HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - August 21, 2008 | The Hippocratic Oath Meets the First Amendment View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
The Hippocratic Oath
Meets the First Amendment

Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

When dealing with issues related to health, life, and death on a daily basis, it's almost impossible to avoid controversy. From abortion to assisted suicide, physicians are caught in the middle of plenty of heated moral debates. The latest comes out of California and pits the First Amendment against anti-discrimination laws. [Read More]
  August 21, 2008

Editor's Picks
Paid (a lot) for performance
CMS has released results from its Physician Group Practice demonstration project—the first pay-for-performance initiative for physicians under the Medicare program—and the results look good. The physician-run demonstration improved quality of care and saved money, and the doctors were rewarded handsomely for it. The 10 physician groups taking part earned $16.7 million in incentive payments and four of the groups earned an additional $13.8 million in performance payments. Les Masterson spoke with a CMS official this week and his column offers a good analysis of what these results mean for the future. [Read More]
Doctors aren't the first source of health information
A new study from the Center for Studying Health System Change reports a big jump in the percentage of Americans who seek health information from a source other than their doctor—up from 38% in 2001 to 56% today. The Internet is a growing source and was used by nearly one-third of respondents. But patients also rely on friends and relatives, books, and even television or radio. The researchers attribute the rise to the bigger financial burden consumers are bearing and rising healthcare costs. [Read More]
A healthy dose of independence
This Star-Tribune article takes a look at a growing number of Minnesota doctors who are trying to reassert their independence by breaking away from the larger groups and opening "mom and pop" practices. The market has been moving in the other direction—the number of solo family doctors in the state plunged from 89 in 1990 to 36 this year, and two-person partnerships fell from 58 to 35. Running a solo or small practice is simply much harder than it once was, but for the physicians that can pull it off, the autonomy is often well worth it. [Read More]
Data miners fight law that shields doctors
When those pharmaceutical reps show up at your office to pitch their latest drug, they often come in knowing as much about your prescribing habits as you do. Mining prescription data has become a multi-million dollar industry, and data mining companies are fighting aggressively to overturn laws in New England that protect physicians from these practices. Judges in Maine and New Hampshire have already declared the protections unconstitutional, but a decision by a federal appeals court could overturn those decisions. Bottom line: What happens in New England could affect data-mining protections in the rest of the country. As many as 18 states considered similar restrictions this year but are holding off to see if the laws survive legal scrutiny. [Read More]
Business Rx
Ask 15 questions to analyze your market:
It is crucial to know the characteristics of your practice's service area. Start by asking 15 basic questions. [Read More]
Physician News
FL Board of Medicine drops plan to hike fees for copies of medical records
South Florida Sun-Sentinel - August 20, 2008
Illinois' medical malpractice law on trial
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - August 18, 2008
Tools help patients interface with doctors
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - August 19, 2008
More apologies to families follow medical mistakes
St. Petersburg Times - August 20, 2008
CA doctors may be required to explain end-of-life rights to patients
Los Angeles Times - August 21, 2008
On Demand: Recruiting Today's Physician: Competitive Compensation Packages and Practice Structures
On Demand: OR Overhaul: 5 Surgical Site Improvements Every Leader Should Make Today
On Demand: Service Line Strategies Workshop 2008: Neurosciences
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Help the Uninsured (Without Going Broke)
HealthLeaders August 2008
The number of people who can't pay much—or anything—for their care just keeps rising. Some hospitals have found new ways to help them while still protecting the financial health of the hospital. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

"Never Events" Pose Liability Risk: Attorney Jim Saxton from Stevens & Lee in Lancaster, PA, answers a reader's question about "never events" and warns that using that term may influence jurors and patients who will assume that any "never event" error is due to negligence. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Revitalizing Physician Leadership: Craig Sammit, MD, MBA, president and CEO of Dean Health System in Madison, WI, discusses his two-year effort to identify and develop more physicians for leadership roles within the organization. [Listen Now]
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Resources From HealthLeaders Media

Learn how to harness the power of a large organization, either by expanding the practice or partnering with hospitals, private investors, or other physician groups, with Physician Entrepreneurs: Strength in Numbers.
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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