The Appropriate Role of the Hospital

October 3, 2014 4:49 PM

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The Appropriate Role of the Hospital

Hospitals are often the most convenient setting for patients to receive care. Unfortunately, hospitals also are by far the highest cost setting. Current health care spending is already almost $3 trillion and greater than 17 percent of GDP per 2012 figures. With many patients living longer with chronic illness, the Baby Boomer generation entering Medicare age, and the latest Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) projections forecasting an increase in growth of health care expenditures, reining in costs is at the forefront of any health care discussion. One major factor in containing costs is a paradigm shift in how we view hospital-based (i.e. inpatient) care.

Through my experience first as a resident and now as an attending internal medicine physician, I've noticed a persistent disconnect between patient and provider expectations for inpatient care. When patients are admitted to the hospital, especially those with multiple co-morbidities and preexisting ...

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