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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Hospitalist?

Mercy Hospitalists are board-certified medical providers who specialize in the care of our hospitalized patients. A Hospitalist will always be available to care for you as needed, 24 hours a day.

Why is a Hospitalist caring for me?

In addition to being available to care for you 24 hours a day, Mercy Hospitalists enable your primary care physician to be more available to patients in the office, rather than having to travel back and forth between seeing patients in the office and in the hospital. As a patient of a Mercy Hospitalist, you will have the benefit of being seen by a physician who is entirely focused on your care throughout your hospital stay.  

If requested by you, a Hospitalist will arrange a meeting with your family to answer their questions in person whenever possible. For confidentiality reasons, the Hospitalist will discuss your care only after we receive your consent. Because a number of patients are served by Mercy Hospitalists, we ask that family members arrange a time when all members can be present together for updates.

What does the Hospitalist do for me?

Mercy's Hospitalist team is committed to provide compassionate and high-quality medical care throughout your stay with us. Because they work exclusively in the hospital, they can see you multiple times in the same day, if necessary.

Our Hospitalist team works closely with all of Mercy's specialists and departments. If a consultation with another specialist is needed, the Hospitalist will discuss this with you and request the appropriate specialist.

What is the relationship between the Hospitalist and my primary care physician?

Your primary care physician will provide information about your past health history to the Hospitalist and the physician will discuss any significant findings or events. At the time of your admission and discharge from Mercy, the Hospitalist will provide your primary care physician important details about your hospitalization.

If you have a primary care physician, you will see him/her soon after you are discharged from Mercy. Your primary care physician, who referred you to our Hospitalist service, may still visit you during your hospital stay. However, your hospitalization remains under the direction of the Hospitalist.

If you do not have a primary care physician, a follow-up outpatient physician resource will be recommended to you.

Will I receive a bill from the Hospitalist?

Yes. Because a Hospitalist provided your medical care during your stay at Mercy, you will receive a separate bill for their services. Mercy Hospitalists are part of Sound Physicians. Please call the customer service department at (319) 395-3505, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CST, if you have a question about your Hospital bill. For billing questions, please contact Hospitalist Medicine Physicians of Linn County, PLLC (Sound Physicians) billing at (888) 239-8967.

Who will assist me with any discharge needs?

The Hospitalist that cared for you during your stay at Mercy will provide prescriptions for a one month supply of most discharge medications and will also sign for home health services, oxygen and necessary medical equipment. However, because our Hospitalists do not participate in your medical care after discharge, the Hospitalists cannot authorize prescription refills or other renewal orders. Theses request must be directed to your primary care physician. Together, Mercy and your primary care physician will ensure a smooth transition of care.

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