Public Policy

Observation Status Bill in Senate Doesn’t Solve Policy Problem

As you may have heard, H.R. 876, a bill unanimously passed in the House recently, requires a hospital to give adequate oral and written notification of a patient’s observation status. The bill has now moved to the Senate. “Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act,” known as the NOTICE Act, was sponsored… [Read More]


Hospitalists Raise Healthcare Issues on Capitol Hill

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—Armed with blue folders chockablock with agendas, talking points, and fact sheets, about 100 hospitalists boarded three charter buses and descended on Capitol Hill last month like a swarm of erudite high schoolers on a class trip. Clad in state-themed ties, suits, and dresses, the group’s goal was singular: Introduce the concept of… [Read More]


Outpatient Status Determinations for Medicare Patients Costly, Time-Consuming

The process of determining outpatient and inpatient status for hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries needs reform, according to a recent article in the Journal of Hospital Medicine. These status determinations, made by Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs), are a growing concern for hospitals as increasing numbers of Medicare patients are hospitalized as outpatients under observation status and are… [Read More]


Implementing Physician Value-Based Purchasing in Your Practice: HM15 Session Analysis

HM15 Session: Putting Your Nickel Down: The What, Why, and How of Implementing Physician Value-Based Purchasing in Your Practice Presenters: Stephen Besch, Simone Karp RPh, Patrick Torcson MD MMM SFHM, Gregory Seymann MD SFHM Summation: HHS has set a goal of tying increasing percentages of Medicare payments to quality or value through alternative payment models,… [Read More]


Hot Topics in Practice Management; HM15 Session Analysis

HM15 Session  RAPID FIRE PANEL: Hot Topics in Practice Management Updates on Key Issues, Including the Key Characteristics of an Effective HMG HM15 Presenters: Roy Sittig MD SFHM, Jeffrey Frank MD MBA, Jodi Braun Summation: Speakers covered timely topics regarding the Accountable Care Act, namely Medicaid Expansion and Bundled Payment arrangements; and reviewed the seminal paper… [Read More]

Medicare Standard Practical Solution to Medical Coding Complexity

In the article “Common Coding Mistakes Hospitalists Should Avoid” in the August 2014 issue of The Hospitalist, the author states: “For inpatient care, an established problem is defined as one in which a care plan has been generated by the physician (or same specialty group practice member) during the current hospitalization.” This definition contradicts what… [Read More]

The Biggest Thing in Hospital Medicine Since Patient Safety?

Editor’s note: First of a two-part series examining bundled payments and hospital medicine. Additionally, Dr. Whitcomb works for a company that is an Awardee Convener in the CMS Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Initiative. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) bundled payment initiative was announced in August 2011 and has been “live”… [Read More]