Ambulance diversion and the struggle to secure 365 coverage
Last week, a bill was introduced in congress that would require hospitals to report instances of diversion. Failure to do so would result in funding cuts. Diversion is the practice of turning away ambulances when an emergency department is full. The practice has been around for a long time, but it has recently fallen under scrutiny after a number of studies have shown its negative effects on patient safety. The studies also show that minority, low-income, and elderly patients are the ones most affected.
Diverting due to coverage gaps
Patients are shipped to nearby hospitals not only in cases of overcrowding, but also when there are gaps in a hospital’s call coverage. The increased scrutiny on diversion is likely to shine a light on coverage gaps.
During a recent call committee meeting, I spoke with a hospital CMO about how imperative 365 coverage is to our communities. As the CMO pointed out, most organizations’ bylaws exempt physicians from having to take call at a specified age or after a certain number of years of service. Therefore, it’s possible to have a small number of physicians taking call in a given specialty even if there are plenty of others on staff. Physicians are typically scheduled 1 and 3 according to the unofficial rule followed by most emergency departments. Adhering to this rule while upholding the organization’s bylaws, it’s often impossible to achieve 365 coverage. At smaller hospitals with no residency programs and aging physician populations, staffing 365 coverage is and will continue to be particularly challenging.
Securing 365 coverage
At MaxWorth, we’ve been working with healthcare professionals for the past fifteen years. During this time, the struggle to staff emergency departments has proven to be one of the enduring challenges in a constantly changing industry. We believe our Call Pay Solution can help organizations secure 365 coverage. The program makes call compensation more meaningful for physicians, and it ensures the sustainability of an organization’s call compensation program for years to come. To learn how our Call Pay Solution can help you secure call coverage, click here.
REQUEST OUR WHITE PAPER:
Complete the form below and receive a copy of our latest white paper, Call Pay Solution: Stabilizing call budgets with a fair and sustainable approach
Want to Learn More?
The fairness factor: How to avoid agitation around nurse pay MaxWorth got its start designing healthcare compensation strategies nearly two decades ago when call pay was one of the most contentious topics in the industry. We quickly learned that a perceived lack of fairness was at the heart of nearly…
Balancing penalties and rewards in benefits for health care providers NBC News recently reported that it’s becoming common for hospitals to require nurses to pay back the cost of their training if they choose to leave or are fired within a certain amount of time. These costs can amount up…
Hidden opportunities to reduce healthcare labor cost In January, KaufmanHall reported that 2022 was the worst financial year for hospitals and health systems since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. December saw an increase in provider productivity, but it simply wasn’t enough to outweigh cost increases. Expenses likely to…
Benefits for an aging physician population The AAMC’s 2022 Physician Specialty Data Report found that nearly half of physicians currently practicing are aged 55 or older. An aging physician population places pressure on recruitment and retention in many ways. Healthcare leaders might be asking themselves: Are young people encouraged to…