Posts by Guest Post

Why 7 On/7 Off Doesn’t Meet the Needs of Long-Stay Hospital Patients

by Lauren Doctoroff, MD
By: Lauren Doctoroff, MD Much has been written about the loss of the perspective of the primary care doctor for hospitalized patients and the impact on their hospitalization. However, few have reflected on the challenges posed by the 7 on/7 off hospitalist schedule for complicated long-stay patients. I have been a hospitalist for more than 10 years, and, for the past 3, I have been responsible for a complex patient strategy for my hospital. Having looked at the charts of hundreds of patients with long and complicated hospital stays, it is clear that there is an incompatibility between the on again/off again hospitalist schedule and the needs of these patients. With frequently changing providers, patients suffer not only from their own medical fluctuations, but also the changing plans of their providers. These are not the patients awaiting guardianship or insurance to allow for an adequate discharge plan. These are the…
Dr. Lauren Doctoroff is a hospitalist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. She completed medical school at the University of California at San Francisco in 2003, and a primary care internal medicine internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2006. Her clinical responsibilities include hospitalist work on a teaching and a non-teaching service at the BIDMC. In addition, she was the founding medical director of the Healthcare Associates Post Discharge Clinic, a hospitalist-staffed, primary care-based post hospitalization clinic from 2009-2015. She also serves as the medical director of the PACT Transitional Care Program. As of 2015, she serves as the Medical Director for Utilization Management for the BIDMC, and chairs the Utilization Review Committee, and leads multiple initiatives on hospital utilization. She is a fellow of the Society of Hospital Medicine and serves on the SHM Public Policy Committee. She is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Her academic interests include transitions in care and post discharge care, as well as hospital utilization particularly among patients with prolonged stays. She has published on post discharge care and outlier patients and has spoken locally and nationally on topics of transitions of care and post discharge care.

A Need for Medicare Appeals Process Reform in Hospital Observation Care

by Ann Sheehy, MD, MS, FHM
By Ann M. Sheehy, MD, MS, FHM Concern has existed regarding Recovery Auditor enforcement of outpatient (observation) and inpatient status determinations. Scrutiny of the contingency fee-based Recovery Auditors, often called Recovery Audit Contractors (“RACs”), has prompted Congressional attention and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reforms. Although the impact of these changes is not fully known, there is bipartisan support for reform of the initial auditing step in the Medicare audit and appeals process. Congress and CMS must now turn their attention to reforming the 5-Level Medicare administrative appeals process that follows an initial audit and denial. Last year, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report Medicare Fee-for-Service: Opportunities Remain to Improve Appeals Process cited a 2000% increase in Level 3 inpatient appeals from 2010-2014. In response, CMS issued appeals reforms, including allowing senior attorneys to hear some Level 3 appeals and permitting the Medicare Appeals Council to set…
Ann Sheehy, MD, MS, FHM, is a physician and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin (UW) School of Medicine and Public Health. She received her MD and MS in Clinical Research from Mayo Medical School and Mayo Graduate School, respectively, in Rochester, Minnesota. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in 2005. The same year, Dr. Sheehy joined the Division of Hospital Medicine as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. In 2011, she became a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine. Dr. Sheehy held the position of Interim Director, prior to being appointed Division of Hospital Medicine Director in 2012. Dr. Sheehy has a background in academic medicine, with emphasis on diabetes screening practices and care of inpatients with hyperglycemia, as well as health care disparities and the effect of health care policy on patient care in the hospital. Dr. Sheehy is a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine Public Policy committee, and serves as Vice President of the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) Medical Board and is chair of the Credentials Committee. Dr. Sheehy is a two-time recipient of the Evans-Glassroth Department of Medicine Inpatient Teacher of the Year Award and has also been awarded the University of Wisconsin Internal Medicine Residency Professionalism Award. Dr. Sheehy is an active SHM member in the Public Policy Committee and has found herself on Capitol Hill multiple times, testifying before Congressional committees focused on the U.S. healthcare system, on behalf of hospitalists and SHM.

