HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - March 20, 2008 | Focusing On Patients, Not Paychecks View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Focusing On Patients, Not Paychecks
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Many of the solutions being offered to address problems of quality and efficiency in healthcare are based on the notion that physicians will change their behavior if you target their paychecks. Not that financial incentives aren't effective or necessary, but the dialogue is so heavily centered on changing physician behavior with monetary incentives that I wonder how many doctors are growing tired of being poked, prodded, and led around by a financial carrot. [Read More]
  March 20, 2008

Editor's Picks
Legislators scramble to prevent Medicare cuts
Here we go again. With the July 1 cut to Medicare payments on the horizon, several Senators are introducing legislation to spare physicians the 10% fee reduction. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is pushing the Save Medicare Act of 2008 (S.2785), which would postpone the cuts through 2009. On the other side of the aisle, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is sponsoring the Ensuring the Future Physician Workforce Act of 2008 (S.2729), which includes more ambitious reforms, such as getting rid of the Medicare spending cap. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) says he's also working on a solution. [Read More]
Insurer drops doctors for providing concierge care
UnitedHealthcare has dropped four Texas physicians who charged retainers for patients who wanted more personalized care, and CIGNA may follow suit, according to this Houston Chronicle article. The reason? The insurers say they disapprove of the practice, even though the physicians were offering the concierge services only as a supplement. But these companies are well aware that many physicians gradually transition to concierge medicine--offering it first as an option until they build up a large enough patient base to go all-concierge--and probably wanted to send a strong warning to physicians thinking about making the switch. [Read More]
Physicians' careers become transparent
It's not just prices that are becoming more accessible in today's era of transparency. The Tennessee Department of Health's Web site allows patients to research everything from whether a physician has been disciplined by the Board of Medical Examiners or been subject to a liability claim to where he or she attended school. And apparently patients are interested; the site got 6.8 million hits in 2007, making it one of the most popular state government sites, according to the Tennessean. [Read More]
OB/GYN guidelines stir ethics debate
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says it was looking out for patients when it released ethics guidelines requiring physicians to make referrals for abortions and other procedures that they don't want to perform themselves. But pro-life OB/GYNs objected when the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology said it may refuse or revoke certification for physicians who don't adhere to the guidelines. This week, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt stepped in and sent a letter saying physicians shouldn't be denied board certification because of personal beliefs. [Read More]
Last Week to Become a Top Leadership Team
If you've overcome a major obstacle, would like to highlight a significant achievement, or just have a good leadership story to tell, take note: March 27 is the last day to apply for HealthLeaders Media's Top Leadership Teams program. This year's conference will be held October 16-17 at The Drake Hotel in Chicago. [Read More]
Business Rx
Take Care to Make a Colleague's Patients Feel Welcome
Redistributing a retired or semiretired doctor's patients can be challenging for all parties involved. Patients in this situation need extra reassurance that you are well informed about their health concerns and willing to provide them the same kind of care they are used to. [Read More]
Physician News
Florida bill would limit liability for ER doctors
St. Petersburg Times - March 18, 2008
Probes of doctor complaints taking longer in California
Los Angeles Times - March 17, 2008
Med students eye high-paying dermatology, plastic surgery
New York Times - March 19, 2008
Healthcare group tackles specialist crisis in Florida county
South Florida Sun-Sentinel - March 14, 2008

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Your Hospital, the Entrepreneur
HealthLeaders March 2008 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]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Patient-Centered Service Lines: With the increase in competition, developing a service line from the patient's perspective connects all stakeholders into a unified and educated voice, says contributor Marshall K. Steele, MD. [Read More]
Audio Features

Value Your Part-Timers: Laura Boehlke Bray, physician leader at the Duluth Clinic in Duluth, MN, talks about the importance of providing part-time options as an essential part of retaining and recruiting physicians in your practice. [Listen Now]
Trends in Physician Retention: Carol Westfall, president of Cejka Search, talks about the growing number of part-time physicians and other findings from the Cejka Search/AMGA 2007 Physician Retention Survey. [Listen Now]
Sponsor PhysicianLeaders

Contact Lisa Brown, Director of Integrated Sales, at or call 781.639.1872.
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 publication.
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