2023 Observation Patient Management Forum


March 13-14, 2023 * Bellagio Las Vegas * Las Vegas, NV

2023 Observation Patient Management Forum








About the Conference:

Faced with increasing patient volumes, declining reimbursements and overworked ED staff, hospitals must be prepared to leverage observation patient management. Well-structured observation units have resulted in financial gains, improved clinical outcomes and superior patient satisfaction ratings.

The Observation Patient Management Forum will highlight the pertinent challenges facing observation unit staff – ED physicians, hospitalists, case managers and billing and coding professionals. Additionally, the conference will highlight how and why hospitals that are not utilizing observation patient management are leaving money on the table.

The forum will allow you to walk away with an understanding of current trends and market practices, and innovative strategies to prepare yourself for the challenges that lie ahead. Learn best practices in patient management and examine strategies to improve care, increase satisfaction and achieve organizational goals.

Who Should Attend?

From Hospitals/Health Systems:

    • Case Management
      • Discharge Planning
      • Care Management
      • Admissions
      • Observation Services
      • Nursing
      • Operations
      • Patient Care
      • Compliance
      • Clinical Care
      • Medical Directors
      • Quality
      • Patient Financial Services
      • Denial Management
      • Emergency Medicine
      • Social Worker
      • Utilization Management
      • Hospitalist
      • Chief of Staff
      • Capacity Management
      • Patient Throughput
      • Bed Management
      • Patient LogisticsAlso of Interest to:
      • Vendors
      • Solution Providers
      • Consultants

Conference Agenda

Day One - Monday, March 13, 2023

7:15am – 8:00am

Conference Registration & Networking Breakfast


8:00am – 8:15am

Chairperson’s Opening Remarks


8:15am – 9:00am

Outpatient Observation Management – Impact on Financial Cost and Best Practices

Placing a patient in the most appropriate level of care is important to ensure the patient is cared for with the right level of services and the hospital is reimbursed appropriately for services rendered. However, many hospitals are challenged by the status determination process, and often over utilize the observation level of care. There are considerable financial implications to patient discharge status, which often results in missed revenue. This session will explore considerations for implementing a status determination process, and improvements to augment net patient revenue while prioritizing patient outcomes.


9:00am – 9:45am

Observation vs. Acute Inpatient

When admitting a patient to the hospital the attending physician must determine the medical necessity for an acute in-patient admission vs. observation level of care. These levels of care often have very similar medical interventions but very different financial implications for both the patient and the facility. This session will explore the medical necessity of inpatient and observation care utilizing a real patient case as a learning tool. Also, gain an understanding of the differences between acute inpatient and observation levels of care and considerations for both payers and providers when assessing medical necessity.


9:45am – 10:15am

Networking & Refreshments Break


10:15am – 11:00am

Leveraging Remote Patient Observation Across Your Organization

Leveraging remote patient observation via telehealth across a healthcare organization can prevent many adverse events (and help keep patients safe), which ultimately saves time and money. Remote patient observation allows one observer to watch over multiple patients at one time via telehealth in the patient's room. Designed to mimic an in-room observation, the technology unburdens nursing departments without sacrificing patient safety. In this session, learn the benefits of remove observation and how it impacts patient care.


11:00am – 11:45am

Observation Care that Works: Improving ED Metrics, Hospital Capacity and Patient Satisfaction

A dedicated observation care unit forms an essential component of the integrated network of inpatient and outpatient services that combine to achieve the triple-aim: improved patient experiences, better outcomes and lowered costs. It also helps hospitals position themselves for the future. As a result of improved ability to manage growing patient populations, hospitals now face less pressure to devote resources to facilities expansion and managing overcrowding. Instead, it can focus on delivering quality and efficient care to their communities. This session will explore how to cut length of stay, lower readmissions and raise patient satisfaction with a dedicated observation unit.


