HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - June 12, 2008 | Specialty Interests View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Specialty Interests
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Collectively, physicians can sometimes be their own worst enemies. Just when primary care physicians caught a break and the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee advised Congress to find a way to increase their payments, their surgeon colleagues fired off a letter in an attempt to prevent a possible payment change. [Read More]
  June 12, 2008

Editor's Picks
Audits for Medicare fraud put docs on defensive
Doctors in a Tennessee medical group have finally reached the end of an 18-month nightmare that began when a Medicare contractor showed up unannounced to audit 120 claims filed over two years. A judge ultimately ruled in the physicians' favor, but only after three appeals and $150,000 in legal expenses. I'm all for reducing Medicare fraud, but the physicians' attorney raises a valid objection: "These usually are not fraud cases, they are usually allegations of failure to comply with complicated billing and documentation requirements that are constantly changing and often vague." [Read More]
Medical group forms malpractice insurance company
This is something you don't see every day: South Carolina physicians, worried about commercial carriers leaving the market during an earnings downturn, have formed their own malpractice insurance company to act as a safety net and insure about 500-600 of the state's 9,000 practicing physicians. The company was founded by the South Carolina Physicians Association, which says the premiums will be "competitively priced." [Read More]
Researchers fail to disclose drug industry pay
This article about prominent Harvard psychiatrists who failed to disclose millions in consulting fees from drug makers has generated a lot of buzz this week. A backlash against physician-pharmaceutical ties seems to be gaining momentum, and all it takes is one or two very high-profile cases like this to spark major legislative action. Whether it's a handful of individuals who made bad choices or really an industry-wide problem, stories like this are creating a pretty serious "image problem" for physicians. [Read More]
Congress pushes curbs on doctor-owned hospitals
This New York Times article examines Congressional efforts to restrict the spread of physician-owned hospitals—legislation that would ban Medicare and Medicaid referrals to these facilities has been approved three times in the last 10 months, although none of the proposals made it into law. For more info, this Cain Brothers article provides an update on proposed federal legislation and offers several strategies that existing physician-owned hospitals should be evaluating to protect and maximize shareholder value. [Read More]
Colorado passes patient insurance-card bill
Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has signed a bill that would require insurers in the state to issue patient identification cards with both written information about the patient and insurer as well as machine-readable information on a magnetic strip. MGMA is happy about the legislation and its potential for reducing administrative healthcare costs, and the group is pushing for other states to adopt similar patient identification cards. [Read More]
Business Rx
Integrate comp plans for practice merger success:
Once the legal aspects of a medical practice merger are complete, many operational issues must be reviewed for the transformation to be successful. Perhaps the single greatest issue that practices confront as they merge is their postmerger income distribution plan. [Read More]
Physician News
Massachusetts insurers expand use of doctor rankings
Boston Globe - June 10, 2008
Doctors miss cultural needs, study says
New York Times - June 10, 2008
Highmark to give 'cyber' funds to doctors
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - June 9, 2008
Muslim doctors to open free clinic in Brooksville, FL
St. Petersburg Times - June 11, 2008
Nobel winner reunited with sister lost in WWII
AP/Yahoo News - June 12, 2008
June 17, 2008: Physician Alignment Strategies: Choose the Right On-call Compensation Model for Your Hospital
On Demand: 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

Financially Successful Physicians: Did you ever wonder why two similar clinicians can have such similar practices with wildly different financial situations? Contributor David Zahaluk, MD, answers that question based on advice from prominent business management experts. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Simplifying Results: Patrick Buckley, CEO of PB Healthcare Business Solutions, and author of Physician Entrepreneurs: Marketing Toolkit discusses how to simplify the various components of a marketing campaign by creating easy-to-use tools. [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.
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.
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