ED Physicians Key to Half of Hospital Admissions
Doctors in the emergency department are the major decision makers in nearly half of all hospital admissions, giving them a significant role in controlling healthcare costs, research shows.
Jay A. Kaplan, MD, has been an emergency physician for more than 30 years and over the decades he has witnessed firsthand what he says is the evolving role of the emergency department in providing frontline healthcare.
"When I first started practicing we called it the emergency room," Kaplan says. "Then we got called the emergency department. We have morphed again. We are no longer an emergency department. We are an emergency care and acute diagnostic center."
Kaplan, a board member with the American College of Emergency Physicians, points to a Rand Corporation study commissioned by the Emergency Physician Action Fund which shows that emergency physicians are key decision makers for nearly half of all hospital admissions. Because of that, Kaplan says, emergency physicians are playing a critical role in controlling healthcare costs.
RAND found that hospital admissions from the ED increased 17% over seven years, accounting for nearly all the growth in hospital admissions between 2003 and 2009, offset by a 10% drop in admissions from primary care physicians and clinical referrals. Nearly all of the increase was from "non-elective" admissions from the ED—a rate 3.8 times the rate of population growth.
- CEO Exchange: Preparing for Population Health
- Advocate, NorthShore Deal Would Create 16-Hospital System
- EHR Systems 'Immature, Costly,' AMA Says
- Better HCAHPS Scores Protect Revenue
- Narrow Networks Cut Costs, Not Quality, Economists Say
- 3 Strategies for Retaining Millennial Employees
- 'Early Offer' Malpractice Programs May Spur Reform
- Power of price: In South FL and the nation, healthcare costs often are shrouded in secrecy
- Two NY hospitals to offer free hip and knee replacement surgeries for qualifying patients in December
- Hospital mergers may lead to higher prices