The Impact of Hospitalists on Value-Based Purchasing Program Scores

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Abstract

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

As part of the provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services adjusts payments made to hospitals through its Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (HVBP) program. In light of the increasing aim to improve efficiency, healthcare organizations are exploring innovative strategies for care delivery, including the use of hospitalists. Supporters of the hospitalist model suggest use of these specialists offers several advantages over the traditional model of physician care in the inpatient setting, including improved coordination, reduced costs, and improved quality indicator scores. This study explores the effect of hospitalists on hospitals’ scores in the four domains of the fiscal year 2016 HVBP program: clinical process of care, patient experience of care (PEOC), outcome, and efficiency. Data from the 2015 HVBP database, the 2015 Medicare Final Rule Standardizing File, and the 2015 American Hospital Association database were used for the analysis. The study used multivariate regression analysis in Stata 12. Results from this study suggest that hospitals employing a higher percentage of hospitalists see related improvement in their overall total performance score. In light of improvements within the PEOC, outcome, and efficiency scores, it would appear that hospitalists are primarily providing linking services, which helps provide better coordination of care that is otherwise lacking in more traditionally fragmented approaches to care.

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