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How reforms in physicians-in-training hours will cost teaching hospitals

 

Narrator:       This is Science Today. New limits on the hours that physicians-in-training can work will prove costly for U.S. teaching hospitals. This, according to a new study by researchers at UCLA. 

Nuckols:        Current reforms could range from $381 million to upwards of $1.2 billion or more.

Narrator:       Study leader, Dr. Teryl Nuckols, says that hospitals are trying a number of ways to deal with the reforms, from reorganizing the medical residents' schedules to hiring nurse practitioners to take over some of the extra workload. Their study looked at whether or not those changes make good economic sense.

Nuckols:        What we're looking at is whether this is a good policy in terms of value for the money. From the societal perspective, if it is effective, it could be a very good value in the sense that for each medical error-related death that would be averted it would cost $2.4 million, which is generally in the range of what people consider to be a very cost-effective policy.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.