Falling MOON Will Impact Hospitalists on March 8

by Bartho Caponi MD, FHM
Effective March 8, we have to deliver CMS’ Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice, the MOON, to all Medicare and Medicare Advantage patients hospitalized under observation status for 24 or more hours. This must happen within 36 hours of the observation order, even if eventually changed to inpatient status. A result of the well-intentioned NOTICE Act, the MOON is supposed to clarify when a patient is being observed rather than admitted (SHM has a useful FAQ for background). The MOON is a flawed document. For those not familiar, the MOON is a CMS-standardized document that hospitals have limited ability to edit. A point of contention for hospitalists, the first section states, “You’re a hospital outpatient receiving observation services. You are not an inpatient because:” followed by a blank field. The second section states, “Being an outpatient may affect what you pay in a hospital.” There are also specific delivery and receipt requirements,…
Bartho Caponi MD, FHM graduated from the University of Illinois at Rockford College of Medicine in 2005 and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin in 2008. He has been practicing hospital medicine at the University of Wisconsin since then, on teaching and non-teaching services. In 2012, Bart became a utilization review advisor, and has since served as UW Health's Medical Director for Case Management and Utilization Review. He has also been a member of SHM's Education Committee since 2013, and a member of the American College of Physician Advisors since 2015.

A GIF Is Worth 3000 Words: Introducing #VisualAbstract for #JHMChat

by Charlie M. Wray, DO, MS
If you’re like most hospitalists, your day usually starts around dawn (or dusk, for our nocturnal colleagues). After arriving at the hospital and quickly receiving sign out on your patients, you down the last bit of coffee and rush off to spend a morning on the wards. As you’re getting into a rhythm, the charge nurse on 3C grabs you as you walk by and lets you know that Mr. Sanchez’s son arrived and would like an update. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP: “Mrs. Jones wants to know when she can eat.” Just as you head her way, the cardiology fellow sees you and wants to discuss the follow-up plan on Mr. Aldridge… By 3PM, you’ve grabbed a quick bite to eat, and you’re likely leading the Patient Safety Committee meeting (while still fielding intermittent pages, of course). By early evening, you’re placing a few last minute orders and putting out small…
Charlie M. Wray, DO, MS is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center. He completed medical school at Western University – College of Osteopathic Medicine, residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center, and a Hospital Medicine Research Fellowship at The University of Chicago. Dr. Wray’s research interests are focused on inpatient care transitions, care fragmentation in the hospital setting, and overutilization of hospital resources. Additionally, he has strong interests in medical education, with specific focus in evidence-based medicine, the implementation of value-based care, and how learners negotiate medical uncertainty. Dr. Wray can often be found tweeting under @WrayCharles.

A Renewed Call to Overhaul Hospital Observation Care

by Ann Sheehy, MD, MS, FHM
By Ann M. Sheehy, MD, MS, FHM In response to concerns about Medicare beneficiary out-of-pocket financial risk, Congress unanimously passed the NOTICE Act, which President Obama signed into law August 5, 2015. This law states that all Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized for 24 hours or more as outpatients under observation must to be notified in writing that they are outpatients “…not later than 36 hours after the time such individual begins receiving such services…”, as well as the associated “…implications for cost-sharing…”. Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON) that hospitals will start delivering to patients no later than March 8, 2017 to comply with the law. Patients or their representative must sign the form to acknowledge receipt. There is no doubt transparency is important, and patients should be informed when hospitalized as outpatients instead of as inpatients. But the…
Ann Sheehy, MD, MS, FHM, is a physician and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin (UW) School of Medicine and Public Health. She received her MD and MS in Clinical Research from Mayo Medical School and Mayo Graduate School, respectively, in Rochester, Minnesota. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in 2005. The same year, Dr. Sheehy joined the Division of Hospital Medicine as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. In 2011, she became a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine. Dr. Sheehy held the position of Interim Director, prior to being appointed Division of Hospital Medicine Director in 2012. Dr. Sheehy has a background in academic medicine, with emphasis on diabetes screening practices and care of inpatients with hyperglycemia, as well as health care disparities and the effect of health care policy on patient care in the hospital. Dr. Sheehy is a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine Public Policy committee, and serves as Vice President of the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) Medical Board and is chair of the Credentials Committee. Dr. Sheehy is a two-time recipient of the Evans-Glassroth Department of Medicine Inpatient Teacher of the Year Award and has also been awarded the University of Wisconsin Internal Medicine Residency Professionalism Award. Dr. Sheehy is an active SHM member in the Public Policy Committee and has found herself on Capitol Hill multiple times, testifying before Congressional committees focused on the U.S. healthcare system, on behalf of hospitalists and SHM.
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