Hospital Medicine Recognition & the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services

Hospital Medicine CMSIn a recent landmark decision, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it has developed a code recognizing Hospital Medicine as its own specialty area. This has far reaching implications because, for the first time, hospitalists will have the opportunity to benchmark their data against national averages using standardized data rather than being grouped together with primary care physicians. Moreover, the decision by the CMS to recognize hospital medicine as a specialty further validates hospitalists and speaks to how essential Hospital Medicine has become in the 21st century, something the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) recognized by developing the American Board of Hospital Medicine® (ABHM).

Prior to the CMS decision, hospitalists were forced to use billing codes that were assigned to Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, or other similar specialty. The issue here is that CMS uses these specialty codes to help determine best practices for reimbursement, and one of the key variables considered has to do with the cost of services provided. When compared to outpatient services provided by a family medicine physician, for example, the inpatient treatments provided by hospitalists are extremely expensive. By developing a specialty code for Hospitalists, these hospital-trained physicians will now be compared to one another and on an equal footing. Addressing the false equivalency was absolutely essential, and this represents a significant win for the industry.

At the ABHM, we were extremely pleased by the CMS decision not only because it’s great for Hospital Medicine, but also because it is a clear indicator to the medical community at large as to the value of the specialty. Hospital medicine is one of the most rapidly growing, highly sought after specialties in North American healthcare, and is rapidly improving the quality and efficiency of treatment provided in hospital settings.

To learn more about Hospital Medicine, or if you are interested in pursuing board certification in the specialty, contact us today. We’ll be glad to explain the eligibility requirements for pursuing certification and walk you through the many benefits to joining our community of hospitalists. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®

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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine