Home From The Editor Good news helps kick off the new year

Good news helps kick off the new year

January 2007

Published in the January 2007 issue of Today’s Hospitalist.

If the early signs are any indication, 2007 is shaping up to be a good year for hospitalists.

First came word that hospitalists may be getting close to a unique certification process. For the past year or so, we’ve heard rumblings that progress was being made on this issue. But just before the holidays, the Society of Hospital Medicine announced that the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) had decided to develop a formal credential that hospitalists can call their own.

To find out what’s going on with certification for hospitalists, we talked to Robert Wachter, MD, who is chairing an ABIM committee that’s looking into how that new credential should be structured. In our article, Dr. Wachter talks about what certification for hospitalists may look like and how it may impact the specialty.

The other big news? In its usual year-end crush of legislation, Congress decided to cancel cuts that would have slashed Medicare pay for physicians by 5%. While Congress has made a habit of reversing Medicare pay cuts at the end of the year, this year’s developments should be of particular interest to hospitalists.

That’s because Medicare announced last year that it was going to raise reimbursements for many evaluation and management services, a move that should boost hospitalists’ Medicare pay by about 5%, beginning Jan. 1. The catch was that those gains would be more or less offset by the 5% cuts scheduled to take place this year.

Now that Congress has killed those cuts, hospitalists can expect to see a bump in their Medicare pay. Exactly how both issues will affect hospitalists is not year clear, and you can expect future articles in Today’s Hospitalist to keep you informed.

But for now, at least, it’s a good way to start the new year.

Edward Doyle
Editor and Publisher