HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - June 26, 2008 | Turning Online Physician Ratings into Lemonade View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Turning Online Physician
Ratings into Lemonade

Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Every time I open a newspaper or visit a major Web site lately, I see another article about the emergence of online portals that allow patients to rate their physicians. And the recent barrage of media coverage seems to have left many doctors skeptical of the unregulated sites and worried about their potential consequences. Although perhaps overhyped in the media, many of their concerns are real. [Read More]
  June 26, 2008

Editor's Picks
House passes Medicare bill but obstacles remain
First, the good news: The House voted 355 to 59 this week in favor of legislation that would eliminate the proposed 10.6% reduction in Medicare payments for 18 months. However, there are still a few obstacles to enacting the legislation. The bill now goes to the Senate where the vote is expected to be much tighter. And if it passes in its current form, the White House has threatened a veto because the bill includes cuts to Medicare Advantage. The Senate is scheduled to vote later today, but if legislation isn't passed by the end of this week, the cut will go into effect and the Senate won't reconvene until July 9 because of the Independence Day recess. [Read More]
The doctor will see you (on webcam) now
This is worth keeping an eye on: American Well, a telehealth company, has developed a comprehensive online consult system that allows physicians to chat via Web video, review a patient's record, write a prescription, and make a referral. The company business model involves partnering with payers to set reimbursement rates for online consults. Telehealth isn't just a concept for the future of healthcare anymore. It's becoming more feasible every day. [Read More]
CRNAs earn more than primary care doctors?
A new survey from staffing firm Merritt, Hawkins & Associates illustrates exactly why there is a shortage of primary care physicians. Nurse anesthetists recruited by the firm landed salaries averaging $185,000 last year, compared to $172,000 for family practitioners and $176,000 for internists. These numbers only reflect new recruits and aren't necessarily indicative of the entire market. Still, it's easy to understand primary care physicians' frustration at not being rewarded financially for their additional years of training. [Read More]
AMA Protects Patients Ahead of Protectionists
The AMA faced a tough decision when it released its first-ever guidelines for medical travel last week. Some of its members viewed medical tourism as a threat and wanted legislation preventing insurers from incentivizing medical travel. However, as Rick Johnson pointed out in this week's Global column, the AMA put patient safety first when it decided to help patients make the right choices when seeking care abroad. [Read More]
Eight hospitals worldwide pilot surgical checklist
The University of Washington Medical Center is one of eight hospitals worldwide testing a surgical checklist the World Health Organization unveiled this week. The WHO checklist is a descendent of one developed by Peter Pronovost, who showed that applying the process before surgery can reduce chances for complications and deaths. When we last reported on this, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had given approval to using the checklists after previously claiming they violated federal ethics requirements and amounted to research without patient consent. It's good to see more progress toward getting this life-saving tool into hospitals. [Read More]
Have a Great Fourth of July!
From all of us at HealthLeaders Media, have a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday. HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders will not publish next week, but will be back July 10.
Business Rx
Conduct an A/R Analysis: Get Paid the Money You Deserve:
Physicians often run tests and analyze results to help diagnose a patient. An A/R analysis can work the same way by offering ways to identify and ultimately repair the billing processes in your practice. [Read More]
Physician News
Medicare pays, even if providers do not
Washington Post - June 20, 2008
Do hospitalists improve hospital stays or increase risk?
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - June 24, 2008
New York patient safety bill reveals names of probed doctors
NewsDay - June 24, 2008
Pilot program at St. Louis hospital seeks to keep doctors
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - June 25, 2008
August 6: OR Overhaul: 5 Surgical Site Improvements Every Leader Should Make Today
July 14: Service Line Strategies Workshop 2008: Neurosciences
On Demand: Physician Alignment Strategies: Choose the Right On-call Compensation Model for Your Hospital
On Demand: Marketing your physician practice: A guide to growth
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Weaning Your Hospital Off of Medicare
HealthLeaders June 2008
How can your hospital maintain its level of service and its margin? It's time to get creative. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Disruptive Innovation Takes Time: Contributor Richard Reece, MD, examines recent research about disruptive innovation in healthcare and considers the role of physician leadership in bringing about real change. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Cutting It Close: William F. Jessee, MD, FACMPE, president and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association, talks about progress being made on preventing the Medicare payment cut scheduled for July 1 and offers suggestions for fixing the reimbursement system. [Listen Now]
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Resources From HealthLeaders Media

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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