HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - July 10, 2008 | Should Congress Have Let the Cuts Stand? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Should Congress Have
Let the Cuts Stand?

Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Yesterday's vote on H.R. 6331—the bill to halt a Medicare physician pay reduction—made for great political theater. After falling one vote shy two weeks ago, the legislation was approved—a great victory for the nation's physicians. Right? Not according to some physician bloggers. [Read More]
  July 10, 2008

Editor's Picks
Fee schedule includes telehealth coverage, gainsharing
This year's Medicare Physician Fee Schedule contains some of the usual bad news—a payment reduction (which shouldn't be a problem after yesterday's Senate vote) and additional practice requirements. But there's also some good news: Medicare is proposing to reimburse for telephone or e-mail encounters (a big step forward), and CMS is issuing its first rule to allow more gainsharing. For more information about other nuggets in the fee schedule, see healthcare lawyer David Harlow's analysis. [Read More]
Diagnosis without doctors?
Physician blogger Dr. Val recently heard about FreeMD, an online tool that "conducts an interview, analyzes symptoms, and provides expert advice" to patients, and decided to test it out for herself. It completely missed the diagnosis of her fictional condition, and she concluded that "computers will replace physicians when robots replace spouses." Fair enough, but I still maintain that physicians should view diagnostic software as a tool to improve their own accuracy, rather than as a threat. [Read More]
Physician, Google thyself
A couple of psychiatrists at Massachusetts General Hospital are counseling their colleagues on how to take control of their Web presence. Step one: Google yourself to see what patients are finding when searching for your name. There are limitations to what you can do if a patient or someone else is tarnishing your online image on a blog or Web site. But the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Ready or not, the Internet is an integral part of practicing medicine. [Read More]
Patients just don't understand
Nearly three-quarters of emergency room patients don't understand instructions given to them by their doctors, according to new research. Not only that, but they're unaware that they don't understand the orders, so they often don't ask questions. Improved training, additional time with the patient, and better teamwork in the ER can go a long way toward improving communication, according to the article. [Read More]
AMA apologizes for past racism
The AMA issued an apology today for "more than a century of discriminatory policies that excluded blacks from participating in the group." Although the AMA never had a blatant policy toward black physicians, it required members to join state and local medical societies, many of which openly discriminated. The announcement shines light on an often overlooked intersection of race and medicine. Not only are minorities underrepresented in the field, but health outcomes are often tied to race, and there's evidence that black patients fare better when treated by a doctor of the same race. [Read More]
Business Rx
Real Estate Slump Hinders Doctor Recruitment:
Who would have guessed that the drop in home sales would dramatically affect how hospitals and physician practices recruit physicians? It may not have seemed like an obvious connection when the first news of a real estate crisis broke, but facilities are quickly learning that the bad housing market is directly affecting physician recruitment efforts, and many are looking for ways to adapt. [Read More]
Physician News
Posting malpractice payout records evokes big outcry in NC
Raleigh News & Observer - July 2, 2008
Cancer care unaffected by doctor reimbursement changes
HealthDay/Washington Post - July 9, 2008
Drug industry to announce revised code on marketing
New York Times - July 10, 2008
California doctor gets 10 years in 'rent-a-patient' scam
AP/San Francisco Chronicle - July 8, 2008
Implant firms pay doctors millions
Philadelphia Inquirer - June 30, 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 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

Read about the latest business strategies to help you grow beyond traditional practice models in Physician Entrepreneurs: Going Retail.
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