HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - October 30, 2008 | Obama vs. McCain: Readers Weigh In View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Obama vs. McCain: Readers Weigh In
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

I received more e-mail from readers about my recent column covering the Obama and McCain healthcare reform plans than anything else I've written this year. With less than a week until the election, I'd like to share some of that feedback so you have a fuller picture going into the voting booth. [Read More]
  October 30, 2008

Editor's Picks
Talking politics with patients
Should doctors ever talk politics with patients? Manoj Jain, MD, writing in the Washington Post, says no. "For one, I'm in an authoritative position: When I talk about antibiotics, my patients listen and usually do as I advise. As a result, they might give inappropriate weight to my political pronouncements. For another, I fear that no matter how carefully I tread in these conversations, a disagreement could leave a dead zone in our relationship." [Read More]
Pennsylvania reform efforts drive away docs
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is driving physicians out of the state, according to this physician-written opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. At issue is healthcare reform; Rendell wants to create a universal program for the state, but to fund it he plans on pulling money from M-Care, a supplemental malpractice insurance program that pays malpractice claims that exceed the required basic liability coverage. But Pennsylvania was seeing an exodus of doctors before this battle. In 1992, 60% of residents stayed in the state after training, now only 20% do so. [Read More]
Half of doctors prescribe placebos
That number seems high. Most doctors are aware that innocuous pills can make a patient feel better if he or she thinks they will. But medical ethicists worry about how widespread use of placebos—and the deception they require—may affect the doctor-patient relationship. The AMA discourages the use of placebos, arguing it undermines trust and can lead to patient harm. Although the traditional placebo has no real effect on the patient, some doctors are prescribing antibiotics and sedatives primarily for their effect on patients' psyches. [Read More]
Physicians give PQRI poor ratings
Medicare's PQRI program needs significant improvement before physicians can successfully participate, according to an AMA study. More than 60% of physicians surveyed rated the program as difficult, and only 22% were able to download the PQRI feedback report for their practice. The entire concept of PQRI is based on accurate and timely feedback, so if that's not happening, the program won't work. Of those who could access their reports, less than half found the information instructive. [Read More]
Business Rx
Calculate Compensation for Medical Directors:
The most common way of determining medical directorship compensation is to develop fair market value benchmarks for the agreement in question. In some situations, there may not be enough publicly available data to develop a specialty-specific benchmark. [Read More]
Physician News
Doctors' movement to digital records begins, albeit slowly
Greensboro News & Record - October 30, 2008
Medical grind hurts healing art
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - October 30, 2008
Insurers entice doctors to prescribe generic drugs
AP/Yahoo News - October 30, 2008
Chicago doctor stands by ventures
Chicago Tribune - October 27, 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

Improving Quality in the Group Practice: Contributor and practice management consultant Leif Beck offers suggestions for improving quality in medical group practices that are built primarily around rewarding productivity. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Involving Patients in Quality: Marya Chaisson, MD, and Todd Liu of Griffin Hospital, in Derby, CT, talk about involving the community in Griffin's Patient Centered Care Council, which ensures services meet the culturally diverse needs of patients. [Listen Now]
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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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