PENNSYLVANIA HOSPITAL IMPOSES MANDATORY CALL
AND TERMINATES CLINICAL PRIVILEGES
Lehigh Valley Hospital has terminated the clinical privileges of three orthopedic hand surgeons because they won’t accept every hand injury case transferred to the Cedar Crest emergency room. The story was reported in the February 17, 2008 edition of the Morning Call and the full story can be accessed at the link below.
The story highlights the conflict between hospital obligations to provide 24 hour coverage, usually mandated by EMTALA, and subspecialty physicians’ increasing unwillingness to accept call coverage responsibilities without additional compensation. However, it is important to note that the orthopedic hand surgeons who are the subject of this story maintain that call compensation is not an issue in this dispute; they maintain that the call coverage conflict is simply a result of too much volume putting resource pressures on their practices.