For patients

What is the Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service?

Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service are internal medicine and pediatric physicians who provide care to hospitalized patients at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. We provide in-hospital care, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. More commonly known as "hospitalists," we are highly experienced in the diagnosis, treatment and coordination of care of hospitalized patient. Think of us as your primary care doctor while you are hospitalized.

Why am I being treated by a doctor other than my personal physician?

Your personal physician referred you to Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service because we are skilled internal medicine specialists whose primary focus is on the care of the hospitalized patient.

Your Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service doctor will direct your care, answer your questions, and coordinate your discharge plans. He or she will stay in contact with your personal physician during your stay.

If your personal physician is located in a town outside the metro area, he or she may have referred you to Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service because of the need to be seen by a doctor each day in the hospital. Your personal physician's schedule and the distance he or she would have to travel may make it difficult for your physician to be at Abbott Northwestern Hospital on a daily basis. Because our doctors are in the hospital or on-call, they can respond quickly to your medical needs during your stay. They also can arrange for a wide variety of specialists to consult on your care if that becomes necessary.

Will I see more than one doctor while I'm at Abbott Northwestern Hospital?

In most cases, you will be cared for by the same Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service physician. You may have more than one Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service physician if you have a prolonged hospital stay. Our electronic health record system will ensure that all relevant information regarding your care will be conveyed to your physician(s).

What will my personal physician know about my hospital stay?

During your hospital stay, your Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service physician will contact your personal physician to obtain additional medical history and discuss treatment plans, if necessary. Upon discharge, a letter detailing your hospital stay, test results and follow-up instructions will be sent to your hometown clinic physician.

Which doctor will I see after I am discharged from the hospital?

When you are discharged from the hospital, your outpatient physician will resume responsibility for your care. Depending on your outpatient medical needs, you may also be under the care of other specialist physicians.

Does care by an Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service doctor add to my hospital or doctor bill?

Your bill from Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service doctor will be similar to what your clinic physician would have charged. With each inpatient hospital stay, there are several bills generated:

  • one from the hospital
  • one from Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service
  • another from specialty physicians who performed consultations or diagnostic tests.

Does my health insurance cover hospitalist care?

Abbott Northwestern Hospitalist Service doctors participate in almost all insurance plans. If you are concerned about insurance, please contact your health care plan.