra


  • Coalition of state associations, local emergency medical services authorities (LEMSAs), ambulance providers, and county supervisors 


Hospital Council efforts to sustain rural ambulance services continue. The newly formed coalition of state associations, LEMSAs, ambulance providers, county supervisors, and other entities will move next to do an analysis. While all members of the coalition are aware of the rural ambulance service crisis and its potential to worsen, data and patient impacts need to be collected and presented for advocacy and the creation of possible solutions.  

The inability to find placement for behavioral health patients after they have been medically cleared in emergency departments remains an issue in the Northern Sierra Section. Patients staying for weeks or months is common, and staying for years sometimes happens. Each case is unique and requires significant research and outreach to determine a path to placement. Cases involving children are often the most difficult given the extreme shortage of inpatient pediatric providers. Hospital Council has been able to assist with some of the most challenging placements with the help of the California Hospital Association and the Northern Sierra’s Medi-Cal provider, Partnership HealthPlan. 

Takeaway/Next Steps

Hospital Council will continue to ensure the hospital perspective is included in analysis of, and recommendations for, ambulance access and behavioral health patient care.  


RVP T Abraham at