Dr. Peter Hollmann ’76 MD ’79, chief medical officer for Brown Medicine and clinical assistant professor of family medicine, was recently elected president of the American Geriatrics Society.
The American Geriatrics Society is a “nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the health, independence and quality of life of older people,” according to their website.
As president, Hollmann will serve on committees and work on special projects. He will preside at all society meetings and will help the AGS to carry out its aims of providing high-quality, person-centered care.
AGS presidents are elected from the AGS Board of Directors by members of the organization. They serve a one-year term, followed by another year as chairperson of the Board of Directors, according to Lauren Kopchik, senior membership communication coordinator at the AGS. His term as AGS president will last until May 2022.
As president, Hollmann will work on long-term goals such as advancing the science of geriatric care and helping to support all healthcare workers. In the short term, he is working with AGS members to improve the Medicare payment system.
“We are working to make sure that the Medicare payment system really recognizes and properly pays for geriatric care, and provides good access.” Hollmann said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also prompted new initiatives by the AGS.
“When the pandemic hit, everyone had to convert to telemedicine, and weren’t sure how to get paid for it,” Hollmann said. In response, Hollman and one of his colleagues developed a “cheat sheet” for health care workers to implement telemedicine to prevent confusion about payments. The AGS also advocated for audio-only telehealth appointments — primarily used by geriatrics patients — to be covered by Medicare.
Despite his success in the field, Hollmann did not originally plan to become a leader in geriatrics. After finishing a residency in internal medicine at Brown’s medical program, he was asked to join the first geriatrics fellowship at the University. He started working with the American Medical Association on coding and billing processes, an area of expertise that he would later translate to the AGS.
Hollmann began his time at the AGS as a representative to a panel that crafted terminology for medical procedures. He then helped the AGS with coding and payment policy and founded the AGS Practice Management Advisory Group.
Coding, which led him to AGS, “was a quirky thing, and was not what I planned to do,” he said. “It just happened. And it worked out great.”
Dr. Richard Besdine, director of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and professor of medicine, health services policy and practice, has worked with Hollmann for more than 30 years in the University’s Department of Medicine .
“He was invaluable to the American Geriatrics Society as being the one member who knew something about funding of healthcare, and had expertise in the Medicare program.” Besdine said.
For Hollmann, the nomination was an honor since the AGS, in his mind, embodies collaboration and empathy.
“In geriatrics, we are extreme believers in teams. We know that we can’t function in caring for older people with multiple issues unless we have a team of people,” he said. “And that’s how we function as an organization too.”
“Hollmann has been a treasured resource for geriatricians nationwide,” Besdine said. “And is a tireless advocate for improved quality of care for all people.”