Developing a quantitative history of the hospitalist movement, its effect on patient care quality and the practice of medicine in the United States

The Foundation's Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Program was designed to produce major works from senior and new investigators that would add to the health policy field's knowledge base.The emergence of hospitalists -- physicians who specialize in the medical care of hospitalized patients -- represents a major transformation in the practice of modern American medicine. Over the past decade, the field has grown from a few hundred physicians to more than 20,000. David O. Meltzer, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine and an associate faculty member in the Harris School and in the department of economics at the University of Chicago, believes that many factors may have contributed to this growth -- from shifts in the nature and organization of primary care to Medicare payment incentives that make it more profitable for hospitals to discharge patients quickly.His project investigates the rise of the hospitalist movement, its effects on the organization of patient care in hospitals and ambulatory care settings, the potential contributions of hospitalists to improving health care quality, and how their emergence might help inform broader efforts aimed at reorganizing the practice of medicine. His findings should shed light on some of the forces and special interests at play in rethinking the roles of primary care physicians and medical specialists in the United States.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $334,998.00

Awarded on: 8/18/2008

Time frame: 9/1/2008 - 9/30/2015

Grant Number: 63910


University of Chicago

5801 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago, 60637-1539


David Owen Meltzer
Project Director