Peggy Bodine-Reese and Bruce A. Nottingham: Bad idea for patients

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To the editor:

We noticed in the Saturday Morning Press that The Memorial Hospital Board is considering implementing the hospitalist system.

For what it’s worth, that is one of the worst ideas that could possibly happen to the Craig medical system from a patient’s point of view.

All you have to do is observe what has happened at St. Mary’s in Grand Junction to understand how poorly the hospitalist system works.

From what we have observed at St. Mary’s, the doctors who make up the hospitalists are the ones who can’t function in the real world, and require an artificial atmosphere in which to make a living.

We strongly urge The Memorial Hospital to look at this very carefully before committing to a welfare system for incompetent doctors.

Thank you.

Peggy Bodine-Reese

Bruce A. Nottingham

Meeker

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Comments

Cole White 3 years, 3 months ago

Peggy and Bruce,

Its fortunate for you and the rest of the community that The Memorial Hospital credentials and researches each of the physicians that have privileges at the hospital. Even part time and temporary doctors have to go through this process.

Most of the hospitalists that are employed through these types of staffing organizations are required to be board certified as a hospitalists. These are just normal physicians who don't want to practice in the same old manner and prefer to practice in the hospital environment where they see more complex cases, can develop their skills, and have large blocks of time off and not have the responsibility that comes with having a regular practice.

I think you can trust the hospital to make the decision that is the best for both the hospital and the people of moffat county on this matter.

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justoncrack 3 years, 3 months ago

With all due respect, the authors of this letter have no idea what they're talking about.

St Mary's in Grand Junction does an incredible job serving a huge number of patients from a large and diverse geographical service area. Any hospitalist working there is most certainly "working in the real world" often taking care of some of the most critical patients referred there by outlying rural hospitals like ours.

"A welfare system for incompetent doctors?" Whoa there partner. Board certified internal medicine docs specializing in hospital and critical care are probably far from incompetent. However, I'll humor the argument for a moment. Say we get an absolutely worthless hospitalist. What then? Well, after discussing this hospitalist proposal with a couple of TMH board members, my understanding is that TMH can request a replacement doc for any reason and that doc will be replaced within 12 hours. It's also my understanding that the agreement with the hospitalist company is a month to month contract. So if TMH or the greater Craig community is not satisfied with the level of service provided, there's no binding contract.

Bottom line. We are in desperate need of more medical providers in town and this is a great way to not only fill that void, but to actually increase the level and quality of patient care available in Craig.

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David Moore 3 years, 3 months ago

I have been through the privileging process at the hospital, trust me, it is not simple. The pile of documentation I had to provide was mind-boggling, they leave no stone unturned. I completely disagree with the letter.

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Jon Pfeifer 3 years, 3 months ago

This is being sold as a way to make the quality of life better for potential doctors that we want to recruit to the area. (And presumably to keep doctors who are here from leaving). My concern is that quite a bit of money is going to be spent on the hospitalists and I wonder if that money would be better spent in paying doctors who actually live in the area more for the time that they are on call. Those are the doctors we can see when we're not in the hospital after all, as they actually live here.

Unlike the concerns expressed in this letter, I don't think we will be stuck with incompetent doctors. It would be a terrible business plan for this company to hire incompetent doctors who would expose them to tremendous liabilities. I think the real unknown is how this will really impact the recruitment of other doctors to the area and the desire of doctors already here to stay. This article did a good job of speaking to a couple of doctors about their opinion, but the hospital will likely need to speak with all the physicians in the area before making a decision.

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David Moore 3 years, 3 months ago

The hospitalists pay will be generated through the billing process, just like any other physician, therefore they pay for themselves. Being on call is not a cakewalk, long hours, sleep deprivation and dual functions(hospital patients and clinic duties), can wear a physician down pretty quick. . The physicians will still be 100% involved in patient care and a hospitalist will lessen the amount of physicians one patient can see in a stay at the hospital and decrease the amount of call they have to take. It is also helpful to the Steamboat surgeons because they will not have to drive up here every single day to see a post op patient. With the option to cancel the contract at any time, I believe it is worth a shot, and, this is my opinion only, I believe the medical community in Craig pretty much feels the same way. This is only in the discovery phase right now, many options and concerns need to be addressed before a final decision is made. This is by no means set in stone yet..

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