January 31, 2012
The Lima News article Saturday about St. Rita's CEO Jim Reber was nice and well deserved. Mr. Reber has done a lot for St. Rita's.The story mentioned that Mr. Reber took St. Rita's Professional Services from a physician of one to 30 physicians (or hospitalists, as they are called at St. Rita's) and 11 nurse practitioners. It also mentions that physicians are foregoing private practice in favor of joining St. Rita's Professional Services. What physician wouldn't pick fewer hours, probably more money, no office to run, no overhead and staff to worry about? The problem is that with the exception of a few, those physicians only take care of patients while they are hospitalized if the patient doesn't have their own admitting physician. If a patient is treated by one of these “hospitalists” and they don't have their own physician, there is no one to take over their health care when they are discharged. People such as myself that have many health problems need a general internist to manage their health care. Most general internists admit their patients to the hospital when necessary; family doctors do not admit their patients to the hospital.In addition, when under the care of the hospitalists, many times, you don't have the same hospitalist every day of your hospitalization. I feel this doesn't give the patient the continuity of care that is required to adequately take care of patients.Again, Mr. Reber has done an excellent job of bringing St. Rita's forward. I wish some of those excellent hospitalists had not closed their private practice so that patients have a choice for their health care.