Physician Staffing of Small Rural Hospital Emergency Departments


All 37 rural Washington State hospitals with less than 100 beds were surveyed to determine how rural emergency departments were staffed by physicians and to estimate rural hospital payments for these services. Study data were collected through telephone interviews with hospital administrators or directors of nursing services. Results indicated that 86% of rural hospitals contracted for emergency department coverage and 59% obtained some or all of this service from nonlocal physicians.