Practice Management

CRT in Patients with Heart Failure Without LBBB May Harm

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in patients with heart failure (HF) without left bundle branch block (LBBB) may not help and might even harm, according to an international group of investigators. As Dr. Yitschak Biton told Reuters Health by email, “Our findings suggest that patients without LBBB electrocardiogram (ECG) morphology are not likely to benefit from… [Read More]

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A Closer Look at Characteristics of High-Performing HM Groups

Early in 2015, SHM published the updated edition of the “Key Principles and Characteristics of an Effective Hospital Medicine Group,” which is a free download via the SHM website. Every hospitalist group should use this comprehensive list of attributes as one important frame of reference to guide ongoing improvement efforts and long-range planning. In this… [Read More]

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Key Elements of Critical Care

Code 99291 is used for critical care, evaluation, and management of the critically ill or critically injured patient, first 30–74 minutes.1 It is to be reported only once per day per physician or group member of the same specialty. Code 99292 is for critical care, evaluation, and management of the critically ill or critically injured… [Read More]

Medicare Grants Billing Code for Hospitalists

PHILADELPHIA—The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) is pleased to announce the introduction of a dedicated billing code for hospitalists by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This decision comes in response to concerted advocacy efforts from SHM for CMS to recognize the specialty. This is a monumental step for hospital medicine, which continues… [Read More]

Elderly Patients Hospitalized For Cancer are More likely to Have Complications Afterward Compared to the Middle-Aged

(Reuters Health) – Elderly patients hospitalized for cancer surgery are more likely to have complications afterward compared to the middle-aged, particularly when they have several other health problems, a U.S. study suggests. Overall, almost one in 10 adults age 55 and older had at least one post-operative issue like delirium, dehydration, falls, fractures, pressure ulcers… [Read More]

5 Tips to Finding a Good Locum Tenens Company

Over the past five years, I have worked as a locum tenens hospitalist with more than 12 different locum tenens companies. I have learned a lot through this process. At one point, I even considered starting my own locum tenens company because of the frustrations I was feeling about the inefficiencies of many of these… [Read More]

Medicare Patient Outcomes of Inpatient Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Varies Among Hospitals

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Outcomes of inpatient laparoscopic cholecystectomy in Medicare patients vary widely among hospitals, and most adverse outcomes occur well after patients have been discharged, new findings show. While the overall adverse outcome rate was 20.7%, risk-adjusted adverse outcomes ranged from 10% in the best-performing decile of hospitals to 32.1% for the… [Read More]

New Study Shows PCMH Resulted in Positive Changes

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Implementation of a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) resulted in small changes in utilization patterns and modest quality improvements over a three-year period, according to a new report. Dr. Lisa M. Kern of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and colleagues found more primary care visits, fewer specialist visits,… [Read More]

Effects of Low-Literacy Asthma Action Plans on Provider Counseling

Clinical question: Can physician counseling for asthma care be improved by using low-literacy asthma action plans? Background: Although asthma action plans are recommended for all children with asthma and have been associated with improved medication adherence, written asthma action plans are given to fewer than half of patients with asthma. Children with asthma whose parents… [Read More]

Does Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness Apply to Hospital Medicine?

Every American knows this well-known phrase from the Declaration of Independence, which describes the three “unalienable rights” ordained on humans by their Creator and which governments are bound to dutifully protect. But I wonder if the last unalienable right has implications for career happiness in the healthcare industry, particularly for hospitalists. With the phrase now… [Read More]