Home From The Editor Getting a leg up on health care reform

Getting a leg up on health care reform

April 2012

Published in the April 2012 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

WHAT DOES HEALTH CARE REFORM MEAN FOR HOSPITALISTS? In this month’s cover story, we examine the possibilities by talking to five hospitalist groups that are gearing up for changes being driven by the Affordable Care Act.

For some of you, life after “and in preparation for “reform will mean working in bigger groups with new infrastructure to meet a host of new rules and regulations. For others, the internal organization of your group will probably change more than its size.

Our cover story finds evidence that as hospitals get ready for health care reform, hospitalists are definitely being affected. But what’s interesting is that many of those efforts aren’t exactly new to hospitalists.

Whether it’s working with NPs to improve post-discharge care or streamlining communications with primary care physicians to drive down readmission rates, several of the initiatives we profile will probably sound familiar to you. That’s because as a specialty, hospital medicine has been busy for years working on issues that now have much more visibility under health care reform.

There’s certainly a greater sense of urgency to implement these initiatives because of the financial consequences spelled out in the health care reform law. But the good news for hospital medicine is that the specialty is well-prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.

With the Supreme Court scheduled to review the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act this spring, there’s been a lot of talk about whether health care reform will survive. But the reality is that at least some of the major goals of the legislation “improving the quality and efficiency of care “will remain, no matter what the judicial outcome.

In the long run, that’s probably a good thing for hospitalists.

edoyleEdward Doyle
Editor & Publisher