Hospitals today face intense challenges across their hospital medicine service lines. Dr. Rohit Uppal, chief clinical officer for TeamHealth’s Hospitalist Services, discusses the ways TeamHealth is helping their clients confront those challenges
Question: What are some of the biggest issues and challenges hospitals and health systems are facing today?
The financial, operational and clinical environments have never been more challenging for hospital administrators. Operating margins are under intense pressure. The Value-based Purchasing Program (VBP) requires investment of resources to avoid performance-based penalties. There are threats to market share from all directions. Risk-based programs such as Bundled Payments and Accountable Care Organizations add additional pressures. At the same time, the scarcity and cost of hospitalists continues to grow and the challenge of clinician engagement and alignment are ever increasing.
Question: Given the significant challenges, what value does TeamHealth Hospital Medicine bring to hospitals and health systems, especially given the challenges you just described?
TeamHealth has been in the business of helping hospitals and health systems across the country improve the performance of their hospital medicine programs for more than 25 years. When you work with us, we become your partners on this journey; your priorities become our priorities. We bring national expertise as well as operational and clinical best practices from over 200 hospital medicine practices to ensure optimal hospitalist, and therefore, hospital performance.
Our team brings leadership and expertise in documentation and length of stay management. Our strengths in optimizing documentation ensures capture of the appropriate DRG, comorbidities, and case mix index. . Our collaborative approach to optimizing length of stay and other measures of throughput ensure that we deliver optimal and efficient patient care. TeamHealth brings expertise in managing quality metrics, patient experience, cost reduction and the safety components of value based purchasing. Our documentation program ensures that we capture the appropriate severity of illness and expected outcome metrics. Additionally, our patient experience program leads to measureable improvements in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey and ensures patients are engaged in their care. Our focus on appropriate transitions of care leads to reduced Medicare spending per beneficiary (MSPB) for many of our partners, and our expertise in post-acute care means we can help you manage the entire continuum of care to better manage readmissions, improve patient loyalty, and avoid leakage of patients out of the system. Lastly, our documentation and quality improvement efforts improve safety measures in such important indicators as CLABSI, CAUTI, C diff, and MRSA.
Question: Can you describe how TeamHealth’s approach to hospital medicine is able to deliver on a hospital’s value proposition?
We begin by building a strong foundation of clinical leadership. We provide extensive resources to train our current and future leaders. A Facility Medical Director (FMD) leads every hospital medicine program and receives support from a Regional Medical Director (RMD) and Vice President of Operations (VPO) in a paired business model that promotes clinical and operational excellence. A critical component of our value proposition is our Hospitalist Services Performance Improvement (HSPI) team, an eight-person team responsible for supporting performance improvement, leadership development, innovation and sharing of best practices across our national platform. This innovative team supports all of our programs across the country and provides our clients with leading-edge best practice resources from high-performing client sites across the nation.
The FMD, with the support of the RMD and HSPI team, is responsible for leadership of the hospital medicine team and plays a key leadership role within the hospital and medical staff. The FMD is accountable for achieving hospital goals, meeting clinical quality and patient safety goals, ensuring hospitalist engagement and alignment, cultivating collaborative relationships with hospital and medical staff, and supporting hospital marketing efforts.
Lastly, we prioritize stability, engagement and retention of your valued clinicians. We remove the burdens that prevent our clinicians from focusing on the practice of medicine by providing a full suite of operational, clinical quality and patient safety resources. Our 97% clinician retention rate is a testament to the support and resources we invest in our hospital medicine programs.
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