Understanding Hospitalist Medicine

June 29, 2016

The Doctors’ Insurance Agency and Hospitalist Groups (small, independent hospitalist physicians and larger multi state hospital groups)

Hospitalist groups continue to show amazing growth and mark their place in the health care landscape, the purpose and service provided to hospitals is stable. The financial results and evolution of the specialty is proof that our health care delivery system is benefitting from this service;

As recently as 2005 there were some malpractice insurance companies had not yet learned how to price or manage to underwrite these medical groups.

Hospitalist Medicine Evolves, premiums match the risk

Since that time, The Doctors’ Insurance Agency has worked with The Doctors’ Company (the sponsored carrier of the Society of Hospital Medicine to develop creative ‘per patient encounter’ (sometimes pricing these policies by the RVU’s) so that the premium accurately and fairly represents the risk.

Premium for service without pricing by the physician and without incurring prohibitively expensive tail premiums every time the roster must be adjusted, that has helped the Hospitalist Groups manage, grow and budget appropriately.

Reports Strong Growth and Superior Patient Care

One of the largest Hospitalist Physicians' groups is consistently reporting financial gains while improving patient care quality and outcomes. Apogee Hospitalist Group is one of the nation’s leaders in this field and its experience inspires some of what our agency hopes to learn about the effectiveness of a quality risk management partnership.

This group was started Nearly 14 years ago, when one physician had the idea that a group of doctors could improve care at local hospitals by focusing on delivering excellent inpatient hospital care. Today, this national Hospitalist group - Apogee Physicians, is the largest hospitalist company in the country and manages over 700 providers across 32 states.

Society of Hospitalist Medicine sponsors The Doctors Company

The Doctors Company, through its partnership with The Society of Hospital Medicine and due to its national focus and resources in patient safety, has worked hard to improve the quality of care. This group -Apogee is not alone in claiming significant improvements and reduced incident reports for adverse outcomes and alleged negligence and injury in hospitals

Apogee's and IPC and other hospitalist groups have shown that their extraordinary performance is truly distinguished from that of other physician groups that treat hospitalized patients. The Doctors’ Company with competitive ‘low or no tail premium hospitalist policies” is proud of their involvement and growth in this specialty.

The Doctors Insurance Agency Risk Management.

Understanding Hospitalist Medicine

The Doctors’ Insurance Agency works with small hospitalist medical groups to help them manage their insurance premium costs and manage the risk. We have worked with small groups while they build a presence, expanding as they sign contracts with other hospitals locally and interstate.

We work with our Carrier to help them understand the creative ways you can structure these Hospitals Group Malpractice Insurance Policies. We have some physicians who have chosen to have independent policies allowing them to work as independent contractors for more than one of these group. The groups have the choice then to add them as a roster member or carve them out to insure them separately. We have blended in some telemedicine services allowing our hospitalist groups to expand their services and their reach, and again as evidenced by some of the national hospitalist groups improve the quality of care while reducing costs of access to care.

Hospitalist Groups are growing. In 2015, Apogee and IPC and other groups continue to record 3 – 5 percent increases in encounters.

The one group added new hospitalist programs representing over 160 providers.

This growth is driven by hospital- and referring physician recognition of the patient satisfaction, patient safety, and clinical quality.

The Doctors Company holds forums, conventions, conference calls and executive claims review committees to learn trends discuss and share best practices.

Years and years of focus on the unique nature of communication and handoffs within the hospitalist specialty is one of the hallmarks of TDC’s success within this specialty.

One of the hospitalist’s basic tenets is their patient safety checklists and protocols. This level and attention to detail - the scientific study of delivery of healthcare; broken down within specialties is what makes The Doctors’ Company the choice/partner of so many national and county medical and specialty societies.

The Doctors’ Insurance Agency is committed to finding you the right Carrier partner for your medical group in Hospital medicine. Our work with The Doctors’ Company for over 25 years has impressed us and taught our agents of the importance of that partnership and active role of patient safety in managing malpractice insurance premiums.

Another example of unique patient safety work within the specialty of Hospitalist medicine is the detail of providing clinical notes to the patient's Primary Care Physician within 48 hours of the discharge from the hospital. This care team work and effective post-hospitalization care helps set up the patient’s primary care doctor for success and better outcomes. The impact of quality patient care is to lower the rate of patient "readmissions" within 30 days of discharge.

Patient's treated by effective hospitalist groups are less likely to be readmitted to the hospital for any reason within 30 days compared to the national readmission average (as reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

Working closely with our physicians and administrators in finding competitive premiums and knowing which companies have the best risk management solutions is our goal at The Doctors’ Insurance Agency. This is a key factor in our group’s success and, we think in our retention of physician and healthcare organization clients who work with us to place their malpractice insurance.