And, we had our largest poster session ever, with more than 200 submissions, and our largest exhibit hall. We plan to take it up a notch in San Diego in April.
Advocacy and Policy
Our presence in Washington, D.C., allows us to be active in Medicare payment reform. SHM leadership has met with senior staff at MedPAC, the organization that makes recommendations to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Congress. MedPAC is interested in working with SHM as Medicare attempts to move away from paying for just visits and procedures and toward reimbursement strategies that drive performance and efficiency.
Current, Future Initiatives
In June, SHM forged a partnership with the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) and the Association of Chiefs of General Internal Medicine to hold an academic summit to develop strategies for academic hospitalists to have a strong and sustainable career in teaching, training, and research in hospital medicine. When the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine developed its proposal to redesign internal medicine training, SHM took the lead in crafting the hospitalist response.
In July, we joined the SGIM and American College of Physicians to hold a consensus conference on transitions of care. This coalition of more than 25 organizations produced a statement as the basis for future standards and measurements. Also in July, SHM worked with key leaders in emergency medicine and others to redefine the management and opportunities in observation units.
We held a multidisciplinary workforce summit in November to examine the challenges and solutions in growing hospital medicine from 20,000 to 40,000 or more physicians.
While at times we may seem to focus more on internal-medicine-trained hospitalists, who make up more than 80% of the field, SHM continues to include hospitalists in family medicine and pediatrics, among other specialties. We also are home to nonphysician providers and physician assistants. We are working to support academic hospitalists, small groups, and multistate companies. In our toughest tightrope walk, SHM continues to be relevant and supportive of labor and management in hospital medicine.
Looking to 2008
The growth and influence of hospital medicine is relentless. Maybe 2008 is the year we will see hospitalists practicing in more than 3,000 hospitals or see the specialty grow to more than 25,000 hospitalists. One thing is for sure: SHM, with your suggestions, ideas, and energy, will be on the front lines with you, supporting and advocating a better healthcare system. TH
Dr. Wellikson is CEO of SHM.