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ACEP Chief: ER Docs Must Look Beyond Acute Care

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 17, 2011

Nathaniel Schlicher, MD, associate facility medical director of St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, and an official with the state's ACEP chapter, said hospital emergency rooms will have to provide this care regardless of the state's Medicaid rules, because patients will die if they don't.

The state's action is the subject of a recent lawsuit and temporary restraining order filed in state Superior Court of Thurston County.

But Schlicher said that what is even more worrisome is that some 19 other states are considering similar rules in an effort to save money.

Seaberg and many others attending said they know that they are in for a rough ride, but Seaberg articulated it best:

"The increased demands for our specialty underscore the challenges ahead," he said.

"The next three years of healthcare reform will likely affect the next 30 years of our practice. It will touch all aspects of what we do: how we work, how we are paid, and how we interact with our patients. In short, it will redefine the specialty of emergency medicine."


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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