HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - April 9, 2008
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No Easy Answers
Carrie Vaughan, Editor, Community Hospitals
A few weeks back I asked how you plan to diversify your hospital's revenue stream in the face of reduced Medicare payments. I had hoped to share these stories and ideas in an upcoming issue. As it turns out, however, either no one has any good ideas or those who do aren't sharing. [Read More]
April 9, 2008
Editor's Picks

Medicare experiment fails to save money
The premise seems simple enough: prevent costly complications and hospital visits by patients who are very sick by helping them manage their diseases better. Unfortunately, preliminary results from an experiment by the Medicare system to do just that reveal that it may cost more than it saves. Under the experiment, nurses periodically place phone calls to patients to check whether they are taking their drugs and seeing the right doctors. Medicare says the project so far has not reduced medical bills enough to offset the program's fees. But Medicare is not ready to give up on the concept just yet. It is exploring other options like the development of "medical homes," where a doctor with a team of other professionals oversees a patient's care. Maybe this program will have more success in saving the government money by more actively managing their patients' care. [Read More]

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo
Officials for St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana have a difficult decision to make when it comes to building a replacement hospital for the one destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. It boils down to capacity or cost. Should they choose option A: A 60-bed hospital saddled with $60 million in loans. Or option B: A 20-bed hospital that would be debt free but might not be large enough to meet the parish's needs (it would be constructed with the ability to expand). [Read More]

Hospital size comes into question
News that the 184-bed Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, CA, is the prime candidate for the contract to reopen Martin Luther King-Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles has drawn many critics. Some argue that Pacific is too small to run a large public hospital, and others say that the community deserves more than what Pacific is offering. [Read More]

Making room for 'Dr. Nurse'
This is a good overarching look at doctorate of nursing practice programs. More than 200 nursing schools already have established or plan to offer these degrees. Advocates say that these clinicians will be equipped to help offset the primary-care physician shortage, but physicians are concerned that these nurses, who use DrNP after their name, and can also use the designation Dr. as a title, will confuse patients and jeopardize care. (Sorry but you will need a subscription to view it.) [Read More]
Leaders Forum

Physicians Offer Insights on Practicing Rural Medicine
It is no secret that enticing doctors to work in rural parts of the country is challenging at best. HealthLeaders contributor David Roush dispels common myths about practicing medicine in rural areas and offers four steps to attract physicians to rural American and perhaps more importantly, keep them there. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Hospital capacity drives costs
AP/Yahoo News - April 7, 2008
Healthcare rules get overhaul in Georgia
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - April 7, 2008
Shortage of nurses target of $1.5 million grant in Washington state
Puget Sound Business Journal - April 4, 2008
Studies show it's often cheaper to let people get sick
Washington Post - April 8, 2008
Woman's Hospital in Mesquite, TX, to close
Dallas Morning News - April 3, 2008
Medical Properties Trust wraps up deal for HCP hospitals
Birmingham News - April 2, 2008
Legislators try to bring in-patient care to Kentucky medical center
Louisville Courier-Journal - April 2, 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. [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 "Do you have any suggestions on how to continue leadership training for nurses in the hospital setting?"
Audio Feature
Deciphering the Measurement Maze: Michael Millenson is a healthcare quality consultant and author of the critically acclaimed book, Demanding Medical Excellence: Doctors and Accountability in the Information Age. In this interview, Millenson discusses the growing number of healthcare rankings and ratings and how hospitals can make sense of them all. [Listen Now]
Sponsor Community and Rural Hospital
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