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Monday memo: Plan for September

TIPAllegations of physician misconduct and negligence. “Assistant physicians” in Missouri. Expanding NP practices in Kentucky. This week’s Credentialing Resource Center Insider news roundup showcases several potential credentialing challenges. Learn how to handle some of the toughest issues your department will face by tuning in to Verify and Comply: Meet Your Top Credentialing Challenges, a webcast slated for September 4, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Presenter Carol S. Cairns, CPMSM, CPCS will help you cut through the confusion when CMS seems to want one thing for medical staffs and accreditors want something else.

I know you’re probably not ready to think about September, but if you put this web presentation on your radar, you could start fall with a better understanding of credentialing best practices.

Thanks for reading!

Mary Stevens, editor, Credentialing Resource Center Insider

Monday memo: Register for Wednesday’s webcast

TIPWith the changing demographics of the hospital medical staff comes growing challenges to collecting and assessing information on physician competence. When physician leaders do have this information, they often don’t know what to do with it. What steps should they be taking with this information? Can they work with the physician to help him or her improve (collegial intervention) or should they suspend/limit the physician’s privileges (corrective action)? This program will walk medical staff leaders through the steps of collegial intervention through corrective action and discuss how to do so while protecting patients, the physician, and the organization.

After this program, participants will be able to:

  • Identify why the change in demographics will eventually create an increase of issues with physician competency
  • Comprehend the range of assessment tools for evaluating the competence of clinically suspect practitioners
  • Understand the full range of disciplinary tools available to problem physicians
  • Conduct peer review while minimizing legal liability

Click here to learn more about this webcast.

CPRLI readers, we want to hear from you

Medical-LawWhat would you change in Credentialing and Peer Review Legal Insider? What should we keep on doing? We’re asking CPRLI readers to take a short survey to help make this publication an even more valuable asset for medical staff services departments, medical staff leaders, and legal teams in healthcare organizations.

Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey. Click here to get started or type https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N8PJT6R in your browser. Respondents can be included in a drawing to win a copy of “Resolve Practitioner Turf Conflicts: Medical Staff, AHP, and Offsite Disputes,” by Jack Cox, MD, MMM; Rosemary Dragon, CPMSM, CPCS; and Christine Hearst, CPMSM.

Thanks for reading!

Monday memo: Know what data can show

TIPProPublica’s analysis of recently released Medicare data has gleaned some interesting findings—a significant number of physicians with “unusual” Medicare billing patterns have been disciplined by their state medical boards or have had challenges to their licenses. The article sheds light on the challenges of using data to identify potentially suspect physicians.

If physician leaders in your organization have collected data, assessed physician competence information, and found issues, what should their next steps be? Tune in Wednesday, July 9, 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern for Assessing and Managing Clinically Suspect Practitioners: From Collegial Intervention to Corrective Action, a webcast presented by Todd Sagin, MD, JD, former vice president and national medical director of The Greeley Company, Inc.

This program will walk the audience through steps for handling clinically suspect practitioners while protecting patients, the physician, and the organization. Audience members will learn to identify when working with the physician to help him or her improve (collegial intervention) is the best option, and when they should suspend or limit the physician’s privileges (corrective action).

Click here to register or learn more about this webcast.

Thanks for reading!

Monday memo: Revisit the cost of credentialing

DollarSignsA recent visit to the Credentialing Resource Center archive yielded questions and an article about the cost of credentialing practitioners. The original story, published in 2010, reported that costs ranged from approximately $430 to $800 per practitioner, including labor.

Maybe that range matches what you see in your organization—but with so many changes in hospital systems, information technology, and the economy in general, maybe the range has moved higher. (Or lower?) So perhaps it’s time to ask again: Does your medical staff services department track how much it costs to credential each individual physician at your organization? Do you track how much it costs to perform primary source verifications for advance practice professionals?

If you’d like to participate in a Credentialing Resource Center Journal article about this topic, please let me know.

Thanks for reading!

Intervention? Corrective action? Know your options

physdoc01_2834090Collecting and assessing information on physician competence are daunting tasks. But when physician leaders have this information, deciding what to do with it can be even more challenging. What steps should they be taking? Can they work with the physician to help him or her improve (collegial intervention) or should they suspend/limit the physician’s privileges (corrective action)?

