Corporate Compliance

Q&A: Simultaneous on call

Compliance Monitor, December 23, 2009

Q:If a physician is on call simultaneously at a different hospital and cannot attend to a critically ill patient due to his or her involvement at another hospital, is it a violation to transfer the patient?

A:CMS allows simultaneous call, coordination of call lists with other hospitals under a community plan, and elective surgery. However, hospitals must have an alternative plan, which may include transfer to another hospital, when the on call physician is otherwise unavailable. The problem in many areas is the scarcity of specialists.

This week's Q&A was answered by Loren Johsnon, MD, FACEP, president of Health Access Associates, Inc.

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