About 42% of emergency room managers -- almost double the percentage in 2004 -- said they believed a lack of specialists posed a "significant risk" to patients, according to a new survey. More than 700 ER managers responded to the survey by the Schumacher Group, an emergency department management firm. The shortage of specialists has grown more acute in ERs, in particular, because of concerns about malpractice lawsuits and a lack of reimbursement for on-call emergency care, respondents said. About 35% of the hospitals diverted patients to other facilities in the past 12 months, also about double the percentage in the previous year. -- by Michael Romano
Specialist shortage seen as a growing risk to patients
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