Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hospitalist trends...are you in the know?

From the Washington Post article:

Most hospitalists are internists; 11 percent are pediatricians. By 2010, SHM projects 30,000 hospitalists will be practicing. Medical students may soon choose which side of the hospital divide they want to work on: inpatient or outpatient. For now, it's your physician's choice whether to refer you to a hospitalist or to follow your inpatient care. If you have no primary care physician, a hospitalist will probably manage your hospital stay.

Although patients are often confused about the role of hospitalists, hospitals embrace the new model, nationally subsidizing $50,000 to $60,000 of the average hospitalist's $169,000 salary. Managed-care organizations, such as Kaiser, have established their own hospitalist practices. There is financial incentive to do so: Studies show hospitalists manage care more efficiently and reduce hospital stays. Hospitalists say they think that's because they order tests and procedures more promptly.

Shortening hospital stays is to the patient's advantage as well, said Frederick Finelli, chairman of the D.C. Board of Medicine.

Click here to access the article.

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