4. The Surgeon General Is a Hospitalist
Any specialty’s annual meeting would be lucky to get the U.S. Surgeon General as a plenary speaker, but HM16 featured one of its own in hospitalist and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA.
Dr. Murthy kicked off the confab in San Diego, and some 4,000 hospitalists listened to one of their own talk about ascending the highest perch a physician can attain in the federal government.7 Dr. Murthy, previously a hospitalist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, was confirmed as the 19th Surgeon General in December 2014.
In an address titled “Bringing Health to America,” Dr. Murthy inspired with tales of hope and encouraged hospitalists to make the pursuit of healthy appealing while improving the safety of our communities. In particular, he suggested hospitalists look to leverage their leadership to improve systems and to be a powerful force of change both inside the walls of their institution and in their communities.
“In the end, the world gets better when people choose to come together to make it better,” he said.8
5. Nurse Practitioner Joins SHM Board of Directors
At HM16, Tracy Cardin, ACNP-BC, SFHM, was the first nurse practitioner (NP) or physician assistant (PA) given voting privileges on the society’s oversight panel.
“I can’t describe to you how passionately I believe that [NPs and PAs] have a huge role moving forward,” Cardin said. “I think our representation, our visibility, has sort of been flabby and kind of under the wire for a long time. We can really impact the design of care models at the bedside in a way that’s innovative and more efficient and in a way that’s really huge. I think there’s a transformation that’s going to be coming, and we’re going to be a huge part of it.”9
With Cardin’s ascension, it has added the voice of another constituency to its board. She was previously chair of SHM’s Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant Committee and in 2015 received the society’s Award in Excellence in Hospital Medicine for NPs and PAs. She has been at the University of Chicago for about 10 years.
“It does send a message to the rest of our membership that SHM values those other constituencies and that this is not a physician membership organization but rather a membership organization comprised of people who are interested in improving healthcare for our hospitalized patients,” immediate past president Robert Harrington Jr., MD, SFHM said.10
6. The State of Hospital Medicine Is Strong
According to the biennial 2016 State of Hospital Medicine Report6 from SHM and partially populated by data from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), median compensation for adult hospitalists rose 10% to $278,746 from 2013 to 2015. The double-digit increase continues the steady climb of hospitalist pay, which is up 30% since 2010. At the same time, productivity is flattening.
And nearly all HM groups (HMGs)—96%—are still getting financial support, mostly from their host hospitals, in addition to their professional fee revenue. However, that median support, $157,535 per full-time employee (FTE), increased just 1%.
The slowing growth in that contribution is a harbinger that the level of financial support can no longer grow unabated, said Leslie Flores, MHA, a partner in Nelson Flores Hospital Medicine Consultants and a member of SHM’s Practice Analysis Committee.
“We’re pretty close to that breaking point,” she said. “When we go around the country and do consulting work, we are hearing many more hospital leaders telling us, ‘We’re concerned about how much money this program is costing us, and we are getting to the point where we can’t afford it.’”6