Tune into our webcast Assessing and Managing Clinically Suspect Practitioners: From Collegial Intervention to Corrective Action, on July 9, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern for answers. Todd Sagin, JD, MD, will walk medical staff leaders through their options, from collegial intervention through corrective action, and discuss how to do so while protecting patients, the physician, and the organization.

After this program, participants will be able to:

  • Identify why the change in demographics will eventually create an increase of issues with physician competency
  • Comprehend the range of assessment tools for evaluating the competence of clinically suspect practitioners
  • Understand the full range of disciplinary tools available to problem physicians
  • Conduct peer review while minimizing legal liability

Click here for more information or to sign up for this webcast.

 And thanks for reading!

Put your best form forward

chklist_paperAs we update our Clinical Privilege White Paper library, I’m often amazed at how much one procedure or specialty can change in a short period of time. New techniques and technologies are emerging, established best practices are evolving, and there are some changes that we have yet to address. It’s a fascinating challenge.

If you want to help your fellow MSPs and learn how other MSPs tackle their privileging dilemmas, Credentialing Resource Center is looking for member-submitted privileging forms, policies, and procedures to share with our subscribers.

Whether it’s credentialing criteria for nurse practitioners or sample bylaws language for delineating medical staff categories, we want to see the forms that have helped your organization address credentialing issues. Examples of these member-submitted forms can be found when you log in.

To share your privileging forms, please email documents, along with a brief explanation of the contents, to CRCJ editor Mary Stevens. Thank you for subscribing to Credentialing Resource Center.

And thanks for reading!

Credentialing and critical thinking

TMI2MSPs trade in information, but information itself presents challenges: It can be erroneous, it can withheld information, or there can simply be too much of it. Critical thinking—which requires active engagement, rigorous analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of information—won’t eliminate or filter the daily information onslaught, but it can keep assumptions and biases at bay. Done well, critical thinking can unsnarl huge problems.

What does that have to do with credentialing? “You’re problem-solvers” who apply rigorous analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information, said Risa Mish, JD, speaking at the Massachusetts NAMSS chapter meeting today. Rather than passively receiving information, “what the world needs, in order to solve the big problems in front of us, is critical thinking,” said Mish, a senior lecturer at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

For MSPs, critical thinking means challenging personal experience and weeding out subtle (and not-so-subtle) biases. “If you have years of experience doing something, no errors for you, right? No. Not if you don’t adjust your experience with context,” she said.

MSPs need to remember “we see what we expect to see,” said Mish. “If we believe an outcome is going to happen, that’s what we will see. It’s called expectancy bias.” Even more powerful than expectation is desire: “We will see the world through rose-colored glasses if there’s something we want badly enough to be true.

“The answer to combating these biases is a systematic process that you use whenever the stakes are high,” she said. Critical thinking isn’t easy, but it produces more informed results.

 

MSPs and nursing

In honor of National Nurses Week, May 6-12, I crunched some more numbers from the 2014 MSP Salary Survey. Although less than one in 10 respondents indicated they had a clinical background, that training apparently serves them well in the medical staff services arena.

45% of the “Yes” group said they have an RN, LPN, CNA, BSN, or other nursing background.

34% of this group indicated they had a bachelor’s degree, vs. 27% of all respondents.

26% of this group said they made $70,000-$100,000 annually, vs. 18% of the entire survey population.

Although MSPs’ titles don’t always indicate leadership—especially when close to a third of all respondents said they work in a one-person medical staff services department—approximately 23% of respondents with a clinical background had “director” in their title. This compares with 25% of respondents without a clinical background.

In a statement on the Department of Health and Human Services website this week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius states: “It is only fitting that the theme for this year’s National Nurses Week is ‘Nurses: Leading the Way.’ ” Apparently, some MSPs with a nursing background are leading the way in the MSSD.

 

Educating a survey

In recent years, more than a third of MSP Salary Survey respondents said their highest level of education was a high school diploma. However, In the 2014 edition, that percentage dropped dramatically, to 9.8%.

Was there a rush for college degrees during the past year? Probably not. Although the level of education does seem to be trending up slowly, the 2014 survey results showed no huge uptick in respondents with associates or bachelor degrees.

Education 14 chart

The answer might be found in the options we provided  this year. For the first time, respondents could select “some college” instead of either a high school diploma or a college degree. The new choice garnered a 31% response and provides a more accurate picture of MSPs’ education.

You can get the complete MSP Salary Survey story in the July edition of CRCJ.

Thanks for reading!

Mary Stevens, managing editor, Credentialing Resource Center