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Steward signs deal with hospitalist company

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.

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“It gives us access to more hospitalists when we need to ramp up, say during flu season,” said Steward spokesman Chris Murphy.

Robert Weisman can be reached at weisman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeRobW.
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