Steward Health Care System, a for-profit network of Massachusetts community hospitals, has signed an agreement with a California company that will supply Steward hospitals with additional hospitalists at times when it needs to ramp up to handle increased patient volume.
Boston-based Steward currently has about 40 hospitalists — general physicians who treat patients in the medical-surgical units of hospitals — on staff. Under its deal with IPC The Hospitalist Co., the North Hollywood, Calif., firm which already had a contract with Steward-owned Morton Hospital in Taunton, now will provide hospitalists to nine other Steward hospitals.
“It gives us access to more hospitalists when we need to ramp up, say during flu season,” said Steward spokesman Chris Murphy.
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