House Bill Includes Positives for EM


AngelaGarner1I orginally posted this entry on my personal blog, Gardner’s Gate. 

Last night the U.S. House of Representatives passed a health reform bill, H.R. 3962. Emergency physicians are divided in their thoughts about the consequences of this legislation, as is the house of medicine and the country in general. However, there are many aspects of the bill that are positive for emergency patients and for emergency physicians.

Some of these include:

  • Inclusion of emergency services as part of an essential health benefits package
  • Statutory authorization of ECCC (Emergency Care Coordination Center) and ECCC Council of Emergency Medicine
  • Health and Human services annual report to Congress on ECCC activities, with focus on emergency department crowding, boarding and delays in ED care following presentation
  • Emergency care/trauma regionalization pilot project grants
  • Trauma stabilization grants
  • Health and Human Services incentive payments to states that establish medical liability reforms (Certificate of Merit/early offer)
  • Health and Human Services demo project to reimburse private psychiatric hospitals that provide EMTALA services to Medicaid beneficiaries

The American College of Emergency Physicians has worked diligently to represent emergency physicians and emergency patients throughout this volatile process. As the process continues toward final legislation, ACEP will continue to focus on the needs of emergency patients, future emergency patients, and the physicians who care for them.

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  1. #1 by Sanford R Hawkins MD FACEP - November 12th, 2009 at 11:44

    As a fellow member of ACEP, I must say this blog is a lie. This bill does not help us. Your position that HR 3962 rewards states for implementing medical liability reform is misleading. It clearly states “as long as it does NOT CAP attorney’s fees or impose caps on damages”. So you WANT them to be able to sue us for outrageous amounts. I do not know why you would sell us out and put false information on here. Do some soul searching and realize we docs in the trenches need caps to keep insurance down.

  2. #2 by Ron Hellstern - August 15th, 2010 at 09:24

    Not a lot going on with this blog but I’m looking for a way to ask about ACEP and the AMA. Saw the piece in this month’s (August 2010) ACEP News about EM’s growing influence in the AMA but I’ m not sure I see the value of increasing influence in an increasingly irrelevant organization like the AMA. Just 17% of physicians belonged to the AMA before they endorsed Obamacare (without an SGR fix or tort reform) and rumor has it that they may have lost more than a quarter of these members due to resignations over that endorsement, me among them. Instead of pouring money and energy into a dying organization I think we should be beefing up our independent voice.

    Ron Hellstern
    rhellstern@hospital practice.com

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