Arguing against hospitalists

This writer wants life to go back to the old (pre-hospitalist) days:

Somewhat reduced length of hospital stays and lower costs are touted by the hospital and health insurance industries–but hospitalists with subspecialties actually raise costs, and I am aware of no studies of overall costs or number of readmissions after the initial hospital stay.

In-house hospitalist programs do not typically pay their own way, and we needn’t wonder who will end up with the tab. It is also important to note that most studies evaluating these programs have been done from the point of view of the primary care physician and include only “perceived” notions of patient satisfaction . . .

. . . All physicians, meanwhile, might consider the proposition that a doctor without a hospital is like a student without a classroom. It is better to burn out from stress than boredom.

The primary care physician, who is paid less to fix a child than a plumber to fix a faucet, is under mortal attack by a legal system that takes no prisoners and insurance companies whose executives bring home unimaginable salaries –$124.8 million to the CEO of UnitedHealthcare, which is enough to cover the average health insurance premiums of 34,000 people.

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