HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - March 19, 2008
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We Get Reimbursed for That?
Carrie Vaughan, Editor, Community Hospitals
With a high caseload of Medicare patients, critical-access hospitals often need the maximum reimbursement to survive. As it turns out, however, many of these hospitals may be leaving thousands of dollars on the table. [Read More]
March 19, 2008
Editor's Picks

Network helps rural hospitals expand care
Rural hospitals are continually looking for opportunities to improve healthcare for their communities. Here is an example of an effort under way in Michigan that would connect Deckerville Community Hospital and McKenzie Memorial Hospital in Sandusky with larger facilities in an effort to share patient information electronically and increase access to specialists through virtual doctor visits. [Read More]

Not for sale
The 150 doctors who own Wenatchee (WA) Valley Medical Center have no plans to sell, despite a provision intended to crack down on physician-owned hospitals in the mental health bill passed by the U.S. House last week. Wenatchee Valley, which hopes to get an exemption in the final bill, is concerned that potential buyers would likely discontinue the services it currently provides to rural towns. The hospital is considering forming a nonprofit group or merging with an established entity. [Read More]

Med school sprouts from tobacco fields
When East Carolina University began its quest for a medical school roughly 40 years ago, the idea was simply to boost the number of doctors in rural communities. Instead, Pitt County Memorial Hospital has grown from a building worth $12 million to an $800 million facility. It has also become one of the area's largest employers, with 6,300 employees and an annual payroll of $344 million. Not bad for a small college town that was known more for its tobacco market than its small county hospital. [Read More]

VA's new "travel nurse program"
A lot has been written about the lack of access to quality healthcare for rural veterans. In an effort to address some these issues, the Department of Veterans Affairs created a "Travel Nurse Corps." The three-year pilot program, will place as many as 75 nurses at VA medical centers across the country to help offset nursing shortages, reduce wait times and improve VA healthcare in rural areas, according to a press release. [Read More]

Global coverage
I would like to introduce you to HealthLeaders Media Global, a free e-newsletter that provides information on the business of healthcare management from around the globe. This week, HealthLeaders Media Senior Editor Rick Johnson writes about India's Advertising Dilemma. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

The Executive's Guide to Value-Based Purchasing
One of your hospital's most significant payers has just notified you that, starting next year, it plans to withhold $1 million annually in reimbursement. The hospital may have a chance to regain some of that money, but only if you hit certain quality benchmarks and can demonstrate performance that exceeds that of your competition. This isn't a pie-in-the-sky scheme concocted by the insurance industry to boost revenue and please Wall Street. Welcome to the reality of the federal government's proposed Value-Based Purchasing program. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Grant to help expand rural telemedicine
AP/Yahoo News - March 19, 2008
Hospitals to get $666 million from Medicare settlement
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - March 13, 2008
Rural hospitals challenged
Port Huron Times Herald - March 19, 2008
Tenet Healthcare may be on road to recovery
Chicago Tribune - March 17, 2008
Line between physician assistants and nurse practitioners blurring
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - March 16, 2008
Florida bill would limit liability for ER doctors
St. Petersburg Times - March 18, 2008
Hospital wants to build medical complex in Cherokee County, GA
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - March 14, 2008
Study backs anti-infection tests of all hospital patients
Chicago Tribune - March 18, 2008
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Your Hospital, the Entrepreneur
Forget those fixed-income investments. Many organizations are funding early-stage healthcare ventures that can yield not only healthy financial returns, but also improved efficiencies and better quality care. [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 "Does anyone have any advice on how to collect copays and deductibles from patients at the point of service?"
Audio Feature
Mississippi Data Exchange: Chuck Clark, chief information officer of the Coastal Family Health Center in Biloxi, MS, shares what he has learned from a statewide initiative to implement electronic health records across seven community health centers.
Sponsor Community and Rural Hospital
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