Practice Management

Dr. Smith

Academic Hospitalist Groups Use Observation Status More Frequently

Insurers’ use of certain criteria to separate hospital stays into inpatient or observation status remains widespread. Observation status ensures provider reimbursement for hospitalizations deemed necessary by clinical judgment but not qualifying as inpatient care. Admission under observation status impacts the patient’s financial burden, as well, with observation admissions typically associated with increased out-of-pocket costs. Although… [Read More]

Dr. Nelson

How to Use Hospitalist Productivity, Compensation Survey Data

The 2014 State of Hospital Medicine report (SOHM), published by SHM in the fall of even years, is unquestionably the most robust and informative data available to understand the hospitalist workforce marketplace. And if you are the person who returned a completed survey for your practice, you get a free copy of the report mailed… [Read More]


Oncology, Surgical Hospitalists Most Common as Subspecialties Gain Followers

The recent rise of specialty hospitalists, particularly in the surgery and oncology fields, has benefitted hospitals and patients alike. Consider the growing ranks of oncology hospitalists, a small but quickly expanding HM specialty that has applied hospitalist principles to inpatient cancer and end-of-life care. One such program at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston has… [Read More]


Hospitalist Management Giant Emerges as Sound Physicians, Cogent Healthcare Merge

Sound Physicians’ recent acquisition of Cogent Healthcare creates the largest hospitalist management group in the country, which may or may not be a good thing, one hospitalist expert notes. The deal, which closed last month, creates a company with more than 1,750 hospitalists in 180 hospitals nationwide. Reuters estimated the sale price at more than… [Read More]


Hospitalists Unionize to Avoid Outsourced Management Model

A group of hospitalists in Oregon have formed what is believed to be the first hospitalist union in the country—but it may not be the last. Hospitalists at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center locations in Springfield and Eugene, Ore., voted to form the union, dubbed Pacific Northwest Hospital Medicine Association, to have more say in… [Read More]

Hospitalists’ Role in Health Reform, Palliative Care Evolves

Hospitalists’ Role in Health Reform Evolves

Hospital medicine guru Bob Wachter, MD, MHM, offers an optimistic view of hospitalists’ role in healthcare as reform measures continue to reshape the landscape. Addressing hospitalists at a recurring conference that he founded 18 years ago—“Management of the Hospitalized Patient”—Dr. Wachter said hospitalists should have more leverage than other healthcare providers in controlling their fate,… [Read More]

Hospitalist Tips for Talking to Seriously Ill Patients

The need to relieve patients’ suffering should not be the reason for withdrawing life-sustaining interventions in the ICU, Steven Z. Pantilat, MD, MHM, medical director of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine palliative care service, told attendees at the “Management of the Hospitalized Patient” conference in San Francisco. Patients in the… [Read More]

Hospitalists’ Potential Impact in Accountable Care Organizations

The rise of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), a group of healthcare providers who are answerable for the overall care of patients assigned to them, inclusive of quality and cost, accelerated as a result of the Affordable Care Act. In September CMS announced quality and financial performance results for the 18-month reporting period showing that 53… [Read More]


Cut Costs, Improve Quality and Patient Experience

“Now that’s a fire!” —Eddie Murphy This is the final column in my five-part series tracing the history of the hospitalist movement and the factors that propelled it into becoming the fastest growing medical specialty in history and the mainstay of American medicine that it has become. In the first column, “Tinder & Spark,” economic… [Read More]