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L.A. Now Live: Chat about L.A.'s overburdened ERs, 911 system

May 15, 2012 |  6:00 am

Times staff writer Anna Gorman will join City Editor Shelby Grad for a discussion about Los Angeles County's overburdened 911 system.

The chat will take place at 9 a.m. and questions can be submitted live.

Gorman reports that unnecessary 911 calls are resulting in costly trips to already crowded ERs, which divert resources from true emergencies. Uninsured patients are turning to 911 as their only way into the healthcare system.

But now, healthcare and emergency officials are looking for ways to overhaul the system and reduce overcrowding and costs. Among the alternatives officials are exploring are whether ambulances could take certain 911 cases to clinics rather than hospitals and whether paramedics could treat some people at their homes.