A common trend among hospitals today appears to be the hiring of hospitalists rather than primary care physicians or specialists (PCP) for patient care. According to the Society of Hospital Medicine, 40 percent of hospitals in the United States employ hospitalists. One reason hospitalists are in demand is that they are able to provide around-the-clock care in the facility, whereas PCPs spend more time with patients in an office setting. Also, with the reduction of hours a resident can work, many hospitals have employed hospitalists to help assure that continuity of care is not disrupted. Many insurance companies also are endorsing the use of hospitalists. Some insurers require their PCPs to transfer the care of their hospitalized patients to hospitalists. However, because of the backlash from PCPs, regarding mandatory care transfer programs, some insurance companies have instituted different voluntary transfer of care program models. In other cases, some physician group practices have created their own hospitalist programs.
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