HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - January 2, 2009 | Prepare to Be Surprised in 2009 View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Prepare to Be Surprised in 2009
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

The beginning of a new year often prompts reflection, resolutions, and for columnists, a few words about what to expect in the coming months. The problem in 2009, though, is that I don't have a clue what to expect. That isn't meant as a copout. I called Jeff Bauer, PhD, a healthcare futurist who makes a living analyzing and predicting the future of the healthcare market, and he says essentially the same thing. [Read More]
  January 2, 2009

Editor's Picks
Payer negotiations or price fixing?
Two California physician groups have settled separate charges from the Federal Trade Commission that they violated federal laws. Their crime? Price fixing, or aggressive negotiation with payers, depending on how you look at it. The groups threatened to refuse to deal with insurance providers unless they raised the fees paid to doctors, and the FTC claimed this limited competition. Given recent reimbursement trends, doctors have little choice but to try and negotiate better rates. But they had better be aware of the legal limitations before doing so. [Read More]
Why doctors aren't embracing EMRs
The answer is one we've heard before: Economics. Physicians still aren't seeing most of the financial benefits. "It's not that electronic records don't save money—they most certainly do—it's just that the economic benefits of improved care currently accrue to patients and their insurance companies, not to doctors," writes David Hamilton. [Read More]
New model of geriatric care needed
Another warning about the dire state of geriatric medicine, this time from a New York Times article. The problems in this field can't be fixed just by raising reimbursement rates and training more doctors. A new model of care is needed, one that is multidisciplinary and team-based, experts say. Some are being piloted, but we had better hurry: The number of people over the age of 65 will double in the next 20 years. [Read More]
Doctors weigh in on health reform
A group of 30 physicians from throughout Alabama was among many across the country to discuss concerns about the country's healthcare system with members of President-elect Barack Obama's transition team. Topics discussed included insuring all Americans, addressing the physician shortage, and changing how doctors are reimbursed. There were perhaps more questions than answers, but it's very important that the physician's perspective is represented in these policy discussions. [Read More]
Business Rx
Make the most of nonphysician practitioners
Even though many practices employ nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other nonphysician practitioners to make the office more efficient, some simply do not use them optimally or have the right personnel performing the right tasks. [Read More]
Physician News
Rural areas face growing shortage of general surgeons
Washington Post - January 1, 2009
Embattled Miami heart surgeon won't surrender medical license
Miami Herald - December 31, 2008
Two hospitals cut family practice training
The Arizona Republic - December 26, 2008
'Surgitechs' in high demand in South Florida
Miami Herald - December 31, 2008

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
January 6: 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

Can the Medical Home Save Primary Care? Contributor Phillip Miller of Merritt Hawkins & Associates, a national physician search firm, questions whether the medical home model can live up to its promise of saving primary care from an increasingly dire shortage. [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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