HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - February 14, 2008 | Good-Bye from Bizarro World View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Good-Bye from Bizarro World
Rick Johnson, Senior Editor

Judging by recent events in the healthcare industry, I must have somehow slipped into the parallel Bizarro World, where down is up, black is white, good-bye is hello, and wrong is right. How else could you explain such counterintuitive happenings in healthcare? [Read More]
  February 14, 2008

Editor's Picks
Blue Cross halts request for pre-existing conditions
If you blinked on Tuesday you may have missed the controversy about letters Blue Cross of California sent physicians asking for information about patients' pre-existing medical conditions. Here's a quick recap: The Los Angeles Times published an article Tuesday morning highlighting physician outrage at being asked to "violate the sacred trust of patients" and provide information that could lead the insurer to cancel coverage. By 6 p.m. that day, the criticism had grown so strong--even Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senator Hillary Clinton weighed in--that Blue Cross publicly cancelled the controversial practice. [Read More]
Arbitration a growing trend in healthcare
Physicians are increasingly asking patients to sign arbitration forms, which allow future malpractice cases to be settled by an appointed individual or panel instead of a judge or jury. Proponents say it lowers medical costs, but as the practice becomes more popular, it is also drawing criticism. Congress is considering prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration clauses. There's also the customer service angle: Some patients are turned off by being asked to sign a legal form before treatment and opt to find another physician. [Read More]
Depression, not burnout, poses patient safety risk
There's been a lot of focus on overworked medical residents and whether burnout may affect patient safety, but research from Children's Hospital in Boston suggests depressed residents are more likely to make medication errors than those who are burned out. Residents are nearly twice as likely to be depressed as the average person, but here's the conundrum: Though depression may lead to more errors, other research has found that making a medical error may cause a resident to become depressed. [Read More]
Finding a medical home for $20 a month
In this Wall Street Journal column, Benjamin Brewer, MD, advocates for the patient-centered "medical home" model of primary care and uses his practice as an example. He claims he could provide comprehensive primary care on a subscription basis for $20 a month, which would cover his salary and the costs of staff and overhead. The problem, which he certainly isn't the first to point out, is the reimbursement system and the money going to middlemen. [Read More]
Business Rx
Develop staff plan to address security, safety issues
Security may not be the top priority on your practice's implementation list, but it certainly is essential. The bottom line to successfully address security regulations and safety measures is to have an organized security plan. [Read More]
Physician News
Second opinions, through a patient's eyes
New York Times - February 14, 2008
Where do doctors go online?
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - February 14, 2008
Role of physician assistants may grow in New Mexico
Las Cruces Sun-News - February 14, 2008
Jailed doctor's patients to sue government
AP/Yahoo News - February 12, 2008

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Love Thy Vendor?
HealthLeaders February 2008 Providers and IT suppliers don't get along, right? You can build a partnership of trust with your vendor--and actually get what you pay for. Here's how. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Open the Door to Foreign Health Professionals: Legislators need to act now to provide legal immigration for much needed nurses and physicians, says contributor Susan Nowakowski, president and CEO of AMN Healthcare. When Congress declined to act on illegal immigration, it also walked away from a broken and dysfunctional system of legal immigration. [Read More]
Audio Feature

A Rough Reimbursement Outlook: Considering that President Bush is taking the scalpel to Medicare again, I figured this week I'd post an audio I recorded with MGMA President William Jessee, MD, last fall. In this conversation, Jessee talks about how his members are dealing with the continual decline in reimbursement at a time with practice costs are so high.
Sponsor PhysicianLeaders

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Resources From HealthLeaders Media

Start marketing your practice or refine your existing marketing program with Physician Entrepreneurs: Marketing Toolkit, a new HealthLeaders Media book that combines expert tips with marketing samples, tools, forms, and checklists that will help grow your practice.
Keep up with the latest physician compensation news and analysis with a monthly subscription to Physician Compensation & Recruitment.
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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