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Hospitalists Seek Parity With Hospitals

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, December 16, 2010

Healthcare reform is setting off a multitude of repercussions throughout the U.S. healthcare system, not least of which is the changing relationship between physicians and hospitals.

In last September's HealthLeaders Media's intelligence report, Physician Alignment in an Era of Change, many survey respondents said they believed that hospital and physician relationships would continue to be strained in the wake of healthcare reform. They also said that hospitals planned to employ a greater percentage of physicians over the next several years.

With more employment, and increasing strain, it is clear that physicians and hospitals will continually need to work on alignment issues. One of the most significant areas of potential change in those relationships may involve hospitalists, whose numbers are increasing.

Even though there may be stress with physicians, hospitals view hospitalists as valuable partners in improving quality of care, and rightfully so. In a recent report, more than half—57% - of C-suite leaders in California expected to increase their hospitalist programs within the next two years, according to a study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

That's no surprise to Adam Singer, MD, chairman and CEO of IPC the Hospitalist Company, based in North Hollywood, CA was one of the pioneers in the hospitalist development in the 1990s.

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