Frequently Asked Questions

physician

Below you will find answers to a number of general questions we receive regarding our services, staff, community and resident encounters, as well as information on our industry and specialties.

Q: Where is your service area?

A:Five Star Physicians serve post-acute and long term care communities including Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, Assisted Living and Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Maryland, Washington DC, Northern Virginia and Delaware. Typically, our clinicians live in the regions which we serve. We serve, and are a part of, your city, town or county.

Q: What is the value of using Five Star Physicians versus a hospitalist?

A:Five Star Physicians practice medicine very differently than a hospitalist group does in post-acute/long term care. We specifically focus on long term care patients; that’s all we do, all day every day. We do not practice medicine in a hospital, we proudly specialize in just long term care. We are best as a hospital’s partner, aligning with the same, exact goal—to maintain and improve our resident’s care in their home.   We utilize metrics, technology, processes and protocols when making our clinical care decisions. We share ideas and communicate with our hospitals so that we can provide the best care possible. Today more than ever, there is a national trend to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations. We align with this trend and we participate in our associations, hospitals, state conferences and communities in support of this national agenda. We work harder than anyone to communicate better during a patient’s transition to/from our community or hospital. We too share concerns in infectious disease such as Sepsis and as such, we not only monitor and treat, but we provide mentoring and education to staff.

As a friend of the hospitalist, we understand they are tasked with managing their patient’s health in our communities. They have established their own processes and protocols, standards that we work hard to integrate into ours. We provide teamwork and alignment; we share common goals and high standards of care. But not many can match the geriatric clinical care or the “bed side” manners a Five Star clinician provides.

Q: What are the normal business hours in which Five Star clinicians operate?

A: Between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM Weekdays. Our clinicians operate on flexible schedules based on the needs of our communities and our patients.

Five Star Physicians is unique in that “after hours,” we provide an On Call team, made available to our communities. When a clinical need arises after our clinicians have headed home to be with their family, a call can be made to our On Call team of physicians and nurse practitioners and triage a clinical care issue. Our On Call clinicians typically can address most issues during the call, however if the issue needs to be elevated to the attending physician, we can do that. Almost never will a clinical care issue be ignored or delayed by the Five Star team regardless of the day or time.

Q: Do your clinicians take calls after work hours and on weekends?

A: Five Star Physicians have a centralized call center team strictly dedicated to taking calls after normal business hours and all weekend to relieve our daytime Physicians and Nurse Practitioners. Five Star’s call center sets the bar for continuity and quality of care. This is unmatched in the industry.

Calls taken after hours are documented and delivered to the physician on their next available on site date so that they can follow up with the patient and community nurses and continue the care. A resident or guardian also has access to these records upon request.

Q: My community is in need of a Physician and Nurse Practitioner; can you provide both?

A: Based on the needs of the community and their patients, we offer FT and PT Physician and Nurse Practitioner coverage, partnering with the always terrific and dedicated clinical care teams in these communities. We are committed to serving all post-acute/long term communities in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The best opportunity is to schedule a visit between your community and Five Star Physicians so that we can listen and learn about your needs and what you want in a clinical care partner. We understand you are the primary care provider, caring for your residents seven days per week, each and every hour. Your staff has built relationships with your residents and we fully appreciate and respect these bonds let alone this resident knowledge and history. As such, we listen and learn what you want in a clinical care provider and provide what you want and need. Unlike other practices that may come in and “take charge,” we come in and listen.

Q: If my doctor is interested in serving patients in Long Term Care communities, will you consider hiring them?

A: We are happy to discuss employment opportunities with any clinicians that meet the high standards required of a Five Star Physician.

Q: What is Five Star’s position on palliative care?

A: When patients have illnesses that cannot be cured, Five Star believes that we can continue to care. We work with patients and their families to help them understand what they are going through, relieve symptoms, and prevent freedom from debilitating, painful and expensive treatments that can make things worse and are not really expected to make things better. Palliative care believes that symptoms can be relieved regardless of diagnosis, rather than applying aggressive heroic measures that have a small at best chance of helping the patient.

Q: What is Physiatry?

