“We were all shocked at how quickly the administration was able to recruit new subspecialists to the area,” Dr. Leyhane says. “That helped get the profitable procedures back to the hospital.”
The biggest surprise came at the end of 2008. Patient volume had risen 11.5% higher than the hospital’s best-case predictions. “As a result of our emerging from under the umbrella of one physician group, the outlying physicians became less fearful that they might lose their patients to that group,” Dr. Leyhane says. “And in good faith, we still maintain a coverage arrangement with that IM group.”
Thus, what was first seen as a bad thing turned into a very good thing for both the hospitalist group and the hospital. Auburn Memorial posted a $3.1 million profit in 2008 (see Table 1).
Dr. Leyhane suggests HM group leaders facing similar financial crunches talk to area subspecialists and find out what it would take to get them affiliated with their institution.
“In our case, a stable hospitalist program was definitely one of their top requests,” Dr. Leyhane says, adding it also would be beneficial to include PCPs in the “what do you want from our hospital?” conversation. TH
Andrea M. Sattinger is a freelance writer based in North Carolina.
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