Saturday, November 19, 2011
Back in the good old days, the internists, pediatricians and family medicine docs woould come to the hospital and round or even have their office next to or attached to a hospital. The doctors lounge was a place to grab a cup of coffee and run into each other to discuss cases and keep peresonal contact to see if that other doc was someone you wanted touching your patients. Now there are hospitalists. The referring docs dont want to step foot in the hospital becuase they will be forced to sit on committee after endless JACHO/CMS committee, not to mention fight yet another computer system. So, they dont even apply for hospital privaledges anymore. To keep in contact and to help build good referral relationships, we periodically go out to their offices and say hello. Last week I went to a group of awesome internists. As we were sitting down over coffee, one of them said that they were closing their practice at the end of the year. I asked him why, and said it bluntsly, he and his partners are Bingo on the fuel to practice and they were having a flame out. He said that they all find that they have loss of autonomy, loss of control of their practice conditions and their time is being more and more wasted due to all the administraction and paperwork crap. He said, in fact they were going to shut down last year but with the stock market tanking they were hanging on to see what wass going to happen. They figure it isnt going to get better so its better to just fold up. I left their office dejected, and went to the next one. Their practice is breaking up, 2 of the three are calling it quits. I wonder how much of this is happening accross the country!