Emergency on-call coverage suffering
A recent study released by the Center for Studying Health System Change finds that hospitals are having greater problems obtaining emergency on-call coverage. It is increasingly a problem for patients requiring specialty consultations. The study is based on HSC's 2007 site visits to 12 nationally representative communities: Boston; Cleveland; Greenville, S.C.; Indianapolis; Lansing, Mich.; Little Rock, Ark.; Miami; northern New Jersey; Orange County, Calif.; Phoenix; Seattle; and Syracuse, N.Y. HSC has been tracking change in these markets since 1996.
The traditional role of physicians taking emergency call as part of their obligation for hospital admitting privileges is unraveling across the country, posing risks that insured and uninsured patients, alike, may not get timely and appropriate care," said Ann S. O'Malley, M.D., coauthor of the study.