Hospitals Urged To Create Chief Primary Care Medical Officer Position

Hospitalists have been with us a long time, but the coordination of a patient’s care might take some executive action, argue the authors of a proposal in the Annals of Family Medicine. Hospitalists are primary care physicians (PCPs) employed by hospitals and charged with managing the care of patients as they move from floor to floor and specialist to specialist.

As authors Noemi Doohan, MD, and Jennifer DeVoe, MD, see it, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. In fact, they say that the “Achilles heel of hospitalist medicine … is discontinuity.” They envision the primary care medical officer working 25% of the time as a hospital clinician, 25% of the time in an outpatient clinic setting, and 50% of the time in an executive position.

“For hospitals operating on value-based payment structures, anticipated improvement in measurable outcomes such as decreased length of stay, decreased readmission rates, improved transitions of care, improved patient satisfaction, improved access to primary care, and improved patient health, will enhance the rate of return on the hospital’s investment,” Doohan and DeVoe write. “The specialty of family medicine should reevaluate our purpose, and re-embrace our mission as personal physicians by championing the creation of chief primary care medical officers.”

Source: Annals of Family Medicine