A hospitalist sees the patient each day they are in the hospital and directs their treatment and care. If tests, a procedure or consultations with specialists are needed, the hospitalist makes these requests. A patient and their family are encouraged to ask questions and discuss their care with the hospitalist. Hospitalists are available for inpatient care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Benefits of hospitalists overseeing your care in the hospital
A hospitalist cares for patients only in the hospital and has no outside medical practice. This allows hospitalists to devote their full attention to care for and treat patients in the hospital. Studies have shown that hospitalized patients feel more satisfied and tend to have better medical outcomes when cared for by a hospitalist.
The relationship between your hospitalist and primary care provider
After a patient is admitted to the hospital, the hospitalist communicates with their primary care physician about their medical history, medications and plan of care. The hospitalist also contacts a patient's primary care provider if there are any major changes in their medical status or treatment. When a patient is discharged, the hospitalist provides them with discharge instructions and arranges for any prescriptions they need. A timely discharge summary of detailed findings and treatment plans is sent to the patient's primary care provider. For follow-up treatment of their condition, the patient is encouraged to make an appointment with their primary care provider.
How Hospital Medicine bills for its services
The Hospitalist Program will bill a patient's insurance for services incurred during their hospitalization. Services provided by the hospitalist team (physician or health care provider) will be billed separately. An additional hospital bill will be issued that covers the hospital/facility fee (e.g. room, supplies, etc.).