Hospitals Dial 911

Small, specialized facilities unprepared for emergencies
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Apr 2, 2007 2:57 PM CDT
Hospitals lack emergency facilities   ((c) Stephen Witherden)
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(Newser) – Believe it or not, some small, physician-owned hospitals are calling in paramedics to revive their patients in emergencies. Already accused of cherry picking patients and focusing on profit-maximizing procedures, the facilities are now drawing fire for literally relying on other hospitals to rescue patients when complications arise, reports Reed Abelson of the New York Times.

Proponents of boutique hospitals claim that by focusing solely on back surgery or hip replacements, they can provide the best results. But many lack emergency facilities and overnight doctors. Now the government is stepping in to specify emergency requirements—or, in the case of Texas hospital whose patient died after a last-ditch 911 call, pulling the plug on certification.