October 2009

Barbara E Magera ACP Member in Charleston SC front row left chose to keep her solo internal medicine practice rather than integrate with a local hospital She stands with her husband Charle

Hospitals again look to integrate doctors

A new incarnation of hospital integration has sprung up, leaving some internists who were burned the first time around leery about jumping into the fray. But others are eager to set aside the increasingly onerous responsibilities of practice ownership.

Collaboration key to post-stroke follow-up

Post-stroke care often fragments after patients leave the hospital. Patients being treated by specialists should keep the primary care physician at the center of their follow-up regimen.

Shared visits improve access, productivity and satisfaction

Shared office visits provide groups of patients with more time with their doctors, not less, and come under the rubric of smart care. Learn how leading institutions have adopted them.

National Trends

Hospital costs for potentially preventable hospitalizations were about one of every 10 dollars of total hospital expenditures in 2006. The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality presented national data on rates and total costs of potentially preventable hospitalizations.

Regents hear two sides of applying medical home concept

The Board of Regents recently brought in two experts to talk about how the patient-centered medical home actually works in practice in a first-ever Regents meeting debate.

Recalls: Propofol, ventilators, infusion sets, acetaminophen

A summary of approvals, recalls, warnings and alerts digested by ACP Internist from the Food and Drug Administration's alerts.

Asthma genetics paving the way for new approaches to care

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children in the United States today, with prevalence and severity of the disease escalating over the past 20 years. It's a disease in which genetic and environmental factors combine in ways that are still poorly understood. Genomics, molecular biology and immunology are changing the way physicians think about the condition.

Excessive consults stem from lack of time for primary care

The pressure to see patients every 15 minutes does not leave much time to work complex diagnoses or manage chronic diseases. And haphazard referrals drive up the cost of care for everyone. Health care reform needs to incentivize quality of care rather than amounts of care.

What's old is new again: Hospitals move to buy internists' practices

A round-up of this issue's articles on hospital integration, coordinating stroke care and the dangers of herbal supplements.

What's new in ACP Hospitalist

What's new in ACP Hospitalist and other College publications, including the cover feature on spontaneous awakening trials, coverage of medication discrepancies during the transfer between facilities, and a Success Story about how one hospitalist Web site streamlines signouts. Plus, test yourself with questions on sedation and ventilation excerpted from MKSAP 14.

Finding common ground when some gain and others lose

Proposals that redistribute money pose a special challenge to physician membership organizations. Physicians expect their societies to represent their interests, but what happens when one subset of members stands to benefit at another's expense? ACP chooses a path that's best for patients.

Adapt to ICD-9 changes most relevant to internal medicine

An expert from ACP's Regulatory and Insurer Affairs section clarifies the changes to ICD-9 coding that ACP expects will most affect internal medicine practices. Changes took effect OCt. 1, and obsolete ICD-9 codes could result in denied or rejected claims.

Record retention made easy

Nothing raises more questions when closing a practice than what to do with the medical records. Practical tips explain how to handle these important documents.

Join us online for more news and events

ACP and its news publications, ACP Internist and ACP Hospitalist, have adopted social media platforms to deliver news and event coverage beyond their print editions.

MKSAP Quiz: preoperative evaluation for renal transplant

A 35-year-old man with a 20-year history of type 1 diabetes mellitus is undergoing preoperative evaluation for renal transplantation.

Sorting out the worst offenders among herbal supplements

Post-stroke care often fragments after patients leave the hospital. Patients being treated by specialists should keep the primary care physician at the center of their follow-up regimen.