Practice Management

Professional versus facility billing: What hospitalists must know


What can hospitalists do?

Sources for this article say one of the best places for hospitalists to start improving their understanding of these distinctions is to ask the coders in their institution for advice on how to make the process run more smoothly.

“If you have a CDI team, they are there to help. Reach out to them,” Dr. Arafiles said. Generally, medical schools and residency programs fail to convey the complexities of contemporary hospital economics to future doctors.

Hospitalists have become indispensable, Dr. Vora said. But salaries for hospitalists are going up while hospital reimbursement is going down, and hospitalists are not seeing more patients. “At some point we will no longer be able to say financial support for hospital medicine groups is just a cost of doing business for the hospital. COVID tested us – and demonstrated how much hospital executives value us as part of the team. Our organization absolutely stood behind its physicians despite financially challenging times. Now we need to do what we can to support the organization,” he added.

Hospitalists can also continue to educate themselves on good documentation and coding practices, by finding programs like SHM’s Utilization Management and Clinical Documentation for Hospitalists.

“As we see a significant shift to value-based payment, with its focus on value, efficiency, quality – the best care at the lowest possible price – hospital medicine as a specialty will be best positioned to help with that. If the hospital does well, we do well. We should be building relationships with the hospital’s leadership team,” Dr. Vora said. “You always want to contribute to that partnership to the highest level possible. When they look at us, they should see their most reliable partner.”


1. Locke C, Hu E. Medicare’s two-midnight rule: What hospitalists must know. The Hospitalist. 2019 Feb 22.

2. Beresford L. Hospital medicine in a worldwide pandemic: State of Hospital Medicine 2020. The Hospitalist. 2020 Sep 20.

3. Krauss G. Clinical documentation integrity: rebranding and repurposing. ICD10 Monitor. March 16, 2020 Mar 16.


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