Specialists can vary in their treatment of patients, so it is best to document their expectations at the onset of the relationship. Also, successful co-management is contingent upon regular communication between the hospitalist and the specialist. It is important to establish those boundaries in advance to prevent miscommunication down the road.
In particular, the agreement should explicitly describe the lines of authority and how conflicts will be addressed.
Co-management is a growing trend that can provide an opportunity for hospitalists to expand their practice and reinforce their value to both specialists and the hospital. The improved quality of care and patient satisfaction that is associated with hospitalist services can be crucial to maximizing reimbursement under a value-based reimbursement system. TH