11:45am – 12:30pm

​Engaging A Multi-Disciplinary Team in Observation Management

This session will focus on how to engage all different leaders and staff in the success of an observation unit. Specifically, we will focus on how to educate the team on the implications of observation placement for both the patients and the hospital’s reimbursement. We will then look at ways to identify and act on PADs, or potentially avoidable delays, to ensure that throughput is achieved, and LOS goals are met for observation patients. We will conclude with an in-depth discussion on developing “physician executives” and ensuring alignment with hospital administration.


12:30pm – 1:30pm



1:30pm – 2:15pm

Patient Satisfaction in an Observation Unit: The Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems

The growing demand for inpatient beds has led hospitals to set up an observation medicine unit where patients are monitored and discharged within a 24-h period. With patient satisfaction becoming increasingly important as an indicator of the quality of care in the present healthcare environment, doctors and nurses should seek to improve their communication with their patients so as to ensure that patients are satisfied and receive quality care. This session will explore the satisfaction levels of patients admitted into an observation unit, in particular the communication between patients and doctors and nurses.


2:15pm – 3:15pm

Panel: Way to Improve Patient Flow that Impact Efficiency

Moving patients within a healthcare facility involves medical care, resources, decision-making, and internal systems in place. Optimizing patient flow is critical for healthcare facilities for two main reasons, patient safety and quality of care. And if the pandemic taught us anything, it is within our power to create a health system that invites everyone to be part of an affordable, sustainable, accessible, high-quality system that keeps people healthy and improves our communities and society at large. We collectively have the power to address patient health and safety and address patient flow in hospitals. Improving your patient flow is a way to increase revenue and patient satisfaction. This session will explore strategies to improve patient flow, and how efficient patient flow will increase your healthcare facilities' revenue and, more importantly, keep your patients satisfied and safer.


3:15pm – 3:45pm

Networking & Refreshments Break


3:45pm – 4:30pm

How Observation Units Improve ED Efficiency

Patients who seek emergency department (ED) treatment are often found not well enough for immediate discharge yet are also not sick enough to warrant full inpatient admission. These patients are increasingly treated as outpatients using observation services. Observation units provide a potential solution by allowing protocol-driven care for patients who require longer observation, but don’t require admission. This strategy can help patients go home safer and faster, while saving hospitals money. An observation unit is a designated section of the emergency department where patients are monitored by a staff team for 6-24 hours. Patients who require observation or testing are moved to a separate area where they are monitored and treated according to disease-specific protocols. This session will explore the successful operation of an observation unit, including  of a CDU can be found in each of the following sections of this article:

  • Principles of care
  • Physical design
  • Admission criteria
  • Benefits and drawbacks of observation units


4:30pm – 5:15pm

How to Reduce Risks for Patients in an Observation Unit

Observation units provide additional time to stabilize, treat and develop rapport with an ED patient with a potentially serious condition. This often can lead to increased patient satisfaction and, thus, reduced medicolegal risk. On the other hand, if observation units are used as a way to avoid admission (because of few available inpatient beds, financial reasons, or another reason), EDs may be exposed to additional legal risks. Many ED patients are complex — not just medically, but socially as well. Some are facing social, geographic or economic barriers to care that would be difficult to solve in an ED observation unit. This session will explore all this and more strategies to reduce risks for patients in an observation unit.



End of Day One

Day Two – Tuesday, March 14, 2023

7:15am – 8:00am

Networking Breakfast


8:00am – 8:15am

Chairperson’s Recap


8:15am – 9:00am

Financial Impacts of ED Observation Units

The emergency department observation unit is a specialized unit designed for efficient, ongoing medical treatment, assessment, and reassessment of patients before the appropriate decision can be made to either discharge or admit. Observation units been increasingly utilized to avoid unnecessary admissions, optimize inpatient bed capacity, improve emergency department throughput, and overall deliver more efficient care; all resulting in significant national and hospital cost savings. However, since observation services are billed as outpatient services, observation unit expansion may increase out-of-pocket costs for patients, particularly Medicare beneficiaries. As there is significant speculation, controversy and media attention surrounding these issues, this session will explore financial impacts of observation units at the hospital and patient levels.


