Inpatient specialists, or hospitalists, represent a valuable resource in helping case managers reduce costs and lower lengths of stay. At Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MA, and Park Nicollet in Minneapolis, hospitalists have largely been responsible for a 20% reduction in costs across the board for hospital stays. Because they work full time in the hospital, these physicians tend to develop stronger professional relationships with case managers than other physicians do. They're also generally more open to quality improvement efforts, experts say. Due to their greater familiarity with "hospital illnesses," hospitalists have established a strong track record for cost-efficiency in treating patients in the acute care setting.