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EXTENSIVISTS: 300 patients per physician typical caseload

One trend that has been in effect for some time in the delivery of health care is standardization — in other words, using documented, evidence-based practices.  The authors discuss reasons why standardization has been a powerful trend.  They then contrast this with the trend toward experimentation — in the creative destruction [buzzword!] of existing business models.

This whole article is interesting, but I’d like to highlight a small portion given to a discussion of extensivists, also called ambulatory intensivists at one integrated delivery system studied by the authors.  First of all, what are extensivists?  Probably actually a team, led by an internist and staffed by physician extenders.  The team’s goal is “to keep the sickest 10 percent of a population out of the hospital.”  Think about that for a minute.

Going back to my days working for consultants, I’ve always enjoyed finding actual, real, useful numbers in the health care literature, so here is the one that I especially like in this article:

  • “The patient load per physician [extensivist] generally is low, with about 300 being typical.” (page 43)

Source: Moore, K.D., Coddington, D.C., and Eyestone, K.M. (2014, Nov.) The assault on common care models. HFM. Healthcare Financial Management. 68(11), 42-44, 46. Retrieved from https://www.hfma.org/Content.aspx?id=25747  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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