About James Allen, MD

I am a Professor of Internal Medicine at the Ohio State University and the Medical Director of Ohio State University Hospital East

The High Cost Of Observation Status

The High Cost Of Observation Status

Medicare and commercial insurance companies love observation status. When a patient has to be hospitalized but only for “less than 2 midnights hospital stay”, then that patient is classified as being in observation status rather than admitted to the hospital. This classification means that the patient is technically an outpatient and not an inpatient and […]

Age Of Physicians By Specialty

Age Of Physicians By Specialty

At this month’s American Thoracic Society meeting, it was reported that 1/3 of practicing pediatric pulmonologists in the United States are over age 60, a scary number since that indicates we are soon facing shortages of pediatric pulmonologists. It turns out that it is not the only specialty with disproportionately older physicians and these statistics […]

The Cost Of Measuring Quality

The Cost Of Measuring Quality

Quality is expensive. In the United States, we spend about $40,000 per physician just to report on quality measures. That’ $15.4 billion per year. A study by Dr. Catherine MacLean and colleagues found that of the 86 MIPPS/QPP measures (Merit-based Incentive Payment System/Quality Payment Program) that were relevant to general internal medicine, 35% were not valid […]

The Effect Of Free-Standing Emergency Departments

The Effect Of Free-Standing Emergency Departments

Freestanding emergency departments can provide emergency care in locations not immediately served by emergency departments contained in a hospital and in theory, this should improve access to healthcare, particularly in rural areas.  However, there are hidden costs of freestanding emergency departments that can lower the overall value of healthcare in the community. Beginning in 2004, […]

Estimating Your Income Needs In Retirement

Estimating Your Income Needs In Retirement

For many people, and most physicians, getting to a retirement age means being able to work because you want to work and not because you have to work. A year and a half ago, I wrote a 12-part post on financial planning for physicians, with one goal of saving enough for retirement. But how do […]

The Value Of Shared Values

The Value Of Shared Values

Leadership change in a healthcare organization is inevitable but every time it happens, it can be a bit unsettling to the physicians. If there are a lot of changes that occur simultaneously with sweeping changes in multiple leadership positions, then it can shift from being a bit unsettling to being a lot unsettling. And much […]