Hospital medicine is a medical specialty focused on comprehensive medical care for hospitalized patients. Hospitalists are specialists in hospital medicine. They are physicians who are specifically trained to care for patients who have been admitted to a hospital.
Safer, Higher Quality Care for Hospitalized Patients
MaineHealth hospitalists manage and treat a wide range of complex diseases and conditions. They usually serve as your primary care provider (PCP) while you are hospitalized—ordering tests, prescribing medication and coordinating specialty care as needed. After you leave the hospital, your hospitalist will also coordinate post-discharge care with your regular PCP if needed.
Where to Find Care
Information and Resources
Inpatient care means you need to be admitted to the hospital. Your condition requires the technology, medical expertise and 24/7 care that a hospital provides.
If you know in advance that you will need inpatient care at a hospital stay, call your insurance provider to find out what will be covered. You may also contact the MaineHealth billing and financial services team to ask about cost estimates and prices.
MaineHealth provides transparent pricing information to help you plan for your financial responsibilities and make informed health care decisions. You have the right to receive a "Good Faith Estimate" explaining how much your medical care will cost you.
If you are covered by Medicare, your hospital status (inpatient or outpatient) affects your payment. Learn more.
In addition to managing the clinical care of hospitalized patients, hospitalists support the implementation of evidence-based guidelines and practices to facilitate optimal continuity of care and enhance the performance of hospitals and health care systems by:
- Managing day-to-day care and providing prompt and complete attention to all patient care needs including diagnosis, treatment and the performance of medical procedures (within their scope of practice)
- Employing quality and process improvement techniques and practices to make the hospital a safer place and improve patient outcomes
- Facilitating collaboration, communication, and coordination with all physicians, health care personnel, and care team members caring for hospitalized patients
- Supporting safe transitioning of patient care within the hospital, and from the hospital to the community, which may include oversight of care in post-acute care facilities
- Practicing efficient and judicious use of hospital and health care resources
Through these practices, hospitalists provide efficient care delivery and improve clinical outcomes, reducing mortality rates, enhancing care coordination, preventing hospital-acquired infections and facilitating transitions of care. Learn more.
Yes. Each day the doctors caring for you will meet to discuss your care. This sharing of information helps to determine the best treatment for you.
Hospitalist physicians usually begin patient visits at 7 am each morning. The sickest patients are seen first. On most days, patients will be seen before 1 pm in the afternoon. The hospitalist may visit you more than once a day.
Please do. You and your family are encouraged to ask questions. Ask your doctor to explain anything you do not understand. The more you understand about your illness and treatment, the better you will be able to manage your condition after you are discharged from the hospital.
The hospitalist team and care coordinator will work with you to understand and support your post-discharge needs. Tell your hospital doctor or the care coordinator if you need assistance (nursing, domestic, meals, transportation, counseling or financial assistance). Your hospital team will coordinate care with your primary care provider.
Make an appointment to see your primary care provider after your hospitalization. They will coordinate your ongoing care and recovery including prescription refills, testing and/or rehabilitation.
Inability to pay for care will never prevent you from receiving medically-necessary services. MaineHealth offers financial counseling and programs that can assist you with your health care bill.
MaineHealth provides free interpreter services. For assistance, please call the MaineHealth organization that is most convenient for you.