HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - December 19, 2007
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The New Rainmakers
Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media
Think nurse staffing is just a necessary cost to be absorbed? Nurses have a bigger hand in profitability than you think. [Read More]
December 19, 2007
Editor's Picks

WA doctors fight proposal to limit physician-owned hospitals
Despite the need for more doctors in rural areas, a hospital that serves workers and their families in Eastern Washington farm country could fall victim to a crackdown on boutique hospitals that cater to the urban rich. Wenatchee Valley Medical Center is one of a handful of doctor-owned hospitals nationally that faces a substantial loss in money to treat its poorest patients amid a push to curb Medicare payments to such hospitals with specialized services only. The only physician-owned hospital in Washington state, Wenatchee Valley employs 1,200 people at its hospital and eight clinics, most of which are located in outlying communities. [Read more]

Health savings accounts for poor tested
The popularity of health savings accounts for the poor will be put to the test in Indiana under a program. Through the plan, someone making $20,000 a year could get health coverage for about $19 a week. The waiver is the first of its kind for the Medicaid program, and Indiana officials said they've already received inquiries from more than 1,000 people interested in applying. [Read more]

Nation's hospital bill jumped 7 percent in 2005
High-cost and high-volume conditions helped drive the national hospital bill up 7 percent in 2005, to $873 billion. The record high nearly doubled 1997 spending when adjusted for inflation, according to a report from the federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. The report analyzed figures from the most recent year available and found in part that triple-digit percentage growth in the amount charged for blood infections, nonspecific chest pain, respiratory failure, back pain and arthritis over the past decade contributed to the increase. [Read more]

Church leaders urge end to Appalachian nurse strike
Citing ethical concerns, some religious leaders are asking officials at Appalachian Regional Healthcare and striking nurses at the system's nine hospitals to resolve their contract dispute. About 650 nurses walked off the job Oct. 1. More than 70 religious leaders submitted a letter to ARH President and CEO Jerry Haynes and members of the Kentucky and West Virginia Nurses Association. In the letter, the leaders said they support continued bargaining, but also scold ARH for permanently replacing about 150 nurses on strike. [Read more]

Bush vetoes kids health insurance bill
For the second time, President Bush has vetoed a bipartisan effort in Congress to expand government-provided health insurance for children. Bush said the bill was unacceptable because it allows adults into the program, would cover people in families with incomes above the U.S. median and raises taxes. The vetoed bill would have increased federal funding for SCHIP by $35 billion over five years and added an estimated 4 million people to the program. [Read more]

Happy Holidays!
From all of us at HealthLeaders Media, have a happy and safe holiday. Community and Rural Hospital Weekly will take next week off, but will return with a new issue January 2, 2008.
Leaders Forum

ED Throughput: Recognizing and Addressing Five Inhibitors
While there are no easy answers or quick-fix solutions to poor throughput, creative problem solving can lead to major improvements in these five "must not fail" areas, says contributor Lynn Massingale. [Read more]
Resources from HealthLeaders Media

  • Learn how your hospital can use quality data to your advantage.

  • With A Marketer's Guide to Physician Relations from HealthLeaders Media, learn how to take your physician relations program to the next level.
  • From HealthLeaders Magazine
    Board on the Floor
    Quality isn't just for the docs anymore. A growing emphasis on hospital quality is sparking a new governance model that requires trustees to monitor more than just the bottom line. Is your board ready to take charge? [Read more]
    Community Call
    Discussion Board
    Each week, Community Call will pose a question to encourage community and rural hospital leaders to share success stories and best practices. This week's question is
    Are health savings accounts a good way to slow the rising cost of medical care and extend basic coverage to the uninsured?
    Audio Feature
    Growing Leaders From Within: Harvard Business School Professor Joseph Bower is a leadership expert and author. In this interview, Professor Bower discusses succession planning and why growing leaders from within makes for smarter business.
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