Use of Hospitalists by Medicare Beneficiaries: A National Picture

CMS: 6/6/14

Objective: To describe the characteristics of hospitalists serving Medicare beneficiaries.
Data Sources: Medicare claims from 2009 and 2011 merged with the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System file for physician characteristics.
Study Design: Our construction of the Medicare Data on Physician Practice and Specialty (MD-PPAS) enabled identification of hospitalists based on the attending physician for Medicare admissions (medical and surgical) in 2009 and 2011.
Principal Findings: In 2011, hospitalists constituted 13.3% of physicians who designated their specialty as primary care and 4.4% of all physicians serving Medicare beneficiaries. Compared to other physicians, hospitalists were more likely to be female, under forty, and in large practices. More than a quarter of Medicare admissions had a hospitalist as the attending physician, though the rate was substantially higher for medical than surgical admissions (31.8% versus 11.3%). Between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of medical admissions with a hospitalist as the attending physician increased by roughly a quarter (from 25.7% to 31.8%). Read More