Hospitalists rating high on patient satisfaction

February 13, 2012

Patient satisfaction equal for physician, hospital care

The Doctors’ Insurance Agency, working with the number one physician owned medical malpractice insurance carrier and working with a team of innovative underwriters have developed a program of insurance that is perfect for medical groups that need the flexibility to recruit physicians from out of state without incurring the prohibitive and costly tail encumbrances. Any physician who has tried to recruit physicians from out of state (or even within the same area code understands that paying tail to a current insurance company, or the concern of whether tail is provided by the recruiting medical group can be a ‘deal breaker’ for many physicians …both sides of the business relationship are and should be concerned with this insurance detail….the employer and the employee.

With the RVU or per patient rated medical malpractice insurance, hybrid, claims/occurrence made coverage, your group can recruit by providing prior acts over another county or state’s insurance carrier and you can recruit without the anxiety of having to budget for the tail when the physician leaves. We have designed a policy that rates the physician for just the services provided (within the appropriate specialty), charging just the right risk premium for the exposure AND providing for the ongoing exposure charge for when the physician leaves the group. I call this an occurrence/claims made policy because it builds in the cost of tail to the annual premium and it allows for the same reporting flexibility as the claims made policy.

These policies are frequently used in hospitalists medical groups. As this specialty grows, The Doctors’ Company and The Doctors’ Insurance Agency continues to work together to design insurance programs (and business liability programs) as well as risk management, patient safety services to partner with these innovative physicians as they continue to change the practice of medicine.

Recently, we read that Patients reported similar satisfaction scores for hospital care provided by primary care physicians and hospitalists, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Telephone interviews with patients discharged from three Massachusetts hospitals from 2003 and 2009 showed that hospitalists and primary care physicians received equal satisfaction scores for behavior, pain control and communication. Patients appeared slightly more satisfied with the quality of care offered by primary care physicians than by hospitalists.

The study went on to show that perhaps, to boost patient ratings, hospitals could implement a hospitalist-nurse rounding system such as the one at Ohio State University Medical Center (OSUMC). After only two months of the multidisciplinary rounding, OSUMC saw patient satisfaction scores jump, reported The Hospitalist. Consistent with many findings of The Doctors’ Company patient safety department, the success of delivery of healthcare often depends on communication. In this Ohio study, the patient and family receive a daily feedback sheet containing a picture of the hospitalist, a list of the care-team members, daily goals, upcoming tests and the expected discharge date.

"Right now we're rounding with hospitalists and nurses only, but a long-term goal is to expand it to include the social worker and other ancillary professionals," lead author and OSUMC hospitalist Eric Schumacher told The Hospitalist.

The Doctors’ Insurance Agency of Northern California is proud of the work that we have done to provide accurate, discounted premium programs for Hospitalists, matching premium with the exposure. These programs allow for needed flexibility for hospitalists to provide the demanding schedule that is the exclusive responsibility and value of a hospitalists group (availability, onsite 24 hours per day, 7 days per week of physician care in the hospital). This can be a daunting task for the administrator to provide affordable and accurate medical malpractice insurance for hospitalists. We are working hard to remain competitive, with innovative insurance for Hospitalist, Urgent Care and other outpatient facilities.