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MOC Legislation, Cost of Hospital Owned Medical Practices, and Virtual Hospitals

The best recruiting, job search, and Healthcare industry articles from around the Internet Healthcare Career Rounds is recommended reading on recruiting, job searches, and healthcare industry news from the Healthcare Career Resources staff. imtmphoto/123RF.com

Physician frustration with maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements is leading to new legislation in several states

Oklahoma has already passed a new law stating that board certification cannot be the only way for physicians to maintain hospital privileges and insurance coverage. Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri, and Michigan are considering similar laws.

“MOC is essentially a CME program, and it should not be used as a requirement for staff privileges, payment, licensure, or membership on an insurance panel,” says David Siegler, MD a pediatric neurologist and board member of the Tulsa County Medical Society and author of the Oklahoma State Medical Association resolution that helped lead to the law. “Why are we jumping through other people’s hoops? It’s not a government requirement. This is a private corporation.”

A new study has confirmed that the percentage of hospital owned medical practices has continued to rise against the percentage of private medical practices, and one of the results will be a higher cost for medical care

A previous PAI/Avalere analysis this year reported that Medicare pays up to three times more for three common healthcare services if they are performed in a hospital outpatient department vs. a physician-owned practice.

“Medicare spends less when patients receive treatment in a physician’s office, yet the number of physician-owned medical practices is rapidly shrinking,” PAI Executive Vice President Kelly Kenney said in a prepared statement,  arguing that the shift will mean increased costs for the entire healthcare system. “For patients, it impacts both where they receive and how much they pay for care,” Kenney said.

A new $54 million dollar hospital in Saint Louis has no patient beds

The new hospital is a “virtual care center” and is one of several facilities around the country which is lowering costs, and readmission rates, by taking telemedicine to the next level.

Mercy Hospital wants to provide better care for its patients — by making sure they don’t come to the hospital.

Instead, 330 staffers at Mercy’s Virtual Care Center, located just outside of St. Louis, place video calls to patients using highly sensitive two-way cameras — and monitor their vital signs in real time through tools like pulse oximeters that plug into an iPad.

The goal: Avoid expense and hassle on both sides by providing care when and where the patient needs it, preventing some of the hospital re-admissions that add $41.3 billion to hospital costs annually, according to a government study.

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About Michael Jones

Michael Jones is the editor of HospitalRecruiting.com's blog and social media accounts. He is also an occasional writer/contributor to the blog and one of HospitalRecruiting.com's co-founders. Before beginning work on this website, Michael also had extensive experience as a successful physician recruiter.

Michael resides in Bloomington, IN, with his wife and two young daughters. Outside of family time and work, he enjoys sports, outdoor recreation, and good books.

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