HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - January 2, 2007
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Getting Docs on Board
Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media
Traditionally, hospital quality and patient safety have been left in the hands of the clinical staff--board members and senior executives focused more on the strategic and financial goals. However, that dynamic is no longer the case. Hospital executives and community board members are taking an increasingly larger role in defining and monitoring the quality goals. [Read More]
January 2, 2008
Editor's Picks

Small Michigan hospital sued by state threatens to close
Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed facility in Manistique, MI, says it may close because of a dispute with the state over how long it allows some patients recovering from serious illness to stay. The Michigan Department of Community Health fined the hospital $500,000 for violating state regulations that set a five-day limit on hospital stays for people in beds with a certain designation. Administrator Fred Makowski said the fine imposed by the state is double Schoolcraft Memorial's operating income for 2007. [Read more]

For uninsured, Medicare makes a healthy impact
Uninsured people 55 and older significantly reduce their risk of declining health after they enroll in Medicare at 65, according to a study. The researchers tracked the health and insurance status of 7,233 people ages 55 to 72, about 31 percent of them uninsured before becoming eligible for Medicare. The findings "provide some of the strongest evidence yet that expanding health coverage to the uninsured improves their health," said the study's lead author. [Read more]

Bush signs child healthcare extension into law
President Bush signed legislation that extends a popular children's health insurance program after having twice refused attempts to expand it. The extension of the State Children's Health Insurance Program is expected to provide states with enough money to cover those enrolled through March 2009. Bush and some Republican lawmakers say the program will serve children from families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance. Many Democrats, however, wanted to give the program a significant cash infusion and broaden coverage. [Read more]

Thousands enroll in Healthy Indiana Plan
The state's much-ballyhooed Healthy Indiana Plan for low-income adults is doling out its first insurance cards for roughly 4,500 people who applied for the benefit in the first week of enrollment. The state hopes many more follow in their footsteps. State officials are trying to get out the word through postcards, billboards, television advertisements and community clinics. The program can cover about 130,000 individuals whose family income falls from 22 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Indiana officials think more than twice that number may be eligible, but they are expecting about 50,000 to enroll in the first year. [Read more]

Hospitalists are seen as help
A study has found that doctors who specialize in the general care of hospital patients, or hospitalists, reduce the average hospital stay by 12 percent. The study also found, however, that hospitalists only modestly lower treatment costs. An author of the study said the finding suggests hospitalists are an "attractive solution" for facilities struggling to accommodate more overnight patients. [Read more]
Leaders Forum

Data Sharing Creates Connected Healthcare Community:
Recently, the Physicians of Douglas County in Roseburg, OR, implemented software designed to build a healthcare community network, dramatically improve patient safety and service, and raise the bar for great healthcare. Contributor Brent Eichman describes the system and how it made headway in linking healthcare providers. [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 What can senior hospital executives and trustees do to ensure that physicians are on board with their facility's quality agenda?
    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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