April 19, 2024

New Virginia Law Requires Physician at All Hospital Emergency Departments

Emergency departments in Virginia will now be required to have a physician onsite and responsible for the ED. The Virginia College of Emergency Physicians (VACEP) has been directly involved in creating and supporting the passage of this law from the start.

"Virginia ACEP is proud that we will be one of the first states to require a physician onsite, on duty, and dedicated to the ED 24/7,” said Todd Parker, MD, FACEP, past president of VACEP. “Our patients deserve physician-led care at all times.”

According to VACEP polling, 97% of respondents in Virginia believe that patients presenting to an emergency department deserve physician-led care.

“Fortunately, an overwhelming majority of legislators as well as our governor agreed,” said Dr. Parker.

ACEP is working with state chapters to help them show legislators why emergency physicians should be the professionals leading care in every emergency department. The Virginia law is based on language developed by Indiana ACEP that is meant to be used as a model across the country.

The Virginia law goes into effect in July 2025.

Related Resources

ACEP: Fighting for Physician-Led Care

ACEP State Advocacy Overview

LAC 2024 recap: “ACEP's Model Legislation to Fight Scope Creep/Expansion”


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