Published in the November 2014 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
WHEN COMPARING pediatric and adult hospitalist programs on group size, adult groups have an edge not only in terms of total size but in growth. According to data from the 2013 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey, adult hospitalist groups are about 1.5 times the size of the average pediatric hospitalist program, and adult hospitalists added about twice as many physicians that year as their pediatric colleagues. Here’s a look at data on group size from our survey.
Growth and attrition rates
Hospitalists who treat adults report an average group size of 19 full-time equivalent (FTE) physicians. Pediatric hospitalists, by comparison, report an average group size of 12 FTE physicians.
When we asked hospitalists about changes in group size, the same pattern emerged. According to adult hospitalists, their group picked up 3.45 new FTE physicians in the previous year, compared to 1.88 new FTE physicians for pediatric hospitalist groups.
Both adult and pediatric hospitalist groups, however, report losing a similar number of physicians, with adult hospitalists saying their group lost 1.77 FTEs and pediatric groups losing 1.83 FTE physicians.
In terms of nonphysicians, adult hospitalists say they work with significantly more FTE clinicians than their pediatric colleagues. Adult hospitalists report an average of 4.65 FTE nonphysician clinicians, while pediatric hospitalists report an average of 3.12.
Regional, employment differences
For adult hospitalist groups, geography plays a key role in group size. Groups are smallest in the Mountain region, where adult hospitalists work in groups that are 15.44 FTE physicians, on average.
Hospitalist groups in the Pacific region, by comparison, report a staggering group size of 34.22 FTEs, dwarfing groups in all other regions. The second largest groups are in the Midwest, but adult hospitalists there report an average group size of only 17.42 FTE physicians.
Among adult hospitalist groups, employer type also makes a big difference. The smallest groups tend to work for national hospitalist management companies, with adult hospitalists in that setting reporting an average group size of 13.64 FTEs. Hospitalists at universities and medical schools, by comparison, report an average group size of 24.53 FTE physicians.