IPC The Hospitalist Company To Provide Unassigned ER Coverage And Inpatient Hospital Services At Metropolitan Methodist Hospital

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- IPC - The Hospitalist Company announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Metropolitan Methodist Hospital in San Antonio to provide inpatient hospital services to unassigned patients entering the facility through its emergency department. IPC will also provide inpatient care for patients admitted by primary care physicians who choose to avail themselves of hospitalists. The agreement becomes effective January 1, 2005.

Metropolitan Methodist Hospital is part of Methodist Healthcare, the most preferred healthcare provider in San Antonio and the area's second largest employer with 7,000 employees working at 22 healthcare facilities. Earlier this year IPC entered into a three-year agreement to provide similar inpatient services at Southwest Texas Methodist Hospital, also in San Antonio. Currently, IPC physicians attend to approximately 88,000 patients annually in all 14 of the major non-governmental hospitals in Bexar County.

"IPC physicians demonstrated at Southwest Texas Methodist their overriding commitment to quality and their ability to smoothly interact with community physicians as well as the established hospital team," said Mark Bernard, chief executive officer of Metropolitan Methodist Hospital and nearby Northeast Methodist Hospital. "We anticipate that same experience at Metropolitan Hospital and look forward to IPC's experience and technologies enhancing both our care and our operational efficiencies."

Hospitalists are acute-care specialists who manage a patient's hospital care from time of admission to discharge. As the nation's fastest-growing medical specialty, hospitalists have become the true drivers of inpatient medicine by coordinating all of the tests, treatments and services that take place within the hospital. Increasing evidence shows that hospitalists increase quality of care and reduce healthcare costs while providing patients and their families added comfort and security by being on site to answer questions.

Lead IPC physician at Metropolitan Methodist will be Akhtar Hussain, M.D. Dr. Hussain is currently on staff at Metropolitan seeing 18 to 20 patients a day referred to him by primary care physicians who choose to utilize his services for their hospitalized patients. Under this new agreement with the hospital, it is anticipated that Dr. Hussain's patient volume will significantly increase; and he will be supported by additional IPC physicians who, like him, will specifically serve the patients' needs at Metropolitan Methodist.

Located near downtown San Antonio, Metropolitan Methodist Hospital is a 260-bed acute-care facility providing a complete complement of healthcare services to San Antonio and its neighboring residents and businesses. The hospital offers a full range of maternity services as well as general medical and surgical care along with neurosurgery, cardiology, orthopedics, rehabilitation, diagnostic imaging and behavioral health. Currently the hospital is undergoing a $50 million expansion and renovation that will result in an even larger emergency department to serve the community.

IPC is the nation's premier hospitalist company employing approximately 300 physicians at numerous practice locations around the country. Collectively, these practices see more than a million patients and manage more than $1 billion in healthcare expenditures annually. The company's consulting services division helps hospitals and other healthcare organizations launch new hospitalist programs or enhance existing ones. Information on IPC may be obtained at http://www.hospitalist.com/.

IPC - The Hospitalist Company

CONTACT: Ross Goldberg, +1-818-597-8453, for IPC - The HospitalistCompany

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