HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - December 20, 2007 | The Mission View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
The Mission
Rick Johnson, Senior Editor

Frequently I include my discussions with industry insiders in this space, but as we approach the holiday season, I decided that it is fitting to share with you some thoughts from a physician leader who is serving our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Col. Lisa Zacher is an intensivist and chief of critical care services deployed with the 28th and 86th Combat Support Hospitals in Baghdad, Iraq. She's run the intensive care units there since August 8, 2007. "There is an unspoken closeness [among soldiers] that you sense but cannot truly understand," she says. [Read More]
  December 20, 2007

Editor's Picks
Congress halts 10 percent Medicare rate cut
Good news, the lobbying paid off. Congress has temporarily reversed the 10 percent Medicare payment cut scheduled for 2008 and has even agreed to a 0.5 percent increase in physician payments. The bad news: The reprieve will only last six months, at which point it must either be extended or physicians will face another cut. [Read More]
"Biggest factor in rising health costs is doctors"
So says allergist/immunologist Steve Cole in this editorial in The Dallas Morning News. Cole argues that physicians drive up the cost of healthcare by ordering unnecessary tests, in part because they "don't want to miss anything" for their patients' sake, but also because of an intense fear of litigation. The solution, he says, is to revamp physician education and reduce the amount of litigation physicians face. [Read More]
Medical gift cards a hot holiday item
Talk about healthcare consumerism: Apparently medical gift cards, which can be used to pay for anything from doctors' visits to prescription copays to elective surgery, are an increasingly common holiday gift item, according to this report. I'm not sure what to make of this. Is it a good signal of consumers taking control of their healthcare spending? Is it an indicator of the poor state of healthcare coverage in the United States? What are your thoughts? [Read More]
MDs educate waiting patients about malpractice
New York City physicians are taking the fight over malpractice insurance to their patients, according to this New York Sun report. More than 100 physician offices have installed 40-inch television sets (donated by a vendor) that air 60-second "commercials" describing physicians' reluctance to perform procedures because of litigation fears and warning of a looming physician shortage. [Read More]
Happy Holidays!
From all of us at HealthLeaders Media, have a happy and safe holiday. HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders will take next week off, but will return with a new issue January 3, 2008.
Business Rx
Aging doctors present part-time compensation obstacles
Part-time physicians haven't presented a major compensation challenge for groups in the past--a physician or two may have occasionally requested part-time work options, but it wasn't enough to destabilize the entire group. However, a convergence of several market pressures will make part-time work commonplace in the near future, and practices would be wise to integrate a transition compensation policy into their overarching plan. [Read More]
Physician News
Pilot program aims to train Spanish-speaking doctors
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - December 18, 2007
Confidential programs let addicted doctors practice while in rehab
Minneapolis Star Tribune - December 18, 2007
WA doctors fight proposal to limit physician-owned hospitals
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - December 18, 2007
Cancer docs' beside manner often lacks empathy
HealthDay/Washington Post - December 19, 2007
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Board on the Floor
HealthLeaders December 2007 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]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Generational Differences Present Compensation, Management Challenges: We asked members of the Physician Compensation & Recruitment advisory board and other compensation and recruitment experts to discuss perceived generational differences between today's physicians and to assess how these differences might influence compensation and recruitment trends. [Read More]
Audio Feature

The Science of Sleep: Phil Pin, senior vice president for administration and CFO of ProHealth Physicians, Inc., discusses the financial decision-making process for adding a sleep apnea service line to his 200-physician primary care practice. Phil is a panelist on the HealthLeaders webcast, Service Line ROI: Financial decision-making to grow your physician practice.
Sponsor PhysicianLeaders

Contact Lisa Brown, Director of Integrated Sales, at or call 781.639.1872.
Resources From HealthLeaders Media

Keep up with the latest physician compensation news and analysis with a monthly subscription to Physician Compensation Report.
Read about the latest business strategies to help you grow beyond traditional practice models in Physician Entrepreneurs: Going Retail.
Find practice-management ideas in The Doctor's Office, a monthly newsletter.
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