HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - January 9, 2007
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Patients Dictate Design of Cancer Center
Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media
When administrators at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, IN, decided to construct a state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility, ideas for the site's design came from those who would be using it most: patients. [Read More]
January 9, 2008
Editor's Picks

Rural healthcare to link up doctors
Doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers in rural areas of northern New England will soon be able to use a high speed computer network to share X-rays and other medical images, transfer patients' records, and support video teleconferences. The New England Telehealth Consortium will link 555 clinics, doctors' offices, hospitals, public health centers and universities. "This is going to develop an infrastructure that's really going to position our rural areas to be players in the health information age," Charles Dwyer of the Maine Office of Rural Health and Primary Care told the Kennebec Journal. [Read more]

Severe dearth of doctors forecast for Maryland
Much of Maryland faces a doctor shortage that could become severe by 2015, according to a report from the Maryland State Medical Society and the Maryland Hospital Association. The trend could force patients to wait longer for appointments, search for specialists and turn more frequently to emergency rooms for help, the groups warned. To offset the shortage, the groups urge medical and elected leaders to take "bold steps" to attract and keep clinicians. The report, however, includes no price tag for suggested actions such as higher physician fees and incentives to draw doctors to rural areas. [Read more]

Drug spending raises U.S. healthcare tab
Seniors and the disabled using new Medicare drug cards fueled a 6.7 percent increase in health spending in 2006, according to a federal report. In most other areas of healthcare, there was a slowdown in spending growth, the report showed. While it still cost more to go to the hospital or doctor, the increase was not as great as in the previous year. The $2.1 trillion spent on healthcare in 2006 came to an average of $7,026 a person. In addition, spending on hospitals will accelerate in coming years as they add operating rooms and beds, according to representatives from the research group Centers for Studying Health System Change. [Read more]

U.S. curtailing bids to expand Medicaid rolls
The Bush administration is imposing restrictions on the ability of states to expand eligibility for Medicaid. The move is an effort to prevent states from offering coverage to families of modest incomes who, the administration argues, may have access to private health insurance. The restrictions mirror those the administration placed on the State Children's Health Insurance Program after states tried to broaden eligibility for it as well. Under the administration's new policy, states must meet certain conditions if they want to cover children with family incomes above 250 percent of the poverty level. Under one restriction, a child who had private coverage in the past must be uninsured for at least one year before being enrolled in a state child health program. [Read more]

South Carolina hospital rates in dispute
Lawyers representing uninsured and underinsured South Carolina hospital patients hope to convince the state's Supreme Court that their clients were routinely denied discounts offered to the insured through 2004. The discounts can shave 50 percent or more off a typical hospital bill, thanks to a little-known loophole that at the time required hospitals to offer anyone the best rate possible if their bills are paid within seven days of being treated. The hospitals' lawyers say the loophole is being misinterpreted. Lawyers representing the uninsured and underinsured want the court to make their case class action, which would lead to further legal action to try to force hospitals to pay patients who did not receive the discounts. [Read more]
Leaders Forum

Before Hiring a Revenue Cycle Firm:
Imagine you are on a plane, seated in row 13F, and everything is going smoothly until the pilot makes an unexpected announcement. "Good afternoon, folks," he says. "We've reached our cruising altitude of 31,000 feet, but we have a situation. There's a problem with the wing, but not to worry. The passenger in 13F is going to take care of everything." Now imagine the plane as a metaphor for the revenue cycle. Guess who the passenger in 13F is? [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 When designing a new healthcare facility, how can executives give the community a voice, but still steer the project?
    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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