Program Performance Measurement

Hospitals, Hospice and SNFs. The Big Deceit

"We Need Creative Solutions" When I read or hear the sentence above, I think of one thing and one thing only. The solution is long in coming, involves input from multiple parties, has no obvious fix, is costly--in either money or time, and we undergird it by a whopper of a collective action problem. How about getting to the actual point: "The problem we are trying to solve has no answer. We likely know the best course, and it's staring us in the face. We can spend the next few days, weeks, or months pretending we are unaware of it or we can take half a loaf now and get back to work." The above ran through my mind as I read a new hospital transitions study out in Annals of Internal Medicine. The findings were not unexpected, by me at least, but the response by those who do not…

Risks and Rewards of Hospitalist Participation in New CMS Bundle Model

by Win Whitcomb, MD, MHM
By: Win Whitcomb, MD, MHM Hospitalist groups have been among the highest volume participants in Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) demonstration project, initiating almost 200,000 episodes representing over $4.7B in spending since the model began1. On January 9, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced BPCI’s follow-on model, ‘BPCI Advanced’,2 which starts in October of this year and is slated to finish at year-end 2023. CMS intends for the program to qualify as an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM). As BPCI Advanced focuses on 29 common medical and surgical episodes involving an inpatient stay (it also includes three outpatient episodes) and the subsequent 90 day recovery period, it represents the first large scale opportunity for hospitalists to meet criteria for Advanced APM participation. Qualifying for the Advanced APM track of the Quality Payment Program – which involves meeting patient volume or payment thresholds3 - comes with a…
Author Win Whitcomb, MD, MHM is Chief Medical Officer of Remedy Partners. He is co-founder and past president of SHM. Email him at [email protected]

Survey Says…

It’s that time of (every other) year! Once again, your hospital medicine group (HMG) has a unique opportunity to contribute to our collective understanding of the current state of hospital medicine in the United States. SHM’s State of Hospital Medicine Survey kicked off this week and will be open until February 16th. I strongly urge you to take the time to participate. I have been integrally involved in SHM’s survey processes since 2006 and am deeply committed to this important work that SHM does on behalf of its members and the entire specialty of hospital medicine. Here are several reasons why it’s more important than ever that your group participate this year. The information contained in the State of Hospital Medicine Report is used by HMGs – and by hospital and physician enterprise leaders – to justify proposals and make operational decisions. The field of hospital medicine is evolving rapidly…

95% of Inpatient Providers Would Get an F On This Exam

You all think you know hospice. You don't, and I will tell you why. Hospice is a bastard child of the Medicare system. It went live in 1983 as a standalone entity during the Reagan administration and remains a disjointed program today. I would characterize its evolution as such: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Why is that? When you go into hospice, your care path goes 180, and usual Medicare rules don't apply.  The benefit reroute sometimes makes life harder for families and patients.  It's like handing your keys off into the hospice kingdom--they run the show, and it's both a blessing and a curse. (more…)

You Have Lowered Length of Stay. Congratulations. You’re Fired.

For several decades, providers working within hospitals have had incentives to reduce stay durations and keep patient flow tip-top. DRG-based and capitated payments expedited that shift. Accompanying the change, physicians became more aware of the potential repercussions of sicker and quicker discharges. They began to monitor their care and as best as possible, use what measures they could ascertain as a proxy for quality (readmissions and hospital acquired conditions). Providers balanced the harms of a continued stay over the benefits of added days, not to mention the need for cost savings. However, the narrow focus on the hospital stay, the first three to seven days of illness, distracted us from the out weeks after discharge. With the acceleration of inpatient episodes, we cast patients to post-acute settings unprepared for the hardship they would face. By the latter, I mean, frailty risk, more reliance on others for help, and a greater need…
12345...102030...