HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - November 13, 2008 | Should Doctors Spread the Wealth Around? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Should Doctors Spread
the Wealth Around?

Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Now that we know which party will be setting the healthcare agenda for the next four years and the discussion about reform has shifted from abstract goals to a more concrete framework for change, a debate over income redistribution has ignited within the physician community. The controversy stems once again from the question of how to fix primary care. [Read More]
  Nov. 13, 2008

Editor's Picks
Baucus submits healthcare reform plan
Senator Max Baucus, who helped eliminate the 10% Medicare payment reduction this summer, unveiled his own plan for healthcare reform this week. Although it includes many features from President-elect Obama's proposal, it goes a step further and calls for insurance mandates for everyone. There is also a heavy focus on increasing the supply of primary care physicians and redefining their role within the system. Read the entire 98-page report online. [Read More]
Unpaid Medicare claims hurt some docs
Late Medicare reimbursements totaling more than $1 million in California, Nevada, and Hawaii are forcing some physicians to turn away patients or take other steps to stay afloat. When I saw that only three states were affected, my first thought was to blame a contractor. Sure enough, part of the problem stems from a recent switch to a South Carolina-based Medicare contractor that has struggled with the transition. One practice in California is owed more than $700,000, and its physicians now do the office laundry themselves to save money. [Read More]
Study: Use of imaging skyrockets
The use of MRI and CT scanners in the United States has more than doubled since 1995, but that hasn't necessarily resulted in better healthcare or fewer deaths, according to a study by researchers at Stanford and Harvard universities. The results aren't unexpected, but they will provide additional ammo for those preparing to go after the imaging industry and reign in the rising costs. [Read More]
Why we need 1,170 codes for angioplasty
The Wall Street Journal takes a look at ICD-10, noting that although many coders have been advocating for a coding upgrade for years, a lot of doctors are opposed to the three-year implementation timeline. CMS estimates additional costs to the medical industry of adopting the new coding system of $1.64 billion over 15 years. Individual physician practices could be looking at new expenses to "buy and install new software and train physicians, coders, and nurses," according to the article. [Read More]
Business Rx
Survey: Residents make career decisions earlier
Worried about debt and seeking work-life balance, residents are largely seeking employment-based opportunities, and they seem to be making career decisions earlier than ever. [Read More]
Physician News
West Penn forces out group of four doctors
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - November 8, 2008
How did doctors do in the Congressional elections?
Wall Street Journal (blog) - November 6, 2008
Report says Wisconsin must address lack of primary care doctors
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel - November 10, 2008
Doctors study repatriation of uninsured
New York Times - November 10, 2008

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PhysicianLeaders Forum

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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]
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