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Opelousas General Health System Hospitalist Program

What Is a Hospitalist?

Hospitalists are physicians whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Services include patient care, teaching, research and leadership related to Hospital Medicine. Most Hospitalists have no office practice and are Internal Medicine trained, though some are Family Practice, Pediatrics or other specialties.

What is an Opelousas General Health System Hospitalist?

Opelousas General Health System Hospitalists assume the role of either the admitting/attending physician or consultant, applying the latest knowledge in Hospitalist Medicine to ensure superior outcomes. Our Hospitalists develop an intimate familiarity with the hospital system and the people who work within it, expediting care from admission through discharge and streamlining the hospitalization process for every patient.

As solely a hospital-based specialty, our Hospitalists are available to respond immediately to the needs of referring colleagues and their hospitalized patients. When patients are ready for discharge they are referred back to their primary care physician if they have one; or if they do not, to a local primary care practice accepting new patients.

What Does a Hospitalist Do?

Hospitalists, like their primary care colleagues in the hospital, strive to deliver top-notch bedside patient care to each patient they encounter, but Hospitalists go one step further. Hospitalists function as the quarterback for the patient's healthcare team, taking a direct role in managing the overall "case," not simply the patient's medical illness.

On a larger level, Hospitalists act as system improvement engineers, identifying and working closely with the hospital and medical staff to improve the way healthcare is delivered at the system level - improving patient care for all patients at the hospital.

Benefits of the Hospitalist Program

A hospitalist program provides many benefits to patients, the hospital, and the community:

  • Accessibility: As a hospital-based practice, our Hospitalists are usually just down the hall, allowing for immediate intervention. You can contact our hospitalists throughout the day when you or your family have questions.
  • More time for your primary care provider: Because Hospitalists are in the hospital during the day, primary care physicians can be in their office with fewer delays and interruptions. Relieved of time-consuming inpatient demands, patients will see improved access to their physicians, resulting in improved and timelier patient care.
  • Improved coordination: Specialists who co-manage patients with Hospitalists can make more time in their schedule for patients. Our Hospitalists can perform emergent medical clearances for procedures and manage the plethora of administrative burdens that accompany the hospitalization process, allowing specialists to focus on what they have trained for: their specialty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Hospital own the practice?

No, the Hospitalist service is operated by Schumacher Group and staffed by Independent Contractors who receive advanced education and training in Hospitalist Services.

Does the Hospitalist see every patient in the hospital?

No, unlike "house doctors" of long ago, our Hospitalists only see patients referred to them either by the patient's own primary care physician or specialist. Often patients without a doctor who present to the ER and require admission are assigned to the hospitalist service.

Who pays for the Hospitalists?

The practice, like most other physicians in the hospital, bills patients and/or their insurance directly.

Does the Practice treat outpatients?

No, the Hospitalists see patients only in the hospital during their hospital stay. Our Hospitalists maintain no outpatient practice.