External Peer Review Services

Background               

For more than 15 years, Washington Hospital Service’s Health Care Quality Service (WHS-HQS) has helped critical access hospitals meet the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Conditions of Participation requirement for external peer review. External peer review helps assess the appropriateness of care provided by physicians to patients. In January 2015, we expanded our network beyond the state of Washington to include Alaska.

Our peer review program is currently staffed by seven peer review medical directors and a slate of more than 30 specialists. All are board-certified or board-eligible physicians who are recruited for their expertise and dedication to rural health care and quality improvement.

Service Options

Washington Hospital Services offers several options to fit the needs of our clients. Below you will find descriptions of each service, along with pricing.

On-Site External Peer Review provides ongoing analysis, problem identification and education to continuously improve patient care quality. Under this service, the hospital has an on-going relationship with the reviewing physician. Each visit includes:

  1. Up to eight hours of review time.
  2. A summary of findings written by the peer review physician with specific recommendations.
  3. A presentation of the findings to the facility medical staff, quality improvement committee, or CEO.

The core list of charts reviewed under this service includes:

  • Stroke care charts
  • Acute coronary syndrome charts
  • Surgical complications
  • Transfers (both inpatient and Emergency Department)
  • New physicians (both inpatient and Emergency Department)
  • Deaths
  • Patient complaints
  • Left against medical advice
  • Returns within 72 hours

The cost for on-site external peer review services is *$3,200 per day, plus travel expenses.

*During COVID-19, this option is also available as a “virtual visit” utilizing remote/video conference technology. Through the end of 2020, we are offering special sale prices on the virtual visit options:  $2,650 for a whole day and $2,075 for a half day . NOTE: This sale ends 12/31/2020. Virtual visits will need to be scheduled by this date (but may occur in 2021) to get the special price.

Remote Chart Review Our medical directors review a selection of charts pulled by each hospital client as part of the organization’s quality assurance program. These chart reviews are completely confidential and fully blinded.

The cost for blinded chart review varies depending on the complexity of charts. On average these chart reviews range from $270 to $860 per chart, plus mailing expenses.

Specialty peer review offers focused reviews for credentialing and performance improvement. Our specialty peer review panel includes highly respected specialists who provide chart reviews in internal medicine, general and orthopedic surgery, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, radiology, nephrology, ENT, obstetrics and gynecology, trauma surgery and more. These chart reviews are completely confidential and fully blinded.

The cost for specialty chart review is based upon the size and complexity of the chart and typically ranges from $375 – $1,650 per chart, plus mailing expenses.

Clinic chart review is a natural addition to the portfolio of peer review services and is becoming highly requested. Clinic peer review may be done during an on-site hospital peer review, remotely, or on a per-chart basis.

The cost for on-site external peer review services is *$3,200 per day, plus travel expenses.

*During COVID-19, this option is also available as a “virtual visit” utilizing remote/video conference technology. Through the end of 2020, we are offering an Alaska sale price of $2,650 per day for the virtual visit option. NOTE: This sale ends 12/31/2020. Virtual visits will need to be scheduled by this date (but may occur in 2021) to get the special price.

The cost for the review of individual clinic charts varies depending on the complexity of charts. On average, these reviews range from $270 to $860 per chart, plus mailing expenses.

The Value of Our Service

Our peer review physicians bring a level of expertise, compassion, collegiality, impartiality, and an appreciation of rural hospitals that makes them highly sought after. They are objective, outside voices of support and assistance to physicians who often have no one else to turn to.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association to offer our peer review services. If you have any questions or would like to arrange a conversation with one of our medical directors, please contact WHS Peer Review Program Manager.