Admitting Physician

An admitting physician is one of the types of doctors that a patient in a health facility interacts with. In this article, we’ll define the term “admitting physician” and explain their connection to nursing home abuse. 

Key Takeaways

  • An admitting physician is the doctor who admits patients for care at a health facility
  • Admitting physicians are contrasted with attending physicians, who are responsible for the overall care of a patient during their time at a hospital or clinic
  • Admitting physicians in nursing homes are involved in a new resident’s admission process, evaluating and assessing their needs 
  • If any staff member of a nursing home, including an admitting physician, intentionally harms or injures a resident, it is considered nursing home abuse 
  • Victims of nursing home abuse by an admitting physician may take legal action to seek compensation for their damages

What Is an Admitting Physician?

An admitting physician is a physician who admits patients for hospital care on an inpatient or outpatient basis are part of the normal scope and course of their medical practice. They are the doctor responsible for documenting the day of admission and the earliest diagnosis to a hospital or other inpatient health facility. For direct admits, their diagnosis is used for health care plan coverage purposes. 

This is contrasted with an attending physician, who is the physician that attends a health care facility at stated times to visit patients and give directions as to their treatment. They are responsible for the overall care of a patient in a clinic or hospital and may sometimes teach or supervise medical students, interns, and residents involved in the patient's care.

Admitting Physicians and Nursing Home Abuse

High-quality nursing homes have a number of medical professionals on staff. One of these may be an admitting physician, or a doctor who is involved in the admissions process for new residents. This physician plays an important role in the transition to a nursing home, working to evaluate a new resident’s needs in order to create as effective and personalized a care plan as possible. 

After the admissions process, the residents’ medical care will be transferred to an attending physician, who leads the clinical decision-making for patients under their care. Often, the attending physician will also be the one to take responsibility for initial patient care, including assessment, such that they play the role of the admitting physician themselves. 

If any staff member of a nursing home facility - including an admitting physician - takes any action that intentionally causes harm or injury to a resident, it is considered nursing home abuse. If you or a loved one have experienced any form of emotional, physical, or other abuse from an admitting physician, it is highly recommended to report it as early as possible to the proper authorities. If you so desire, you may also have the opportunity to take legal action to seek compensation from the nursing home for your pain and suffering. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to help you navigate the process.

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