Emergency Department Doctors Rally for Assistance in Washington, D.C.
More than 260 California emergency department physicians on Tuesday participated in a Washington, D.C., rally to call for assistance to fund emergency care, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The physicians advocate a plan that would limit malpractice insurance costs by providing government-paid coverage for treating the uninsured. The plan also would offer 10% bonuses to hospitals and doctors who provide emergency services to Medicare beneficiaries.
Jan Emerson, vice president of the California Hospital Association, said, "We have a huge crisis in emergency room care. Seventy hospitals have closed in the last decade, 10 in the last year." Emerson said those closures reduced the number of EDs in the state, which in some cases are the only health providers available to the uninsured.
Vicki Bermudez of the California Nurses Association said, "We have to deal with the problem of the uninsured and not pretend that the real problem is reimbursement for emergency rooms." CNA favors a national health insurance program, she said (Whitney, Sacramento Bee, 9/28).