The status of hospital medicine groups in the United States.

Peter D. Kralovec, Joseph A. Miller, Laurence Wellikson, Jeanne M. Huddleston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Hospitalists, defined as hospital-based physicians who take responsibility for managing the medical needs of inpatients, represent a significant trend in physician specialization. However, only limited anecdotal data quantifying the status of hospital medicine groups around the country is available. OBJECTIVE: To better understand the extent and nature of the hospitalist movement, utilizing data from the 2003 Annual Survey of the American Hospital Association (AHA). STUDY POPULATION: 4895 acute care hospitals in the United States. MEASUREMENTS: Number and percentage of hospitals with hospital medicine groups; mean number of hospitalists per group; hospitalists per average daily census (ADC) of 100 patients; distribution of groups by employment model. DESCRIPTIVE VARIABLES: Census region; rural/urban status; number of beds; organizational control; teaching status. RESULTS: There are approximately 1415 hospital medicine groups and 11,159 hospitalists in the United States. The overall penetration of hospital medicine groups at hospitals is 29% (55% at hospitals with 200 or more beds), and the in-hospital impact at hospitals with hospital medicine groups is 3.93 hospitalists per 100 ADC. The average hospital medicine group has 7.9 hospitalists. There is a fairly equal distribution among the 3 major employment models for hospital medicine groups: hospital employees, independent provider groups, and physician groups. All these measures can vary substantially, depending on the characteristics of individual hospitals. CONCLUSIONS: Hospital medicine appears to have become part of the mainstream delivery of health care in the United States. No employment model of hospital medicine group appears to dominate this specialty. We expect there will continue to be growth and diversity in the implementation of hospital medicine groups. (c) 2006 Society of Hospital Medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of hospital medicine (Online)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Internal Medicine
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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