October 17, 2008 | | Comments 2
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Categories of medical staff membership

A question was posed to me the other day about whether or not there should be a place on the initial and reappointment applications for physicians to indicate their category of medical staff membership.

My response was that we do not allow the physician to make the determination of medical staff membership category on initial application. Rather, the department chair makes the recommendation of the appropriate category based upon the outcome of the interview in which the department chair has the opportunity to discuss practice plans with the applicant. Seeking out this information is particularly important to identify the intended admission plans as well as to have discussion regarding specific inpatient privileges. We are seeing many of today’s applicants arranging for hospitalist coverage for inpatients and not requesting hospital privileges.

During reappointment, the application is pre-populated with the current membership category. If a physician wants to change membership categories, he/she would be required to submit a formal request to the department chair. The change in membership category is then processed via the department, credentials committee, MEC and finally the board. Again, this formal process allows for dialogue between the physician and the department chair regarding hospital utilization plans.

Carole La Pine, MSA, CPMSM, CPCS


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Filed Under: competency

Carole La Pine About the Author:

Carole La Pine, CPMSM, CPCS, is the manager of physician services at Trinity Health in Novi, Michigan.

Carole has been in the medical staff services profession for more than 30 years. She has worked in a university hospital setting, single hospital environment, independent physician association, physician-hospital organization and in a multi-facility health system.

Carole has served in a number of leadership positions in the Michigan Association Medical Staff Services, including as president. She has served as a member and chair of the NAMSS certification commission, as was president of NAMSS in 2007. (She is currently the immediate past president.) Carole also has a master’s of science in health services administration.

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  1. My Medical Staff is considering linking medical staff categories to patient encounters. We’re having some disagreement as to what exactly constitutes a patient encounter. I would be very interested in learning if other organizations have taken this approach, and, if so, how they’ve defined an encounter.

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