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The Other Physician Shortage
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Physician shortages are typically discussed in terms of quantity. We look at the static number of physicians entering the workforce in relation to the rising demand for medical services. Last week I wrote about this topic by examining different specialties' effectiveness at recruiting medical students. But there is a quality angle to it as well. A portion of the manpower shortage is tied more to how physicians work than the sheer number of physicians. [Read More]
  April 3, 2008

Editor's Picks
Group seeks uniform doctor ratings
A consortium of employers, insurers, patient organizations, and physicians groups is joining together to eliminate one of the biggest flaws of doctor rating programs: the lack of uniform, transparent measures. This has been a source of frustration for many physicians who have felt insurers were unfair or inconsistent in the criteria used to rank and reward them. Participating insurers have agreed to have their systems examined by an independent reviewer, which should go a long way toward defusing this sometimes contentious issue. [Read More]
Majority of U.S. doctors back national insurance plan
Fifty-nine percent of physicians now say they support legislation to establish national health insurance, up from 49% in a similar survey conducted in 2002, according to Indiana University's Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research. When asked about support for more incremental changes to achieve universal healthcare, support was actually slightly lower at 55%. I just spoke with Aaron Carroll, MD, the lead researcher on the study and will drill down into the results a little more in next week's column. Stay tuned. [Read More]
Dispute means higher malpractice rates for PA docs
High-risk specialties--neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, and obstetrics--may soon have to pay an additional $15,000 for malpractice insurance in Pennsylvania because of a political dispute over healthcare. Until now, the state's physicians have received help with insurance through a government program that Governor Ed Rendell has supported. But he refuses to approve the assistance again unless progress is made on separate legislation that would extend coverage to the uninsured, which state Republicans oppose. This may be nothing more than theatrics from politicians who know the entire nation is watching in the run-up to the state's high-profile primary election. Let's see if they can compromise after April 22. [Read More]
Study: Surgery performed in doctor's office riskier
A study of surgical outcomes in Florida is raising questions about the safeness of office-based surgeries, according to this South Florida Sun-Sentinel article. Critics question whether physician surgical suites can react effectively to emergencies--a similar criticism to those being leveled against physician-owned hospitals--particularly relating to bad reactions to anesthesia. The study has led some to consider limiting certain procedures or types of anesthesia in doctors' offices. [Read More]
Business Rx
Formalize Retention Policies to Keep Physicians
Retaining physicians begins with a concerted effort to address retention issues within the organization on an ongoing basis. The plan doesn't have to be a 20-page document, but it has to be a set of actions you agree to and actually implement. [Read More]
Physician News
Minority doctors in short supply in California
San Francisco Chronicle - April 3, 2008
Making room for 'Dr. Nurse'
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - April 2, 2008
Loan forgiveness not enough to attract docs to rural areas
Albany Times-Union - April 3, 2008
Combining Internet with office visits cuts heart attack risks
HealthDay/Washington Post - March 31, 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

The Changing of the Guard: Contributor Jeff Goldsmith, president of Health Futures, Inc., and author of The Long Baby Boom, takes a look at how retiring baby boomers will affect hospital-physician relations and how healthcare is delivered in the near future. [Read More]
Audio Feature

How to Overcome Service Line Obstacles: Keith Solinsky, chief operating officer and principal with The Coker Group, discusses obstacles to implementing service lines and ancillary investments in a physician practice. [Listen Now]
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Resources From HealthLeaders Media

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