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