HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - October 16, 2008 | So Long, Mom and Pop View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
So Long, Mom and Pop
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Like a lot of veteran physicians, Mark DeFrancesco, MD, MBA, began his career in a small practice with just one partner. Since his first days as an OB/GYN in 1984, however, his practice has grown organically and through mergers, and he now serves as chief medical officer for Physicians for Women's Health, a 155-physician group in Connecticut. His career path in many ways mirrors a trend we're seeing across the industry: Small practices are struggling and dying out in a wave of medical practice consolidation. [Read More]
  October 16, 2008

Editor's Picks
The costs of ICD-10
The MGMA is hoping a new study about the costs of implementing the ICD-10 code set will persuade the federal government to extend the 2011 implementation deadline. According to the research, the total estimated cost for a 10-physician practice to move to ICD-10 would be more than $285,000, and for a 100-physician practice that could soar to $2.7 million. The American Health Information Management Association responded to MGMA's stance this week, arguing that implementation costs "will only grow the longer we delay initiating that process." [Read More]
MRSA comes to the doctor's office
Although MRSA infections are most commonly associated with hospital stays, about 15% of infections can't be linked to hospitalization at all. These patients often show up first at a doctor's office for treatment. Benjamin Brewer, MD, offers the example of a diabetic man in his 50s who developed an infection on his chin after a nick from shaving. Prevention is more effective than treatment, Brewer says, which is why hand washing and disinfecting surfaces in physician practices is absolutely crucial. [Read More]
The scan that didn't scan
How accurate are MRIs? A New York Times reporter found out how unreliable they can be after a scan missed a serious stress fracture in her foot. There is a lot of variability in the quality of magnetic resonance machines as well as the skill among the physicians or technicians conducting the scans. This can be particularly problematic for physicians on the receiving end of a referral. Medical records don't reveal much about the quality of a previous scan, so how can you be certain that the results in the record are accurate? [Read More]
Tailor-made care
This Washington Post article takes a look at how physicians tailor their care to a patient's coverage—giving uninsured patients less time or bumping them from surgery schedules. It's not a surprising pattern, given the incentives, but it has consequences on the healthcare system. Many of those patients end up coming back to the ED with severe conditions, costing more in the long-run. [Read More]
See you in San Diego!
Next week I'll be at the MGMA annual conference in San Diego. Remember to visit regularly for my live reports and interviews from the conference. And if you're attending, stop by the HealthLeaders Media booth to see some of our latest publications.
Business Rx
Tighten Security Measures to Keep Records Safe:
Practices are exploring various ways to keep patient and other personal health information secure from those inside or outside the practice. Security breaches can be averted by enacting and following these simple steps. [Read More]
Physician News
Can cash for clinics snuff out smoking?
Minneapolis Star Tribune - October 14, 2008
As budgets tighten, more people decide medical care can wait
Washington Post - October 16, 2008
Idaho debates the doctor shortage
Boise Weekly - October 16, 2008
Cancer screenings for Medicaid patients miss targets
HealthDay/Washington Post - October 15, 2008
November 17, 2008: 5 Ways to Hospital-Physician Quality: Goals, Incentives, Dialogue, Staff, IT
On Demand: Physician Compensation Planning: Key Techniques for End-of-Year Evaluations
On Demand: Recruiting Today's Physician: Competitive Compensation Packages and Practice Structures
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Model for Success
HealthLeaders October 2008
Running a medical group has never been more complex. But many practices have found ways to not only survive—but thrive. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Malpractice: Admissions and the Medical Apology: Contributor Alan J. Williams, JD, author of Physician, Protect Thyself: 7 Simple Ways NOT to Get Sued for Medical Malpractice, examines the four components of a successful medical apology. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Doc the Vote: Jonathan Oberlander, PhD, associate professor of health policy and politics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses the healthcare reform proposals offered by Senators McCain and Obama and analyzes how they could impact physician practices and the overall healthcare system. [Listen Now]
Sponsor PhysicianLeaders

Contact Lisa Brown, Director of Integrated Sales, at or call 781.639.1872.
Resources From HealthLeaders Media

Improve patient satisfaction, CAHPS scores, and quality with the strategies and tools in Physician Entrepreneurs: The Quality Patient Experience.
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.
Find practice-management ideas in The Doctor's Office, a monthly newsletter.
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