HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - September 24, 2008
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Are you ready for the country? Apparently not
John Commins, Editor, Community Hospitals
A new survey of new physicians provides more glum news for rural healthcare. In Merritt, Hawkins & Associates' 15th annual query of newly minted doctors, only 4% of the physicians said they wanted to hang a shingle in a town with a population of 25,000 or less [Read More]
September 24, 2008
Editor's Picks

Business healthcare costs expected to average $8,863 per person in 2009
More bad news from the Wall Street Journal. It cites a Hewitt Associates survey of 400 large employers with more than 13 million employees. Based on their findings, it expects companies' healthcare costs will rise 6.4% in 2009, to $8,863 per person, after a 6% increase in 2008. Employees' total share (including both premiums and out-of-pocket expenses) are projected to rise a steeper 8.9%, to $3,826. Employee premiums alone are climbing 7.8%, along with a 10.1% increase in out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and copays. [Read More]

Medical bills create financial burden for more Americans
From the Department of Piling On. The New York Times reports on two studies released Wednesday that it says provide further evidence of the toll healthcare is increasingly placing on working families, even for those who have health insurance. And as employees are paying more medical expenses out of their own pockets, they are having a harder time coming up with the money. [Read More]

State-of-the-art hospital collides with state-of-admissions drop-off
It was not supposed to happen this way. With great fanfare, executives at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth, MA two years ago cut the ribbon on a 91,000-square-foot, $40 million pavilion. That's right about the time that admissions started falling. This year, admissions are down 9% and the hospital is expected to post a loss. Their bonds have been downgraded to junk status, with a warning of possible further downgrades. [Read More]

Aetna to let MDs decide on rescissions.
After getting slammed in the media for the last two years for canceling the coverage of sick customers who were suspected of obtaining policies through false applications, Hartford, CT-based Aetna Inc. will let an outside group of physicians make that determination for them. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

The New C-suite: Sailing the Seven Cs, Part 1
It takes strong leadership skills to navigate the waters of physician-hospital competition and collaboration. The questions to consider are "Where do you want your organization to be?" and "Where is it now?" [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Business booming for medical offices
Charlotte Observer - September 24, 2008
Regulator: Hospitals need strict heparine rules
AP/Denver Post - September 23, 2008
Medicare premiums expected to hold steady for most in 2009
San Francisco Chronicle - September 20, 2008
Say 'Cheese!' Say 'You're Fired!' Two hospital employees canned for taking patients' pictures
Associated Press - September 20, 2008
Study: Doctors show little empathy
USA Today - September 23, 2008
Defensive medicine gets offensive
Wall Street Journal - September 18, 2008
From HealthLeaders Magazine
10 Events That Could Change Healthcare
No one knows what the future holds, but several scenarios could significantly alter the healthcare landscape. [Read More]
Community Call
Discussion Board
Is your hospital feeling the pinch from higher healthcare costs for employees? What are you doing about it?
Audio Feature
Secrets to Making Staff Happy: It's a considerable accomplishment to be included in Fortune magazine's "Top 100 Companies to Work For." But it's even more remarkable to be included with the likes of Google, General Mills, and Nike for nine straight years. It's more remarkable still when your company is a small community hospital. Bill Powanda, a vice president at Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT, explains what makes his hospital such a great place to work. [Listen Now]
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