May 10, 2023

New Indiana Bill Requires Hospital EDs to Have a Physician On Site

Indiana recently passed legislation that will require every emergency department in the state to have a physician onsite and responsible for the ED. Thanks to the tireless advocacy of Indiana ACEP, patients who need emergency care across the state of Indiana now have reassurance that a physician will be in the emergency department at all hours to provide high quality patient care. 

The bill signed into law by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb on May 5, 2023, SB 400, is a comprehensive health care bill that includes reforms to physician credentialing and prior authorization, among other items. The language proposed by Indiana ACEP and passed into law requires a hospital with an emergency department to have at least one physician on site and on duty who is responsible for the emergency department at all times.

Indiana ACEP was directly involved in the legislative process from the start. Emergency physician expertise and support was instrumental in developing the language and rallying support for the new law.

"We are gratified to see that the Hoosier state recognizes the importance of physician-led care and look forward to continuing this very important work of advocating for our specialty," said INACEP President Lindsay Zimmerman, MD, FACEP.

Emergency departments, particularly in rural areas, face significant staffing and resource challenges. Emergency physicians have the most training and expertise available. EM physicians should be the ones responsible for making sure that patients get the high-quality care they deserve every time they visit an ED.

“This victory is a strong example of what’s possible with ACEP advocacy and the importance of working with our state chapters,” said Christopher Johnson, ACEP senior director of state government relations. “This is a huge win for emergency physicians and patients, and an undeniable testament to the importance of emergency physician leadership.”

ACEP's goal is to use this bill as a model law that can be supported in every state. ACEP provides state legislative support to all chapters.

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