FL plan would route patients to specialist-equipped EDs

A Florida plan which would route acutely-ill patients to hospitals where an appropriate specialist is available on call is facing substantial challenges from physicians. Hoping to address the shortage of available specialists, state health planners have proposed a system under which acutely-ill patients would be routed to the closest hospital where a specialist was available on call, rather than sending them to the closest facility available. The patients would be routed by use of a centralized call center or Web-based schedule. The plan would also provide money to provide additional stipends, which could be used to attract on-call specialists to more facilities.

In theory, this makes sense, but in practice, Florida specialists who do take call say that that this plan could severely overload their schedules. Also, planners note that it's not clear how the EMS transport system would change under such a model, and whether EMS could sustain the change.

To find out more about the proposal:
- read this South Florida Sun Sentinel article

Related Articles:
On-call payments for ED coverage challenged. Report
MA hospitals bow to on-call pay trend. Report
Trend: On-call shortage closing trauma departments. Report

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.