A: Physiatrists specialize in non-surgical physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) for patients who have been disabled as a result of a disease, condition, disorder, or injury. They diagnose, perform thorough patient histories, treat injuries and conditions, and direct your expanded treatment team using non-surgical methods.

Five Star Physicians can provide physiatry services in many of our geographic regions. Our physiatrists work in conjunction with our medical directors, attending physicians and nurse practitioners to relieve pain, improve health and help to transition a patient back to their homes.

Q: Will Five Star Physicians work with my regional hospitals so that they understand the great care we provide?

A:Five Star Physicians is proud of our clinicians and the excellent clinical care we provide. We are excited, and appreciate the opportunity to present your community to your regional hospital for integrated approach to care and collaboration. We serve in this role regularly. Many times when hospitals learn Five Star Physicians are serving in your community, the community-hospital relationship improves.

Q: Do you also manage in-community healthcare clinics?

A: Yes. We have the clinical and healthcare operations experience to be an excellent clinic partner. Additionally, we have the technology and systems to serve and support the physicians, nurse practitioners and medical staff that comprise your clinic.

A unique aspect of our clinic management is our shared belief in offering wellness programs to your residents. We work with our communities to develop and deliver programs such as diabetes management, nutrition, MOLST and understanding hospice and palliative care.

Q: If my mother is in your nursing home, can I (as the guardian) request a Five Star clinician?

A: Yes. Upon request from family members and responsible parties, we will happily contact the Admissions Director, Director of Nursing or Nursing Home Administrator, depending on the admission, and request a Five Star Physician on behalf of the family.

Q: If I am a family member or guardian, can I request you come to my mother’s nursing home just to see her?

A: In order to see patients in your community, Five Star Physicians must first obtain a community’s approval and have proper credentialing and permissions in place. We will be happy to contact your community directly to begin this relationship upon your request, if we are not already present in the community.

Q: What is the difference between a physician and a nurse practitioner?

A: Physicians have an advance understanding and are able to specialize in the care of specific diseases. Whereas a nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with a formal education in the caring for those who are sick, along with an advanced education and training in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of common and chronic illnesses.

Physicians and nurse practitioners tend to be similar in that they both diagnose, treat and manage acute and chronic diseases, order and interpret labs and diagnostic tests, and are able to prescribe medications.

Studies show that nurse practitioners’ care tend to be at least equivalent to physician care. Both professionals practice the healing arts but they do so from different perspectives.

Q: Are my mother’s health records safe?

A: Five Star Physicians takes HIPAA and clinical compliance very seriously. In fact, we are one of the few post-acute/long term care practices with a dedicated Compliance Officer and compliance department. Additionally, Five Star Physician’s Compliance Plan includes provisions to assure the safety of health information.  Our partners in electronic health record keeping meet all Federal standards. They assure the confidentiality and integrity of all patient data. A Code of Conduct is in place for all Five Star Physicians staff, also ensuring the confidential and protective nature of your mother’s health records.

Q: Do your clinicians take calls after work hours and on weekends?

A: Five Star Physicians have a centralized call center team strictly dedicated to taking calls after normal business hours and all weekend to relieve our daytime Physicians and Nurse Practitioners. Five Star’s call center sets the bar for continuity and quality of care. This is unmatched in the industry.

Calls taken after hours are documented and delivered to the physician on their next available on site date so that they can follow up with the patient and community nurses and continue the care. A resident or guardian also has access to these records upon request.

Q: If my doctor is interested in serving patients in Long Term Care communities, will you consider hiring them?

A: We are happy to discuss employment opportunities with any clinicians that meet the high standards required of a Five Star Physician.

Q: What is Physiatry?

A: Physiatrists specialize in non-surgical physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) for patients who have been disabled as a result of a disease, condition, disorder, or injury. They diagnose, perform thorough patient histories, treat injuries and conditions, and direct your expanded treatment team using non-surgical methods.

Five Star Physicians can provide physiatry services in many of our geographic regions. Our physiatrists work in conjunction with our medical directors, attending physicians and nurse practitioners to relieve pain, improve health and help to transition a patient back to their homes.

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