Researchers suggest that this trend could be a result of recent changes in the Emergency Medical and Active Labor Treatment Act (EMTALA) that no longer require community hospitals to provide emergency specialty coverage. Furthermore, because emergency specialty coverage is not funded to the same degree as routine specialty care, many physicians view emergency coverage as a threat to their practice and in turn, forego emergency room call. As a result, hospitals are facing ongoing shortage of on-call emergency room physicians and are in the difficult position of having to transfer patients with minor injuries to regional trauma centers for evaluation.
Community Hospitals Transfer More Patients To Trauma Centers, Despite Their Own Ability To Treat The Injuries
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