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Mandatory "Hospitalists".

One particularly odious edict of HMOs is their mandate for the use of "hospitalists." Glenn E. Bryan, Jr., MD, Florida Medical Association president, is quoted in the article "Doctors decry mandatory hospitalists," American Medical News, May 24/31, 1999, page 19: "We oppose any efforts to take patients away from physicians involuntarily. We feel strongly this constitutes unwarranted intrusion by a managed care plan into the physician-patient relationship."

The hospitalist system is one in which the patient's own physician is excluded from caring for his patient after admission to a hospital. The hospitalist works for the insurance company and is usually unknown to the patient. The goal is to minimize use of medical services and to maximize profits of the insurance company and the hospital.

The article listed 23 medical societies, including the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, that are fighting mandatory hospitalist programs. Notably absent from the list were the American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery, and the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. Anyone who has had contact with the hospitalist system will know that it is not in patients' best interest. We can help by urging our societies to join in the opposition to the hospitalist program.

JACK L. PULEC, MD

Editor-in-Chief

EAR, NOSE AND THROAT JOURNAL
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Publication:Ear, Nose and Throat Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 1999
Words:217
Next Article:Congenital atresia of the external auditory canal.
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