HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - December 10, 2008 View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free

ED Overcrowding a
Patient Safety Issue
John Commins, Editor, Community Hospitals
A new study that surveys 3,562 emergency department clinicians in 65 hospitals across the nation raises concerns about the safety of critically ill patients who are parked in hallways and denied timely care in overcrowded emergency departments. [Read More]
December 10, 2008
Editor's Picks

Uninsured straining hospital EDs
This is what we call a smooth segue. My column just talked about ED overcrowding, and now the New York Times is piling on. It's hard to see how the issue can be more plainly stated when the president of the American College of Emergency Physicians tells the nation's paper of record that the nation's emergency rooms "have no capacity now." [Read More]

Bedsores nearing epidemic proportions
The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is reporting that the number of hospital patients with bedsores has risen dramatically over a 14-year period, leading to longer, more expensive hospital stays. AHRQ says some 503,300 patients admitted to U.S. hospitals in 2006 suffered from a bedsore that developed either before or during their stay. That figure was 281,300 in 1993, representing an increase of 78.9%. By contrast, overall hospital admissions increased by just 15% between 1993 and 2006. [Read More]

Scans drive up costs, provide mixed results
There has long been an argument about the cost-effectiveness and economic sense of new medical technologies. Now the argument has shifted to whether or not these expensive new procedures make medical sense. We've been running a lot of content lately from the New York Times lately, bit give The Gray Lady credit. They are doing a great job bringing some of healthcare's more nettlesome problems to the general public's attention. The Times' renewed emphasis on coverage of healthcare delivery issues will not go unnoticed by other media. This is a good thing if the coverage informs—rather than inflames—the public about the challenges facing healthcare delivery. [Read More]

Hard times for Jefferson Parish hospitals
How bad are things in New Orleans when area hospitals say they'll lose at least $50 million, and that's seen as progress? The Times-Picayune reports that suburban Jefferson Parish's three largest hospitals are expected to lose at least $50 million this year, battered by post-Katrina problems, including skyrocketing labor costs, a surge in uninsured patients, and lagging Medicare reimbursements. The huge losses actually represent an improvement over 2005, when West Jefferson Medical Center, East Jefferson General Hospital, and Ochsner Medical Center lost a combined $150 million. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

Are You Ready for Healthcare Reform?
Healthcare reform will likely be one of the top priorities President-elect Barack Obama and his administration tackles in the next couple of years. HealthLeaders Media contributor David Osborn discusses how U.S. hospitals can prepare for the next administration?s healthcare reform policies. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Concord, MA, hospital won't quit life support
Boston Globe ? December 8, 2008
HMA chairman William Schoen gives up cash pay
Tampa Bay Business Journal ? December 10, 2008
Senate, House Leadership discuss Medicare physician pay fix with Obama's healthcare team ? December 10, 2008
Anaheim (CA) General Hospital loses accreditation
Los Angeles Times ? December 8, 2008

Webcasts/Audio Conferences

Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Women's Health (Live)
What Your Practice Is Worth: Calculating Fair Market Value (Live)
Grow Outpatient Revenues Now: 3 Impact Strategies (On Demand)
From HealthLeaders Magazine
What's Your Brand?
  Is YOUR organization ready to deliver on its brand promise? [Read More]
Community Call
Discussion Board
Is your ED running at full or over capacity? If so, what steps are you taking to alleviate ED overcrowding?