HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - May 22, 2008 | 40 Days View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
40 Days
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Will Congress stop the cut in time? What if they don't? How will it affect my practice? Should I stop seeing new Medicare patients? Physicians have many questions on their minds as the July 1 deadline for the 10.6% reduction in Medicare payments draws near and physician groups and associations are intensifying their advocacy efforts in hopes of sparking Congressional intervention on their behalf. [Read More]
  May 22, 2008

Editor's Picks
Why docs are heading to Texas
Two words: Tort reform. According to this Wall Street Journal article (subscription required), caps on medical malpractice awards enacted in 2003 and other reform efforts are the primary reason nearly 7,000 physicians have migrated to the state in the last few years. It's easy to see the appeal for doctors—some malpractice insurance companies have cut premiums by as much as 35%. Other states that are looking for ways to lure doctors may want to take note. [Read More]
Race affects end-of-life discussions
Recent research suggests ICU physicians discuss end-of-life issues less frequently with black patients and their families than with white patients and report feeling less comfortable during these discussions with black patients. Previous research has shown ICU physicians are also less likely to predict that black patients will survive, despite higher survival rates. Now, it's unlikely that these trends are due to overt discrimination. But treatment disparities due to underlying biases or discomforts continue to be a problem in healthcare. Recognizing these disparities is a big first step toward eventually eliminating them. [Read More]
Start rural, stay rural
A new study has found that if each medical school adds a rural training program—focused on candidates with rural backgrounds and extended rural curriculums—they would more than double the number of new graduates going into rural practice. I've heard anecdotally from recruiters and hospitals that the best way to recruit rural physicians is to find candidates who have already worked or lived in a rural setting, so this seems like a pretty sound model. [Read More]
Savings from healthcare IT may be overstated
A RAND Corporation study claiming healthcare IT implementation could save $77 billion has been widely cited by proponents of faster EMR and e-prescribing adoption, including this year's presidential candidates. But the Congressional Budget Office is now questioning the validity of the study and others like it, arguing that the savings may be overstated. This is what a lot of physicians who have been reluctant to implement EMR systems have been saying for a while. [Read More]
Mass docs sue over cost, quality rankings
Physicians are again fighting insurers' ranking and tiering programs, this time in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Medical Society has sued the state's Group Insurance Commission, calling its ranking system unfair and arguing that harms doctors and patients. This is a dispute that is far from over. [Read More]
Business Rx
Due Diligence Reduces Risk of Ancillary Services:
One of the best physician-to-physician business strategies currently in existence is the development of ancillary services within an existing practice, whether it is a single-specialty or multispecialty group. But these initiatives require a substantial amount of due diligence and financial projection to ensure that the investment is worthwhile. [Read More]
Physician News
Even doctors guess at health charges
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - May 21, 2008
Legal protections for Louisiana doctors during disasters advance
New Orleans Times-Picayune - May 20, 2008
Doctors say 'I'm sorry' before 'see you in court'
New York Times - May 19, 2008
Doctors to provide online consultations in war areas
Chicago Tribune - May 22, 2008
University of Florida doctor quits after putting medical records at risk
First Coast News - May 22, 2008
June 17, 2008: Physician Alignment Strategies: Choose the Right On-call Compensation Model for Your Hospital
June 12, 2008: Marketing your physician practice: A guide to growth
On Demand: Retention strategies to keep top physicians
On Demand: Service Line ROI: Financial decision-making to grow your physician practice
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Shared Success
HealthLeaders May 2008
Crafting a true partnership—often with a perceived competitor—is a complex task. Here's how some hospitals are doing it. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Unhappy Physicians: Contributor Edwin Leap, MD, ponders the reasons for physician discontent and argues that more emphasis on work-life balance, and less on compensation, may be the key to a happier physician work force. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Community Relations: Julie Wright, CEO of Sound Family Medicine, a 28-provider practice in Puyallup, WA, discusses the importance of understanding current and future patient needs and disease trends within a community or service area. Hear more about Wright's strategies June 12 during a HealthLeaders Media audioconference, Marketing Your Physician Practice: A Guide to Growth. [Listen Now]
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Resources From HealthLeaders Media

There's more to marketing your physician practice than a clever ad; learn about the up-front research and the simple but effective tools needed to develop, track, and measure a strategic marketing plan during our June 12 audioconference.
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.
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.
Find practice-management ideas in The Doctor's Office, a monthly newsletter.