In an effort to hold down hospital costs, patients are often transferred to less costly facilities to continue their recovery. This trend presents a new career opportunity for those hospital staff physicians, known as hospitalists, to expand and continue their vital roles, according to a MedPage article.
Hospitalists in the long-term care setting are also referred to as “transitionalists” or “SNFists.” At the recent Society of Hospital Medicine annual meeting, Dr Larry Spratling, chief medical officer at Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona, said of hospitalists, “You’ll continue to be vital and probably even more vital as we try to improve this post-hospital piece of care.”
In 2009, Dr. Paul Katz recommended the creation of a nursing home medical specialty in an Annals of Internal Medicine article. The American Medical Directors Association, a group dedicated to long-term care, is also developing a set of core competencies for nursing home physicians.
The 30 percent of hospitalists expected to transition to skilled nursing will havesome issues to contend with including learning more about care issues such as depression and pain management. They also will have to deal with a less-trained staff such as nursing assistants.