HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - November 6, 2008 | Battling Physician Burnout View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Battling Physician Burnout
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Many of the trends within the physician workforce in recent years—a growing emphasis on work-life balance, a shift toward employment, a rejection of traditional ED call coverage models, and the growing shortage—are often attributed to generational differences and other consequences of a changing physician demographic. But there's another, more sinister, force driving physician work habits: Physician burnout. [Read More]
  November 6, 2008

Editor's Picks
CMS offers 5.1% payment increases
But you have to do everything right to get that much. Physicians are slated to get a 1.1% fee schedule update in 2009 resulting from legislation Congress passed this summer. On top of that, physicians can earn a 2% bonus through participation in the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative, and another 2% of their total Medicare allowed charges for e-prescribing. As I noted last week, a lot of physicians are having problems with PQRI participation, and few are receiving the maximum allowed bonus. Still, most years we're talking about potential Medicare cuts around this time, so many providers will welcome the opportunities to increase reimbursement. [Read More]
"Radiology police"
An increasing number of insurers are hiring outside firms to make doctors justify costly imaging scans like MRIs. Radiology benefit managers' goal is to reduce costs by making sure doctors only order high-tech procedures when necessary. This isn't a new trend, and imaging costs are in many cases spiraling out of control and need to be addressed. But it exacerbates a problem that many physicians feel is central to our healthcare struggles: It takes medical decisions out of the hands of doctors, who are better prepared to make these decisions than a third party. [Read More]
Other election results
The presidential election probably captured your attention this week, but there were a few healthcare-related ballot initiatives that passed Tuesday, as well. Michigan approved the use of medical marijuana, when prescribed by a physician, and voted to expand embryonic stem cell research in the state. In Washington, a proposal passed 59% to 41% making physician-assisted suicide legal. Under the new law, a doctor can prescribe a lethal dose of medication for patients with less than six months to live, as long as they have submitted two separate requests and are of sound mind. [Read More]
Doctors work to keep patients during downturn
More evidence is coming in that the economic downturn is affecting physician practice business. According to this Wall Street Journal blog post, doctors are working to keep their offices full by adding reminder calls for appointments, extended office hours, last-minute appointments, and same-day test results. According to a survey of 75 physician practices, revenues are down 3.5% this year, compared with a rise of 6% last year. [Read More]
Business Rx
Three Steps to Create Your Office Dream Team:
Effective teams are made up of individuals who take accountability for their behavior. Team members take action not because they should, but because they truly want to. Such motivation is possible only in an environment in which employees feel valued and respected and, in turn, hold their colleagues, manager, and practice in the same esteem. [Read More]
Physician News
America's pending shortage of cancer doctors
HealthDay/Washington Post - November 3, 2008
Nevada cap on medical damage awards draws criticism
AP/San Francisco Chronicle - November 3, 2008
President Obama and healthcare
Stephen Jenkins, for Sg2 (free registration required) - November 6, 2008
Treatment of pain lacking, data show
McClatchy Newspapers/Houston Chronicle - October 31, 2008
CMS delays ban on faxed prescriptions
American Academy of Family Physicians - November 6, 2008
Audio Conferences/Webcasts
December 16, 2008: What Your Practice Is Worth: Calculating Fair Market Value
November 17, 2008: 5 Ways to Hospital-Physician Quality: Goals, Incentives, Dialogue, Staff, IT
On Demand: Financial Meltdown: Managing Through The Crisis
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

Engaging Physicians in Quality Joel J. Reich, MD, senior vice president for medical affairs at Eastern Connecticut Health Network, discusses the disconnect between physicians and hospital administrators when it comes to quality improvement efforts, and offers potential solutions for bridging that gap. [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.