9:00am – 9:45am

Getting a Handle on Observation Status Patients

Since the introduction of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) two-midnight rule for determining observation status in 2013, observation patients have represented a growing percentage of hospitals’ daily censuses. Although the CMS rule technically applies only to traditional Medicare beneficiaries, similar methods for determining observation status have been adopted by commercial health plans. We know the percentage of observation status patients has grown; what we have not been able to do is determine what might be an appropriate percentage of observation status patients. While determining observation status is and should be a decision driven by physician judgment—and the percentage of patients in observation status will vary from hospital to hospital—this new metric will help management understand how much their observation status percentages vary from the median. If that variance is significant, management can investigate and, if appropriate, address the factors or processes that are driving the variance. This session will explore why getting observation status right is so important, to patients, providers and the healthcare organization, and tactics to ensure appropriate assignment.


9:45am – 10:15am

Networking & Refreshments Break


10:15am – 11:00am

Psychiatric Observation: Is it Time to Expand Your Product Line

The number of psychiatric patients presenting to emergency departments has been increasing for the past few years. Many of these patients will board in the ED because inpatient beds are not available. Psychiatric observation provides not only the opportunity to unload these patients to a better care environment but also may improve care and reduce the need for admissions. This presentation will provide the groundwork for establishing and maintaining a psychiatric observation unit.


11:00am – 11:45am

Reducing Unnecessary Hospital Admissions Through Observation and Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Making

Hospitalizations account for nearly one-third of the total dollars spent on health care in the United States. Nearly a quarter of hospital readmissions are preventable. This presentation will focus on a hospital’s experience regarding:

  • Predicting discharges from observation using readily available metrics
  • Best practice protocols for management of the observation patient, aimed at minimizing the need for inpatient admission
  • Care transition strategies to ensure continuity of care and reduction in return visits/admissions for the observation patient


11:45am – 12:30pm

How to Approach and Implement Changes to Your Observation Program

This session will explore approaches to observation care, including pros and cons, including a case study. Potential approaches to dashboards will be presented with discussion of leading and lagging metrics and subsequent reporting. Payor considerations and the role of utilization management will be discussed. Success factors and performance tools will be presented to help participants facilitate changes in their hospitals and systems.



Conference Concludes

Workshop - Tuesday, March 14, 2023

12:45pm – 2:45pm

Workshop: The Path to Better Observation Patient Management

Hospital care in the U.S. is a complex dance of coordination and communication. The hospital is altogether the most complex organization ever devised. With today’s payment and reimbursement policies, you could argue that hospital healthcare is even more complex today than it was years ago. Deciding on what to improve within this world can be daunting. There are so many options, and so many groups involved in each. The use of observation status when admitting patients today is extremely widespread. Originally intended as a short-term period of lightweight care before admission or discharge, Medicare has seen a huge increase in observation spending, and it continues to grow. Hospitals are reimbursed at lower rates for what’s essentially the same as inpatient care, to the point that most observation visits represent financial losses to the hospital. On the other side, patients (especially Medicare and Medicaid recipients) are also subject to a different payment structure and sometimes end up paying more for an observation stay. This session will explore how hospitals can improve how they work with observation patients.


3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Are there group discounts available?

  • Yes – Register a group of 3 or more at the same time and receive an additional 10% off the registration fee

Are there discounts for Non-Profit/Government Organizations?

  • Yes – please call us at 800-743-8490 for special pricing

What is the cancellation policy?

  • Cancellations received 4 weeks prior to the event will receive a refund minus the administration fee of $225. Cancellation received less than 4 weeks prior to the event will receive a credit to a future event valid for one year.

Can the registration be transferred to a colleague?

  • Yes – please email us in writing at info@brinetwork.com with the colleague’s name and title

Where can I find information on the venue/accommodations?

  • Along with your registration receipt you will receive information on how to make your hotel reservations. You can also visit individual event page for specific hotel information. The conference fee does not include the cost of accommodations.

What is the suggested dress code?

  • Business casual. Meeting rooms can sometimes be cold so we recommend a sweater or light jacket
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