HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - January 8, 2009 | Practicing Medicine in the Melting Pot View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Practicing Medicine
In the Melting Pot

Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Physicians have a hard time communicating effectively with patients in general?whether because of confusion over medical jargon, not enough time to spend with a patient, or just poor communication skills. Add in a language barrier and miscommunication problems can become much more problematic, even dangerous. But that's an obstacle many physicians increasingly face as a nation historically known for its diversity continues to accept immigrants from around the world. [Read More]
  January 8, 2009

Editor's Picks
Study: EHRs reduce malpractice claims
Yet another reason to go ahead and adopt the technology. Of the 1,140 respondents to the study, roughly one third used EHRs in their practice; of those, 6.1% had a record of paid malpractice claims compared with 10.8% of physicians who did not use an EHR. It's not a big difference, unless you ask one of the physicians who had to endure a malpractice trial. [Read More]
CNN's Gupta chosen for surgeon general
I'm not sure what to think of this pick. Sanjay Gupta is certainly one of America's most famous physicians, but I've never been that impressed with the neurosurgeon who is also a correspondent for CNN. I think that's because I regularly speak to physicians who don't have to water down their analysis for such a broad audience. The Wall Street Journal thinks the pick signals a revival of the surgeon general as a visible advocate for the public's health, after it became an almost invisible position under the Bush administration. If that's the case, maybe Gupta is the right doctor for the job. [Read More]
The PQRI Report
Last month CMS released a report about the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative in 2007, and the results were disappointing, though not surprising. The agency doled out $36 million in incentive payments, yet the average bonus paid to individual providers was only $635. How's that for an incentive? On top of that, only 51.6% of the more than 14 million data codes were submitted correctly, and physicians often weren't able to access their feedback reports. It's better to make mistakes now than in a more comprehensive, mandatory pay-for-performance system in the future, but these issues have to be addressed before pay for performance will ever work. [Read More]
Canadians worry about doctor poaching
Physicians in Canada worry that healthcare reform in the United States will worsen their physician shortage, as doctors cross the border to the south to meet the higher demand for primary care services. Could that happen? Yes. But the United States is already the world's biggest doctor poacher, and the answer to the physician shortage—anywhere—isn't to shy away from expanding coverage. It is training more doctors and improving the efficiency of care models. [Read More]
Business Rx
Invest in Technology to Progress in a Stalled Economy:
With patients already facing out-of-pocket healthcare expenses ranging from $20 copays with traditional insurance to $3,000 deductibles with some consumer-directed plans—assuming they're insured at all—a fragile economy will make it even more difficult to get patients in the door. Although the tandem messages to invest in technology and control expenses may seem contradictory, they go hand in hand. [Read More]
Physician News
Healthcare industry sees rapid growth in outpatient surgery centers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - January 8, 2009
Should patients be told of better care elsewhere?
New York Times - January 6, 2009
Doctors will make Web calls in Hawaii
New York Times - January 6, 2009
University of Washington med students prepare with cutting edge technology
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - January 5, 2009

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
February 12, 2009: Incentive-Based Compensation Plans to Enhance Physician Performance
On Demand: Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Women's Health
On Demand: What Your Practice Is Worth: Calculating Fair Market Value
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

The New Models: At the 2008 HealthLeaders Media Top Leadership Teams Conference, Richard A. Sheff, MD, chairman and executive director of The Greeley Company, discusses the changing of the medical staff model in recent years. Sheff says there are countless medical staff models currently out there, and there are new ones cropping up constantly. All are experiments to try to achieve the characteristics that the old medical staff model could not, he says. [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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