Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a hospitalist and what will they do?
A: Hospitalists are typically board certified Internal Medicine physicians employed by Apogee Physicians. They are dedicated to the acute care of hospitalized medical patients. They will be available to care for unassigned patients presenting to the Emergency Department who the ED physicians feel may require hospitalization or need an Internal Medicine consult. Additionally they are available to provide inpatient medical consults as requested by sub-specialist and to provide inpatient medical care to the patients of those primary care physicians that choose to enter into a service agreement with the hospitalist practice.
Q: How will giving up the inpatient practice benefit the referring physicians?
A:As referring physicians transfer care of their inpatient services to the hospitalist; they will be freed up to focus their energies on office visits or office procedures. As we know, PCP’s and sub-specialists are caring for a much sicker outpatient population; utilizing hospitalists will allow the referring physicians to devote more time on meeting the increasing needs of this population. Additionally, the referring physicians will be able to see more patients in the office. Some studies document that by eliminating hospital rounds that 4.5 hours/week/MD can be saved. For a primary care physician this is equivalent to approximately 13 extra visits/week and an annual revenue increase of $30,000 per year. Those numbers could be even higher for sub-specialists.
Q: Will the hospitalist program be a mandatory program?
A:No, hospitalist programs that are voluntary tend to be more successful. PCP’s may choose to arrange with the hospitalist group to provide their patients inpatient medical care; or they may choose to continue to provide inpatient medical care to their patients.
Q: What hours will the hospitalist be available?
A:The hospitalist will have an office located at each facility and will be available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week to provide services.
Q: Will the hospitalist practice also provide outpatient medical services?
A:No, the hospitalist practice will refer all patients to a PCP for follow-up and ongoing care. The patients will be instructed to see a PCP as soon as possible post discharge.
Q: How will the hospitalist program impact the sub-specialist?
A:The hospitalist will be available to provide Internal Medicine services to the hospitalized patient-allowing sub-specialist to increase productivity in the office. Sub-specialists will be consulted more appropriately to provide the specialty services as needed by the patients. Additionally, sub-specialists and surgeons will be able to consult the hospitalist group to manage medical issues on their primary patients as the need arises.
Q: How will the hospitalist choose a PCP for the unassigned patients?
A:The hospital will be asked to maintain a PCP call schedule. The unassigned patients will be given the name of the on call PCP to follow-up at the time of discharge. Additionally the hospitalist office will notify the on-call PCP of unassigned admissions that will be referred to his office for follow-up care.
Q: How will the hospitalist choose a sub-specialist?
A:Hospitalists will make every effort to consult the sub-specialist that the PCP normally uses providing the specialist is on the patient’s provider panel. The hospitalist group will elicit the PCP’s referral preferences as the PCP signs service agreements. In the case of the unassigned patient the hospitalist will make every effort to utilize the hospital’s sub-specialty call schedule.
Q: How will the PCP be assured that his patients will be returned to him for follow-up care?
A:The Apogee Hospitalists do not maintain an outpatient practice, thereby eliminating “competition” issues among the referring physicians. Additionally, the hospitalist practice will make every effort to identify the patient’s PCP. The hospitalist office will notify the PCP that his patient was admitted to the hospital and additionally he will be notified at the time of discharge from the hospital.
Q: What does the hospital hope to accomplish by providing a hospitalist program?
A:The goals of the hospitalist program are tailored to meet the individual needs of each of the hospitals. Most hospitals overall goal is to continue to focus on decreasing length of stay and costs per case of the inpatient population while maintaining and/or improving the overall quality of care to the patients.