Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nashville's hospitalist secret is out

'Don't remember for sure, but the first time I heard someone refer to the hospitalist specialty as the 'fastest-growing segment' in medical history, I was probably tempted to file that factoid in the hyperbole bin. However, eventually I looked into the numbers -- including hospitalist-centered Cogent Healthcare's 35 percent compound annual growth rate. At that point, earlier blurry events came back into focus: There was, for example, Cogent's move to Nashville from Irvine, Calif., 15 months ago. And, earlier this year, there was the hospitalist industry's first IPO -- for LA-based IPC The Hospitalist Company. That offering had set VC radars a'whirring, here and elsewhere. Paradoxically, though, it's the relative quiet around "hospitalists" here in town that has caught my attention. It's the kind of quiet that surrounds a business concept that has been deeply accepted. Is the so-called hospitalist trend in fact fait accompli, and we're just waiting Big Money to book its flight to BNA? We'll see. Meanwhile, what do you think? Here's the story.

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