On behalf of SHM’s Practice Analysis Committee, I’m thrilled to introduce the 2018 State of Hospital Medicine Report (SoHM) and the resumption of this monthly Survey Insights column written by committee members.
It’s a bit like giving birth. A 9-month–long process that started last January with the excitement of launching the survey and encouraging hospital medicine groups (HMGs) to participate. Then the long, drawn-out process of validating and analyzing data, and organizing it into tables and charts, watching our baby grow and take shape before our eyes, with a few small hiccups along the way. Then graphic design and the agonizing process of copy editing – over and over until our eyes crossed – and printing.
Like all expectant parents, by August we were saying, “Enough already; when will this ever end?”
But we finally have a baby, and what proud parents we are! Here are a couple of key things you should know about the 2018 SoHM:
- The total number of HMGs participating in this year’s survey was marginally lower than in 2016 (569 this year vs. 595 in 2016), but the respondent groups are much more diverse. While more than half of respondent HMGs (52%) are employed by hospitals or health systems, multistate management companies employ 25%, and universities or their affiliates employ 12%. More pediatric hospitalist groups (38) and HMGs that serve both adults and children (31) participated this year, compared with 2016, and almost twice as many academic HMGs participated as in the previous survey (96 this year vs. 59 in 2016).
- The survey content is more wide-ranging than ever. As usual, SHM licensed hospitalist compensation and productivity data from the Medical Group Management Association for inclusion in this report, and the SoHM also covers just about every other aspect of hospitalist group structure and operations imaginable. In addition to traditional questions regarding scope of services, staffing and scheduling models, leadership configuration, and financial support, this year’s report includes new information on:
- Hospitalist comanagement roles with surgical and medical subspecialties.
- Information about unfilled positions and how they are covered (including locum tenens use).
- Utilization of dedicated daytime admitters.
- Prevalence of geographic or unit-based assignment models.
- Responsibility for CPT code selection.
- Amount of financial support per wRVU.
The report has retained its colorful, easy-to-read report layout and the user-friendly interface of the digital version. And because we have more diversity this year with regard to HMG employment models, we have been able to reintroduce findings by employment model.
The 2018 SoHM report is now available for purchase at. I encourage you to obtain the SoHM report for yourself; you’ll almost certainly find more than one interesting and useful tidbit of information. Use the report to assess how your practice compares to your peers, but always keep in mind that surveys don’t tell you what should be – they tell you only what currently is.
New best practices not reflected in survey data are emerging all the time, and the ways others do things won’t always be right for your group’s unique situation and needs. Whether you are partners or employees, you and your colleagues “own” the success of your practice and are the best judges of what is right for you.
Leslie Flores, MHA, SFHM, is a partner with Nelson Flores Hospital Medicine Consultants, and a member of the SHM Practice Analysis Committee.