Emergency Room Issues

Emergency physicians play an essential role on the front line of health care, and they are dedicated to providing the best care to patients. Each year, the number of people who rely on emergency departments increases. At the same time, resources for emergency departments have decreased, and hundreds of emergency departments have closed. The result, as patients and doctors have seen, is longer waiting times as an increasing number of people need a decreasing number of emergency departments and physicians.

Specifically for orthopaedic surgeons, managed care, the Medicare RBRVS, falling payment levels, rising practice costs, increased uncompensated care, mounting paperwork, and a medical liability insurance crisis have eliminated most of the benefits of providing emergency care, leading to a growing shortage of specialists able to take call.

AAOS monitors state activity to encourage proper emergency room care. These steps can include liability protections for emergency room physicians, insuring proper reimbursement, and finding ways to deal with uninsured patients.

EMTALA and the Orthopaedic Surgeon