HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - April 24, 2008 | No Physician Left Behind View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
No Physician Left Behind
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

The announcement that physician groups were joining forces with insurers to establish a national set of standards to measure physician performance was a first step in resolving the dispute over the accuracy of physician ranking systems. But standards-based reform has drawn criticism in the education sector, and reformers should expect to see critiques similar to those leveled against No Child Left Behind, the law that established national testing standards for rewarding and ranking public schools. [Read More]
  April 24, 2008

Editor's Picks
A look at physician suicides
Physicians have the highest suicide rate of any profession—between 300 and 400 doctors take their own lives every year—but physician depression and suicide are rarely talked about openly. A new documentary, Struggling in Silence, aims to shed some light on the topic, and this Newsweek article offers a brief preview of the film. For all the criticism leveled against younger physicians who want more work-life balance, you can't blame them for wanting to avoid the tolls the profession has taken on their predecessors. [Read More]
At bedside, stay stoic or display emotions?
In this New York Times piece, Barron Lerner, MD, explores physician bedside manner and asks whether it's a good thing for physicians to become so emotionally invested in patients that they cry or comfort the patient when there's a bad diagnosis. It's a question worth asking, as 69% of medical students and 74% of interns say they have cried on the job at least once. Lerner points to critics who warn that becoming too invested will cause "emotional burnout" for physicians. A good point, but could it also be therapeutic? I don't have the answer, but given the recent news about physician depression and suicide, it's an issue worth exploring. [Read More]
Treatment disparities linked to physician practice resources
Primary care physicians treating large minority populations tend to earn less (because of higher charity care and Medicaid rates) and see more patients, leaving them ill-equipped to address racial and ethnic treatment disparities, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change. The policy implications, unsurprisingly, are tied to reimbursement. The authors conclude that if Medicaid payments were on par with those paid by Medicare (which isn't setting the bar very high), more practices would have the resources to reduce treatment disparities. [Read More]
Fewer boards discipline doctors
The number of serious disciplinary actions taken against doctors has decreased for the third consecutive year—down 22% since 2004—according to an annual ranking by Public Citizen. South Carolina was the "worst" state at disciplining doctors and Alaska was the "best." Is the overall drop a case of boards becoming more lax in punishing "bad doctors," as Public Citizen claims? Or is it possible that there are fewer physicians who require medical board rebuke these days? [Read More]
Business Rx
Focus on engagement, loyalty to improve doc retention:
Because the No. 1 reason for physician turnover is poor cultural fit with the practice, engaging physicians and ensuring compatibility should be a primary goal any practice's retention plan. [Read More]
Physician News
An unhealthy trend: U.S. has fewer general surgeons
Orlando Sentinel - April 22, 2008
Few U.S. doctors answer e-mails from patients
AP/Yahoo News - April 23, 2008
Blue Cross of Florida ordered to pay doctors
Miami Herald - April 21, 2008
Wasted medical dollars
USA Today - April 24, 2008

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Faith in the Hospital
HealthLeaders February 2008
In a shifting healthcare world, faith-based systems face a new set of challenges in their quest to stay true to their mission. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Find Strength in Numbers: Contributor Max Reiboldt, CPA, author of Physician Entrepreneurs: Strength in Numbers and CEO of The Coker Group, takes a look at market forces that are making consolidation and collaboration strategies essential for physician practice success. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Different Models: James Hartert, MD, MS, Chief Medical Officer for MinuteClinic, speaks with Bob Wertz of HealthLeaders Media at the Yale School of Management Healthcare 2008 Conference. In part two of a three-part interview, Hartert discusses the nurse practitioner model and the physician-staffed model for convenient care clinics. [Listen Now]
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.
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