OH bill would force hospitals to have 24x7 EDs

A new measure under consideration in the Ohio legislature would force all of the state's hospitals to operate a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week emergency department. The rule would apply to freestanding surgery centers and other hospital competitors that don't offer a full range of acute care services. The bill is backed strongly by the Ohio Hospital Association which, though it isn't saying so directly, is fighting for turf fiercely defended by its members. Hospitals have long been battling with ambulatory surgical centers and other freestanding centers, which can often cherry-pick profitable cases precisely because they don't operate an ED. That leaves traditional acute-care hospitals in the position of caring for all emergency cases, which are often far less profitable. The bill is opposed by emergency physicians, however, who argue that forcing all hospitals to run an ED might result in some patients getting inferior emergency care. Meanwhile, with ASCs, in particular, continuing to enjoy explosive growth nationwide, expect to see this battle pop up in states across the U.S.

To find out more about the bill:
- read this Cincinnati Business Courier report

Related Articles:
Blue Cross slapped on ASC incentives. Report
GA physicians battle for looser ASC regs. Report