KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Hospitalists Help Coordinate Care, Reduce Hospital Costs

The New York Times reports on hospitalists, members of "America's fastest-growing medical specialty. Over a decade, this breed of physician-administrator has increasingly taken over the care of the hospitalized patient. ... Because hospitalists are on top of everything that happens to a patient - from entry through treatment and discharge - they are largely credited with reducing the length of hospital stays by anywhere from 17 to 30 percent, and reducing costs by 13 to 20 percent, according to studies in The Journal of the American Medical Association. As their numbers have grown, from 800 in the 1990s to 30,000 today, medical experts have come to see hospitalists as potential leaders in the transition to the Obama administration's health care reforms, to be phased in by 2014" (Gross, 5/26).

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