Home From The Editor Comanagement: a constant in hospital medicine

Comanagement: a constant in hospital medicine

October 2010

Published in the October 2010 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

Not all hospitalists love the idea of comanaging surgery patients, but if the stories in this month’s issue are any indication, comanagement is a major factor pushing the growth of the specialty.

Our cover story, for example, points out that comanagement is one of the key trends fueling the continued growth of hospitalist groups. The article notes that other developments like pending health care reform are keeping the pressure on hospitalist groups to do more “and to add more physicians. But at the end of the day, the seemingly insatiable demand for help from hospitalists in managing other physicians’ patients is still critical to the specialty’s growth.

That point is also made in one of features in this issue. While the idea of neurosurgical comanagement still makes many hospitalists nervous, programs all over the country are receiving requests for help from neurosurgeons. (And according this issue’s poll, more than half of surveyed hospitalists “52.8% “claim they provide neurosurgery comanagement.) Our feature reports on how two hospitalists have managed those requests, keeping referring physicians happy “and neurosurgery patients safe.

It’s no coincidence that we’re running these stories in the same issue. Looking, again, at poll figures, the vast majority of hospitalists (60% or more) provide several surgical and medical comanagement service lines.

We’ve heard about specialists who dump their patients on hospitalists and disappear, and the referring physicians who want comanagement help only at night or on weekends. We’ve also heard about hospitalist groups pressured into taking on services that they don’t really have the staff for just end up putting all their patients more at risk.

But the reality is that comanagement is a major driving force behind hospital medicine, one that’s not going away any time soon.

edoyleEdward Doyle
Editor & Publisher