Specialty boards set time limits for certification

From Modern Physician:

In an effort to prevent physicians’ indefinite use of the term “board-eligible,” all member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties will limit the time that physicians have to undergo board certification after completing their residencies. Some of the ABMS’ 24 member boards already have certification time limits in place; the rest will complete a transition to time limits by Jan. 1, 2019.

According to an ABMS news release, the organization has never recognized the term “board eligible”—a term some physicians use to signal to patients and prospective employers that they intend to seek certification, the release notes. Establishing time limits, according to the release, “makes it legitimate” for physicians to claim eligibility while preventing the term from being abused.

Most of the time limits (PDF) for the 24 boards range between five and seven years. The boards of surgery and thoracic surgery have not yet established time limits. The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology has not yet established a starting date for its seven-year limit.

For emergency room regulars, a promising lifeline out

From the Star Tribune:

An innovative pilot program, Hospital to Home, is helping them do just that. It partners Westgard and other Regions doctors with Hearth Connection, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness; Guild Inc., whose mission is to help people with mental illness lead quality lives, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

The pilot program was small — seven individuals with tremendously challenging personal stories — but so promising that HUD has awarded Hospital to Home nearly $258,000 to expand by another 18 to 20 individuals this summer.

As Psychiatric Wards Close, Patients Languish In Emergency Rooms

From NPR:

Many hospitals don’t even have psychiatric wards anymore. “The reimbursement for mental health care within the country is among the lowest across the different disease states,” he says, “and so it’s not, in some cases, economically viable to support these types of units.”

One hospital chain is going against the trend. Denver’s HealthOne hospital chain is opening a new psychiatric ward with 40 beds. It’ll be one of the first Colorado has seen in years.

San Carlos Hospital ER says ‘we never turn down patients”

From the Arizona Silver Belt:

She explained that all patients that enter the ER are served, something the hospital is bound to by federal law. It is also not uncommon, for any hospital, to have some long waits depending on the number of patients that are seeking service at a given time. Patients are also seen based on the severity of the patient’s condition. Acute conditions such as chest pain, child birth, and severe injuries will be treated first, while others may have to wait.

Update on ACEP and the Choosing Wisely Campaign

From ACEP’s The Central Line (Dr. David Seaburg, President):

Although ACEP has previously reviewed the Choosing Wisely Campaign and agreed not to participate, due to continued questions and comments from our members, I convened a workgroup to re-review the campaign and ACEP’s participation.  The workgroup consisted of a wide and diverse representation of ACEP members and Committees.

The group was overwhelming in support of not joining the Choosing Wisely Campaign.  Although the issue of cost control is crucial for emergency medicine’s future, the Choosing Wisely Campaign is not the vehicle for ACEP’s participation.

Iowa hospital to close labor and delivery unit

From the Sioux City Journal:

Horn Memorial Hospital in Ida Grove, Iowa, is getting out of the baby business.

The hospital will close its obstetrical unit on June 1. Women with due dates after June 1 will be given a list of facilities that deliver babies.

Firework Removed from Minnesota Man’s Chest

From JEMS:

A man is in critical condition after the St. Paul Bomb Squad removed an unexploded firework from his chest over the holiday weekend.

The 31-year-old apparently was shooting off illegal fireworks when a firework intended for the sky penetrated his chest, according to Cmdr. Paul Sommer.