HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - July 16, 2008 View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free

Healthcare with Less Money and Less Physicians
Carrie Vaughan, Editor, Community Hospitals
One healthcare trend that I hear repeatedly is that we need to do more with less—less money, less physicians, and less access to care. I doubt this trend will abate any time soon. There's not going to be a sudden influx of specialists choosing to practice in rural America. But an even greater concern may be primary care. [Read More]
July 16, 2008
Editor's Picks

A GA hospital's open heart surgery center is being debated—again
Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, GA, overcame a huge obstacle when it received approval from the state department of community health to establish an open heart surgery center on June 5. But now the future of the $32.9 million project—scheduled to open in late 2010—is already in jeopardy. Three metro Atlanta hospitals—Piedmont Hospital, Emory University Hospital, and Emory Crawford Long Hospital—have filed written appeals opposing the center. [Read More]

Hospital food that tastes good?
Nobody likes hospital food. More often than not, it's bland, or cold, or just looks gross. But St. Clair Hospital hopes to change that perception. The Mount Lebanon, PA-based facility is changing its menu and its entire approach to cooking and serving meals. A new chef is overseeing the changes, which already include adding vegetarian entrees to the cafeteria menu and using more locally produced items. Eventually, the community hospital hopes to offer restaurant-quality takeout food for its staff, a "salads-by-design" bar, and grab-and-go fresh foods that can be ordered via a touch-screen device. [Read More]

We'll pay off your loan, give you a mentor, or build you a school
Here's a sampling of various programs trying to entice med students or recent med graduates to practice in rural America. The Colorado Health Foundation will pay up to $150,000 over a three-year period to help 18 physicians pay off their medical-school student loans. In exchange, the physicians will practice in rural health centers and other qualifying facilities in underserved areas of Colorado during that time period. University of Arizona med students are working alongside doctors in rural communities. Participants in the Rural Health Professions Program—now in its 11th year—are more likely to select primary care specialties than their classmates (75% versus 56%, respectively). The University of California plans to open two new medical schools to help train more physicians for underserved rural and minority communities.
Rural docs now have online 'home'
The American Academy of Family Physicians created an online community for family physicians in rural areas. The Web site provides links to news headlines, as well as access to the CMS Quarterly Provider Update and news releases. It also includes rural health resources on topics such as reimbursement, coding, and practice management, among other features. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

A Message to Community Hospital Leadership
The future for hospitals is not dependent on getting more dollars in the door to offset revenue restrictions but to focus on stopping dollars from going out the door, says contributor R. Daniel King. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Medicare auditors recover $700 million in overpayments
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) – July 14, 2008
Rural area medical clinic to provide free medical care in Virginia
Bristol Herald Courier – July 16, 2008
House-Senate pact reached on mental health bill
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) – July 11, 2008
Long-term fix is elusive in Medicare payments
New York Times – July 14, 2008
Mercy Medical Center takes over Dallas County, IA, hospital
Des Moines Register – July 9, 2008
Grant to provide mental healthcare in Lake County, OH, emergency rooms
Cleveland Plain Dealer – July 10, 2008
Group calls for zero tolerance of doctor bullies
AP/Yahoo News – July 10, 2008
Some health centers work with doctors' part-time needs
Detroit Free Press – July 15, 2008
From HealthLeaders Magazine
The Hospital of the Future
  Sure, your organization offers sophisticated, compassionate care. But the patients of tomorrow will want much more than that. [Read More]