Proceduralists Help Reduce Complication Rates In Hospitals

Armen Hareyan's picture

Some academic medical centers have launched centers and trainingprograms for "proceduralists" -- physicians who specialize inprocedural services, such as spinal taps or catheter insertion -- tomeet increased demand and help reduce complication rates, the Wall Street Journal reports.Procedural medicine is not considered "a medical specialty in its ownright" but has become more popular among "physicians with the manualdexterity and steady nerves to perform risky procedures," according tothe Journal.


The increased demand forproceduralists has resulted in part because of concerns about patientsafety and risk for medical malpractice lawsuits, as well as concernsfrom the American Board of Internal Medicineand some medical groups that the current residency training programsfor internists do not provide adequate experience with complex medicalprocedures. In addition, reductions in reimbursements from healthinsurers have "made it less lucrative to do many common procedures,"the Journal reports.

The use of proceduralistsallows surgeons to perform procedures that receive largerreimbursements from health insurers, according to Bradley Rosen,assistant director of the Procedure Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centerin Los Angeles. The center also has helped Cedars-Sinai reducecomplication rates for medical procedures to less than 1%, comparedwith a national average of 2% to 5%, Rosen said (Landro, Wall Street Journal, 7/11).

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