“The hospitalist movement, in general, fills a need for the acute-care setting and manages a different set of problems than is seen in the ambulatory clinics,” Dr. Russell says. “That same basic issue is found in otolaryngology. I think it’s an area that is perhaps underappreciated.”
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer based in New Jersey.
Hopkins Physician Sees Bright Future for ENT Hospitalists
In 2000, Nasir Bhatti, MD, associate professor of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, started a program similar to the one at UCSF. At Johns Hopkins, Dr. Bhatti, and now his successors, acted primarily as an ENT hospitalist, although he maintained minimal clinic duties as well.
He says the oto-hospitalist model could work efficiently because it would allow physicians, by choice, to determine whether they wanted to focus on surgical procedures or nonsurgical medical services. Those who favor surgery and more intensive procedures could focus on those subspecialties without feeling distracted by the demands of less intensive duties, Dr. Russell adds. Also, Dr. Bhatti points out, the setup could create more revenue capture opportunities from consultations that currently are handled by nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs).
“Lots of these consultations go unstaffed and, therefore, unbilled,” Dr. Bhatti says.—RQ