HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - October 23, 2008 | More Bad News View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
More Bad News
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

The financial crisis—both within healthcare and in the world economy—was predictably a hot topic of conversation at the MGMA annual conference in San Diego this week, and the latest MGMA cost survey that was released at the event suggests the financial environment isn't getting any better for physicians. [Read More]
  October 23, 2008

Editor's Picks
Docs overestimate health literacy
Pre-exam questionnaires may not be as effective as most doctors think, as many patients misunderstand the written questions, according to two new studies. Patients also have problems with basic numbers—rating something on a scale of 1-10 or assessing whether a symptom occurred one-third of the time. A third study suggests using computer programs to "speak" questions to patients may be more effective. But emphasis should probably be on physician communication skills and making sure patients understand the information they're given. [Read More]
Avoiding perilous hand offs
As the medical community debates the merits of the 80-hour limit on residents' work weeks, one challenge that has drawn attention is the patient "hand off." Physicians at Johns Hopkins Hospital have developed a list of good surgical sign-out practices to help alleviate the problem. I've never bought into the argument that limiting work hours will increase handoff errors. It may be true, but it seems like the best solution is to aim for better handoffs, not overworked residents. [Read More]
McCain, Obama agree on doctor pay overhaul
The two presidential candidates take very different approaches to healthcare reform, but they both agree that Medicare needs a new system for physician reimbursement. The McCain campaign said it wants to reward providers "for coordinated and quality-outcome-based care." Obama proposes to base reimbursements on patient outcomes "in a coordinated effort to focus the entire payment system around better health, not just more care." [Read More]
Move to ban gifts continues
The University of Minnesota Medical School is considering a very strict new conflict-of-interest policy that would ban all gifts to physicians—even simple Post-it-Notes featuring a drug company's logo. As the U.S. Justice Department probes ties between doctors and drug companies and medical device manufacturers, many schools across the country have taken voluntary steps this year to curb the problem. [Read More]
Business Rx
Thwart Drug Seekers Before They Get Into the Exam Room:
Foiling the drug-seeking patient involves more than the physician. It's a collaborative effort that's a clinical and practice-management issue. [Read More]
Physician News
Another drug maker to report payments to doctors
Wall Street Journal (blog) - October 23, 2008
Docs, insurers blame each other for administrative headaches
Los Angeles Times - October 23, 2008
Ties between doctors and stent makers queried
New York Times - October 17, 2008
Study urges low-tech solutions for medical errors
HealthDay/Washington Post - October 20, 2008
Audio Conferences/Webcasts
November 17, 2008: 5 Ways to Hospital-Physician Quality: Goals, Incentives, Dialogue, Staff, IT
November 3, 2008: Financial Meltdown: Managing Through The Crisis
On Demand: Physician Compensation Planning: Key Techniques for End-of-Year Evaluations
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

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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.
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