Published in the June 2011 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
2011 is shaping up to be a busy year for hospitalists. The buzz is centering on how the implementation of health care reform will affect hospitalists, and the consensus seems to be that it will be a boon for the specialty.
This month’s cover story takes a look at how hospitals are responding to the coming wave of reform- related regulations. Many are building large, integrated networks by hiring both primary care physicians and specialists.
Hospital medicine appears poised to enter a new era, one in which hospitalists not only care for more patients, but take on nonclinical duties that help their hospitals cope with aspects of health care reform. While growth is a good thing, some hospitalists are understandably nervous about what the future will bring.
Many hospitalists feel like they’re barely keeping their heads above water with their current patient loads. They wonder how they’ll squeeze in an extra three patients “or more “per shift when their hospital increases its referral base seemingly overnight.
Others wonder exactly what their new duties in the post-reform landscape will look like. Hospitalists sometimes feel like they’re being dumped upon (our story on falls services touches on this theme) and are leery of “new challenges.”
The road will likely be bumpy, but it’s an exciting time for health care as a whole and hospital medicine in particular. I know I’m looking forward to covering it in these pages.
Editor & Publisher