The Not So Hidden Costs of Poor Hospital Capacity Management

WMHS Emergency Room Obs Calculator Money Saved

Imagine a pretty average hospital.

Its Emergency Department averages a Left Without Being Seen rate of 3 percent and occasionally gets so packed that it diverts potential patients to other hospitals. It does this, on average, 30 hours of each month.

The 30-bed Emergency Department sees around 40,000 patients a year, with a Length of Stay for admitted patients of 400 minutes – again, fairly average. The door-to-provider time, another key indicator of efficiency, is about 50 minutes. Read more ›

Posted in Hospital Partnership, Observation Care, Quality, Efficiency, Utilization

“I promised her a good life – not necessarily a long one.”

Tamara Kile headshotOne of my most treasured stories as an ED physician belongs to a lovely couple who valued quality of life. It was a routine day in the ED when an elderly woman rolled through the ambulance doors on a cold, narrow stretcher, unaccompanied by family. She was placed in bed 5, which is where we met. She was frail and her memory was poor. The EMS run sheet reported “change in mental status” as the complaint. I was unable to get any history from her, so I completed my exam and wrote the standard orders for the complaint. One thing was apparent upon my exam: someone was taking extraordinary care of this woman. Read more ›

Posted in Life in the ER

Quality Care Often Means Making a Personal Connection With Our Patients

David Klein headshotAfter a relaxing weekend with my daughter, son-in-law and 2 year-old grandson, my wife and I made our way to the Atlanta airport to begin our trip home. The end of a trip – even a short weekend – is always sad. I never look forward to the travel home and usually want to snap my fingers and skip the travel.

My wife and I have trouble packing light and so, when we arrived at check in and our bag weighed 51 lbs, I sighed. My frown quickly disappeared, however, when the Delta attendant joked, “You just HAD to push the buttons… and see what I would do. 50 lbs just couldn’t cut it so you went for 51.” My wife and I smiled as we walked toward the security line. Read more ›

Posted in Life in the ER

Medicare Rule Requiring 3-Day Inpatient Stay as Condition for Skilled Nursing Care Dates to 1965

Robbin Dick HeadshotMedicare recipients who are being denied coverage for skilled nursing care because they were under “Observation Status” during a recent hospital stay should blame a nearly 50-year-old Medicare rule – not their doctors or the hospital.

The rule in question requires Medicare recipients to have had at least a 3-day inpatient hospital stay in order to qualify for skilled nursing. The rule dates to 1965, when inpatient hospital stays dominated healthcare and it took that long to admit and evaluate a patient. Read more ›

Posted in Hospital Partnership, Observation Care

An ER Doc’s Response to Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Smile! You’ve got cancer”

Anoop Kumar, MDI was recently sent a link to this article entitled “Smile! You’ve Got Cancer” written by Barbara Ehrenreich.  I encourage everyone to read it. The article lives up to its striking title and more.  And I couldn’t help but respond with my perspective. So that you know where I’m coming from, my most personal encounter with cancer is that my grandmother died from cancer. I also treat people with acute complications from cancer and/or its treatment frequently in the ER. Read more ›

Posted in Life in the ER

Strengthening Communities: Longview School in Germantown, MD

Schobitz - Long View School photo Mar 2014As health care providers we at MEP are fortunate to be able to deliver top-notch care in our various communities. Whether in the ER, on the observation unit, or in an urgent care setting, we touch the lives of our neighbors every day. Read more ›

Posted in Strengthening Communities

How Much Money Could Good Observation Care Save Your Hospital?

WMHS Emergency Room Obs Calculator Money SavedHow much money could a high-quality, dedicated observation unit save your hospital? A new online calculator developed by MEP gives any hospital administrator the ability to get a pretty good answer to that question within minutes. Read more ›

Posted in Future of Healthcare, Life in the ER, Observation Care

Emergency medicine groups should embrace Clinically Integrated Networks (CINs)

Vipul Kella HeadshotIn my near-decade of practicing emergency medicine I have yet to receive a letter from a hospital congratulating me on how few CT scans I’ve ordered. Nor have I ever received a special award for diverting a potential admission to an outpatient referral instead. Rather, the push has always been the opposite. Fee-for-service models encourage the opposite behavior, and trying to do the most evidenced-based or cost-effective thing is not only not rewarded, but in many cases financially penalized. Read more ›

Posted in Blog

Report from Frederick Memorial: What Happens When a new ER Group Confronts a New Hospital EMR?

Jason Giffi, DOIn September 2013 MEP began its partnership with Frederick Memorial Hospital’s (FMH) emergency department. The September MEP roll-out occurred approximately 60 days after Frederick Memorial overhauled and implemented a completely new Health Information System (HIS). Read more ›

Posted in Life in the ER, Quality, Efficiency, Utilization

Emergency Room Visits Fall Sharply In DC, Maryland

Russell Max Simon HeadshotAccording to recent data on 22 hospitals in Maryland, visits to the emergency room saw a year over year decline of 10.72 percent last December, reflecting a downward trend doctors say is continuing into 2014.  The data indicates that Maryland is reversing years of increases in emergency room use and challenges the conclusions of the Oregon Medicaid Study, which recently suggested ER use would increase in states that expanded Medicaid. Read more ›

Posted in MEP News

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Featured Authors
Angelo Falcone, MD
Chief Executive Officer, MEP
Read posts here.

Robbin Dick, MDRobbin Dick, MD
Director of Observation Services, MEP
Read posts here.

Vipul Kella, MD
Medical Director, Emergency Department, Frederick Memorial Hospital
Read posts here.