EM Provisions Added to House Committee Proposal

From ACEP:

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved an omnibus amendment offered by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee that included several provisions ACEP has worked to include in the House health care reform package.

These emergency care measures would provide:

  • Congressional authorization of the Emergency Care Coordination Center (ECCC) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at HHS and the Council on Emergency Care under the direction of the ECCC;
  • Establish at least four emergency care regionalization pilot projects to model emergency/trauma care efficiencies within defined geographic regions
  • Support and expand emergency medicine and pediatric emergency medicine research
  • Provide financial support to financially challenged trauma centers.

The legislation already contained a quality provision that would focus attention on emergency department crowding and boarding.

Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) will offer an ACEP-supported medical liability amendment later in the committee mark-up. The Gordon Amendment would:

  • Deem physicians who provide EMTALA services as employees of the Public Health Service, thus moving liability from the physician to the federal government
  • Provide liability protections to physicians who volunteer during disasters
  • Create incentive payments to states that enact one or more medical liability reforms, short of caps (options include Certificate of Merit, expert witness requirements, penalties for filing frivolous lawsuits, “I’m Sorry” measures, early offers, health courts, medical review panels, and demonstrations that combine the use of practice guidelines with limitations on liability).

Keeping up with Emergency Medicine studies made easier

From the Vanderbilt Reporter:

Keeping up with latest journal articles can be difficult. Isolating the practical from the peculiar requires time, and for busy Emergency Department physicians, this task can strain the schedule.

Clay Smith, M.D., and Jim Fiechtl, M.D., are the co-creators of a Web site that updates Vanderbilt Emergency Medicine staff on the most important and practical articles in the literature. The site — keepingupinem.com — renders articles clear and concise in the form of podcasts and written summaries.

More here.