Doctors who practice primarily in hospitals might soon enter into unfamiliar waters as a demand grows for skilled nursing facilities (SNF), reports MedPage Today.
Coining the term “hospitalists” as a healthcare professional that mainly practices in a hospital, MedPage Today notes that the skill set for such workers in SNFs will become a “valuable tool,” as hospitals look to move patients into less-costly facilities post-discharge.
While supporters believe that these hospitalists can help fill a void in skilled nursing care, some believe that these professionals will not be up to the challenge of treating post-acute patients.
“These are seriously ill people for the most part, and primary care physicians—as we say in the South, bless their hearts—they don’t take care of acutely ill patients anymore,” said Larry Spratling, MD, chief medical officer at Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona.
Caring for this population in a cost-effective way becomes even more important in the nation’s current healthcare environment, especially as managed care plans are steering patients toward lower-cost care settings.
“I think this is a big growth area,” said Kerry Weiner—MD, chief medical officer at IPC, a North Hollywood, California hospitalist company—in the article. “I think it’s most appropriate for hospitalists and I think it’s proven to be effective.”
Written by Jason Oliva