HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - December 18, 2008 | No More Free Lunches View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
No More Free Lunches
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Physicians' relationships with industry, pharmaceutical companies in particular, have gotten a lot of attention and scrutiny this year. State and federal government officials, as well as industry representatives, are increasingly clamping down on improper financial exchanges. And to be fair, both parties have made some significant strides toward improving transparency and setting up some basic ground rules. [Read More]
  December 18, 2008

Editor's Picks
Primary care doctors ask for stimulus bonus
American College of Physicians President Jeffrey Harris recently sent a letter to HHS nominee Tom Daschle asking that the Obama administration's economic-stimulus package include a 10% pay bonus for all services provided by primary care docs under Medicare for a period of 18 months. Will they get it? That probably depends on when the administration plans on pushing through major healthcare reform. If soon, they probably will consider primary care payment increases with the larger reform package. [Read More]
Second opinions online
Want to make an extra $550 to $1,000? Start offering second opinion consultations online. They're becoming more popular with patients, are typically paid for out-of-pocket, and only a few providers are currently offering them, according to Newsweek. Patients e-mail or fax medical records and other relevant documentation, and the online doctor gets back to them in one or two weeks with a report. Sure, in-person visits are better for providing the majority of care, but for second opinions, this seems like an ideal way to give patients choice and make things easy on providers. [Read More]
Doubt grows over cardiac CT scans
Evidence continues to mount suggesting expensive cardiac CT scans aren't ready for prime time. Doctors using 64-slice CT scans identified blockages in the arteries around the heart when no blockages were actually present 50% of the time, according to a study of 360 patients. The scanners were good at detecting blockages that were actually there, but the high rate of false positives is problematic. A study in last month's New England Journal of Medicine also concluded that CT angiography isn't ready to replace conventional coronary angiography. [Read More]
Making labor pains worse
A Chicago physician is being sued for making a woman's labor pain worse after he berated her throughout the delivery (her fifth). He was filling in for another doctor and chastised her for "not calling ahead" and after telling her it was too late for pain medication told a nurse that, "sometimes pain is the best teacher." Cases like these often stir up debates about frivolous lawsuits, but patients don't deserve to be verbally abused by doctors, particularly when in labor. There are many ways to deal with a doctor like this who yells at both staff and patients, but to borrow his phrase, sometimes a lawsuit is the best teacher. [Read More]
Happy Holidays!
From all of us at HealthLeaders Media, have a happy and safe holiday. HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders will not publish next week, but will be back January 2.
Business Rx
Consider Perks When Crafting Compensation Plans:
Compensation is far from the only factor employees consider when deciding whether to join or stay with a practice. Consider how your staff would respond to extra perks and benefits. [Read More]
Physician News
Simulators can teach old docs new tricks
Washington Post - December 16, 2008
Miami doctor gets stiff sentence for Medicare scam
Miami Herald - December 18, 2008
After losing Medicaid coverage, many patients land in hospitals
New York Times - December 17, 2008
Racial gap in colon cancer deaths is widening
AP/Yahoo News - December 16, 2008

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
January 6, 2009: Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Women's Health
On Demand: What Your Practice Is Worth: Calculating Fair Market Value
On Demand: New and Proven Medical Staff Models: Align Hospital, Physicians, and Community Goals
From HealthLeaders Magazine
20 People Who Make Healthcare Better
HealthLeaders December 2008
In our annual HealthLeaders 20, we offer profiles of individuals who are making a difference in today's complex healthcare world. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Here Come the Seniors
The influx of baby boomer patients promises to increase the already high demand for senior services. But the prospect of expanding a service line that relies so heavily on Medicare has some hospital leaders jittery. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Web-based Patient Education Works: Contributor Charles E. Morton, III, MD, recounts his early success with switching from seminars to a web-based program for pre-, peri-, and postoperative patient education programs. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Women's Health: Lisa Slama, PhD, consultant with Sg2, talks about expanding the scope of women's health service lines and considers the market's potential for growth in the near future. [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.
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