HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - December 19, 2008 | Are You Shirking Your Responsibility? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Are You Shirking
Your Responsibility?

Carrie Vaughan, Senior Editor-Leadership

The cornerstone of hospital mission statements nationwide is to provide quality healthcare to the community. But which members of the community? For instance, it's one thing to have a charity care policy, but if the patients who genuinely need charity care don't know about it, the system of care is difficult to navigate, and if financial assistance or counseling are not freely offered, then the underlying message is, "We really don't want you here." As a result, these patients will often seek care elsewhere or not at all.
[Read More]
  December 19, 2008

Editor's Picks
Why Americans pay more for healthcare
The United States spends $650 billion more on healthcare than you'd expect from a country with our wealth, according to a McKinsey report, which identifies where that extra spending goes. Roughly two-thirds of it pays for outpatient care, including same-day hospital care and visits to physicians' offices. The next-largest contributors are prescription drugs and administration and insurance. The study examines why we spend so much more, and whether we are getting our money's worth. [Read More]
Hospital charity care in the cross hairs
Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is considering proposing legislation in early 2009 that would hold nonprofit hospitals more accountable for the billions of dollars in annual tax exemptions that they receive. The legislation would require nonprofit hospitals to spend a minimum amount on free care for the poor and would impose penalties on those that fail to meet these requirements. Penalties could escalate from fines to stripping a hospital of its tax exempt status. [Read More]
Boston Medical to cut staff, services
Boston Medical Center will lay off 250 employees and scale back services in primary care, pediatrics, and geriatrics. The moves are in response to $114 million in state budget cuts and high volumes of indigent and Medicaid patients. CEO Elaine Ullian says the hospital was forced to make some tough choices. Rather than completely shut down a service line, the hospital decided to reduce access to care. As a result, patients will face longer waits for appointments. [Read More]
U.S. emergency rooms find ways to fix what ails them
Emergency rooms are characterized by overcrowding and long waits. This story highlights how some hospitals are addressing those problems. The solutions include fast track areas staffed by physician assistants or nurse practitioners, technology that enables faster turnaround times on blood tests and other diagnostic tests, and computerized patient tracking systems. [Read More]
Happy Holidays!
From all of us at HealthLeaders Media, have a happy and safe holiday. HealthLeaders Media Corner Office will not publish next week, but will be back January 2.

This Week's Headlines
Budget office sees hurdles in financing health plans
New York Times - December 19, 2008
Rule shields health workers who withhold care based on beliefs
Washington Post - December 19, 2008
Albuquerque-based Lovelace Medical Center hires new CEO
New Mexico Business News - December 17, 2008
Clayton County, GA, says no to Southern Regional hospital
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - December 17, 2008
Former CEO of City of Angels Medical Center pleads guilty to fraud
Los Angeles Times - December 15, 2008

Webcasts/Audio Conferences
Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Women's Health (Live)
What Your Practice Is Worth: Calculating Fair Market Value (On Demand)
Top 5 Healthcare Jobs
CEO/Administrator: HealthSouth, Plano, TX. This position is accountable for planning organizing and directing the hospital to ensure that quality patient care is provided and that the financial integrity of the hospital is maintained . . . [Read More]
Chief Executive Officer: Sierra Vista Hospital, Sacramento, CA. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) provides leadership and directs the overall operations of the facility consistent with the mission, values and strategy . . . [Read More]
Chief Operations Officer: Regency Hospital Company, Warrensville Heights, OH. The Chief Operations Officer provides day to day operations of hospital and implements strategy of the CEO . . . [Read More]
Chief Nursing Executive: Provena Health, Danville, IL. The Chief Nurse Executive is responsible for the standard practice of Nursing at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center . . . [Read More]
Chief Clinical Officer: Triumph Heathcare, Mandan, ND. The Chief Clinical Officer (CCO) is responsible for the development and implementation of clinical services policies and procedures . . . [Read More]

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 Lines 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]
View from the Top

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. Contributor David Osborn discusses how U.S. hospitals can prepare for the next administration's healthcare reform policies. [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]
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