Free Enterprise in the ER

Presbyterian’s website says emergency department doctors are independent physicians — common language in hospitals, where the separate but interlocked interests of single doctors, physicians’ groups and the institution itself can be bewildering.

At Presbyterian’s ER, the rest of the story is even less known. The signs all say Presbyterian, but Presbyterian doesn’t run it. The entire department is outsourced to an independent contractor.

The contractor, a Fort Worth-based company, Emergency Medicine Consultants Ltd., serves hospitals under the name of its medical practice, Texas Medicine Resources LLP, and uses the website name emdocs.com. The company referred questions to Texas Health.

A comparison of clients finds that two failed to beat state or federal averages in any category of emergency care quality. Two more — Texas Health Presbyterian and Methodist Charlton in southwestern Dallas — bettered those figures in just one category. In five others, they were worse, based on the latest report, from October 2012 to September 2013, by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Presbyterian ranked 78th for safety among Texas’ busiest 100 hospitals in a recent Dallas Morning News analysis of hospital complication data for 2012. Of 26 North Texas hospitals in the study, it was 17th.

Dallas Morning News

 

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