Are hospitalists doing their job too well?

Some specialists think so.

Apparently, some hospitalists are doing their job so well, that they are keeping specialist referrals down. Contrast that to the usual inpatient job by the community physician, where specialists were often consulted for routine problems.

These easy, money-making consults are drying up, leading to burgeoning turf battles: “Some specialists are even accusing the hospitalists of commandeering their patients and admitting them when they themselves should be admitting them as their primary doc. A smaller number of them are just annoyed that the hospitalists exist – since they liked the easy consults from the less comfortable internists who previously admitted unassigned patients.”

Part of the hospitalist’s rationale for existing is their ability to save the hospital money, and that means less referrals. I wonder if the reaction here is common in other hospitals nationwide.

topics: hospitalists, specialists