American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®


What’s old is new again: Hospitals move to buy internists’ practices

From the October ACP Internist, copyright © 2009 by the American College of Physicians

Internists looking to sell their practices today may find a familiar taker: their local hospital. As in the 1990s, many hospitals are once again ready and eager to purchase private practices in order to increase referrals and pump up their revenue streams. While the previous trend fizzled out in a wave of mismanagement, this time hospitals seem better equipped to handle the practices they buy. But although for internists the chance to spend less time on administration and more time practicing medicine may seem too good to pass up, selling also has its potential downsides. It’s important to know what to look for when a hospital wants to make a deal. In our cover story, Rochelle Nataloni examines why this trend is resurfacing now and what internists need to know to successfully negotiate a sale.

After a stroke, patients need specialized care, and their primary care physicians are best positioned to coordinate it. But with stroke research and best practices changing daily, that can be a challenge. For example, a recent study conducted in the VA system found that two-thirds of patients who’d had a stroke had discontinued their antithrombotic medications within six months after leaving the hospital, and another found that only two-thirds of stroke patients who smoked had been counseled to quit. Bonnie Darves discusses strategies to improve care quality in post-stroke patients and summarizes current research on antiplatelet use, physical therapy, and prevention of recurrence.

With the time pressures internists face, it’s gotten harder to find an opportunity to ask patients about supplements they may be taking. The additional five or ten minutes can be well worth it, however, since many seemingly harmless herbs and natural remedies can cause serious adverse effects when taken with common medications. Learn which supplements are the most blatant offenders, including why some experts consider St. John’s wort the poster child for potential harm.

We’d like to know: Have you sold your practice to a hospital, or do you have tips for handling discussions with patients about supplement use? Tell us about it.

Jennifer Kearney-Strouse


ACP Internist Weekly

From the March 24, 2015 edition

View issue

Subscribe online

If you enjoy ACP Internist, sign up for ACP InternistWeekly, an electronic newsletter that covers the latest news in medicine. Click here to subscribe.

Join ACP Internist on Twitter

Get updates automatically and connect with members and other doctors by following ACP Internist's Twitter feed.

ACP Career Connection

Looking for a new internal medicine or subspecialty position?

ACP Career Connection can help you find your next job in internal medicine. Search internist and subspecialist positions nationwide that suit your criteria and preferences. Jobs are posted about two weeks before print publication of Annals of Internal Medicine, ACP Internist, and ACP Hospitalist. Exclusive “Online Direct” opportunities are updated weekly. Check us out online.

What will you learn from your Annals Virtual Patient?

Annals Virtual Patient

Annals Virtual Patients is a unique patient care simulator that mirrors real patient care decisions and consequences. CME Credit and MOC Points are available. Start off with a FREE sample case. Start your journey now.

Internal Medicine Meeting 2015 Live Simulcast!

Internal Medicine Meeting 2015 Live Simulcast

Unable to attend the meeting this year? On Saturday, May 2, seven sessions will be streamed live from the meeting. Register for the simulcast and earn CME credit after watching each session. Watch it live or download for later viewing.

  • Prepare for the ABIM Certification Exam with ACP Internal Medicine Board Review.

  • Earn CME Credits through attending live meetings, working online, or watching course recordings on your own schedule.

  • ACP Depression Care Guide provides physicians with team-based practices for screening, diagnosis, and management of depression in primary care settings.