The Access to Emergency Medical Services Act has three main provisions. They will:
· Require that hospitals report the amount of time admitted patients are held, or “boarded” in the emergency department while waiting for an inpatient bed to be available. The data will be collected by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and if justified, HHS will work with hospitals, physicians, nurses and other affected parties to develop a quality measure for boarding.
· Authorize an additional payment, possibly through Medicare, to all physicians who provide EMTALA-related care, including on-call specialists whose services are needed to stabilize a patient.
· Create a commission to examine the factors that impede the delivery of emergency care. These factors may include crowding, medical liability, and the availability of on-call specialists. The commission will be required to report to Congress specific recommendations to remedy these problems.
The Access to Emergency Medical Services was given a number yesterday. It is now officially known as H.R. 882. Please visit the website at www.acep.org and send a message to Congress to pass this bill.
Then ask everyone you know who may one day need emergency services (and that is everyone) to visit www.acep.org to send a message to Congress. The website now has links that will take you to your Congressman……….electronically, that is. It is now easier than ever to let them know what you think. So……….. vote with your mouse to pass this bill.