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CRMC Reps To Lobby Against 80-Year Old ER Law

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
CRMC Reps To Lobby Against 80-Year Old ER Law

Cookeville Regional CEO Buffy Key headed to the state capital to testify against a law that prevents the hospital from hiring its own ER employees.

Key said the “Pare Law” was put in place in the 1940s. It forces non-teaching medical facilities to contract pathologists, radiologists, anesthesiologists, and other ER workers from outside agencies. Key said the law left the hospital scrambling last July when the agency that provides them with these workers went out of business.

“We wanted to keep our physicians,” Key said. “We wanted them to be here. We wanted them to be available to our patients. And I’ve got to to tell you, it was a very critical moment for us in thinking that we might not be able to provide the services that we needed to our community, and that is absolutely devastating.”

Key said the hospital is not only responsible for the well-being of its patients, but for employees as well. She said figuring out how to take care of the providers was the first concern when she learned that their employer was going out of business.

“If your providers don’t feel safe and secure in their roles, how can you expect them to make the patients feel that way,” Key said. “So it was very important that we work with them on the direction that they want to go.”

She said next week, she will ask legislators if the law is truly effective, or if it is time to look at reworking it. She said she understands that it was originally put into place by a group of medical professionals who were worried about being told how to practice medicine by outside entities.

“We would love to have the opportunity to employ these physicians,” Key said. “Not that we necessarily want to or that they want us to, but if the situation ever arose like it just happened in last July, we would have that opportunity.”

The bill likely a result of medical lobbies in the 1940s interested in keeping hospital administrators out of making medical decisions, Key said.

She said she works with legislators in Nashville quite a bit this time of year. Key said she and other Cookeville Regional representatives spent a day on the hill last month and also receive semi-frequent calls from state representatives to alert them of bills that may affect the hospital.


The post CRMC Reps To Lobby Against 80-Year Old ER Law appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.