HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - January 15, 2009 | The Hospitalist of the Future View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
The Hospitalist of the Future
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Most people instinctively associate hospitalists with internal medicine—that is where the specialty has its roots, and roughly three-quarters of practicing hospitalists are trained in general internal medicine. But other specialties have been adopting the model—obstetrics and general surgery were among the first—and tomorrow's hospitalist may as likely be trained in neurosurgery, pediatrics, or virtually any other specialty. [Read More]
  January 15, 2009

Editor's Picks
A victory for physicians
The AMA is claiming victory in a $350 million settlement reached this week with UnitedHealth Group over a flaw in the insurer's Ingenix database, which is used to determine the reimbursement rates for out-of-network care nationwide. The database was underestimating market rates for medical care by up to 28%, meaning patients had to pay more out-of-pocket, and often blamed their doctors. The AMA filed a lawsuit in 2000, but it was pending until New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo took up the case last year. A separate settlement with the Attorney General includes funding to establish a more transparent, independent database that will be run by a yet-to-be-determined university. [Read More]
Stimulus includes EMR funding
President-elect Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan contains a little something for doctors—about $20 billion to advance EMR adoption. Obama promised a $50 billion investment while campaigning, and the initial amount in the stimulus package is about two years worth of funding. No word on how much an individual doctor can expect, but the money will be distributed through grants and higher Medicare reimbursements. Those that still don't make the switch can expect to be penalized with lower reimbursements sometime in the future. [Read More]
House beats Welby
I wrote a column last year comparing the practice styles of fictional doctors Marcus Welby and Gregory House, and I argued that patients want today's physicians to be more like the former. Well, I was wrong according to a new survey that asked patients to pick the fictional doctor they would most want as their own. Twenty percent said House, and Welby came in second at 13%. A lot of younger adults aren't familiar with Welby, and the survey probably reveals more about the popularity of television shows than patients' real practice preferences. Still, maybe it's time to retire all Marcus Welby comparisons. [Read More]
Little white-coat lies
In a recent survey, 13% of patients admitted lying to their doctors, and nearly one-third admitted to stretching the truth occasionally. A lot of times it's because of embarrassment—patients lie about following treatment plans, their exercise regimens, and "smoking, risky sex, alcohol intake, recreational drug use, taking medications as prescribed, second opinions, and the use of alternative therapies and supplements." These little lies can have serious health consequences. So what's a doctor to do? One word: trust. This is why communication skills are crucial. Doctors who build strong relationships with patients and explain the consequences of withholding information are more likely to get the truth. [Read More]
Doctors and addiction
This article in The New Republic is a great read. It tells the story of a best-in-class anesthesiologist who became addicted to the drugs he administered, and digs into some of the reasons—proximity, a feeling of invincibility, stress—for high addiction rates among anesthesiologists. It can be a tough topic for doctors to talk about, but we can't afford to continue losing some of our best physicians this way. [Read More]
Business Rx
Report: Costs Outpace Revenues for Medical Practices
A recent report from MGMA confirms that operating costs are rising faster than revenue in many medical group practices. Although the findings are not surprising, the effect of the costs-revenue disparity is continuing to unfold, and how practices and health systems are responding could have serious implications for the practice of medicine. [Read More]
Physician News
More isn't always better in coronary care
New York Times - January 15, 2009
In search of a good doctor
New York Times - January 15, 2009
Keep doctors from disappearing
Newsday - January 15, 2009
Doctors face pressure to disclose all side pay
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel - January 12, 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
Flat-World Healthcare
HealthLeaders January 2009
Globalization is no longer an uncertain trend in the future. Providers must refine their organizational strategy to compete in a marketplace that is broader than ever before. [Read More]
Service Line Management
A Spinal Shift
As minimally invasive procedures consume a larger portion of spinal care, provider organizations have many opportunities—and challenges—in an increasingly outpatient service line. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

What Physicians Need to Know Before Selling Their Practice: Contributor Ester Horowitz offers advice about how physicians looking to sell their practice can prepare ahead of time to receive the best value. [Read More]
Audio Feature

AMA's Agenda: Nancy H. Nielsen, MD, president of the American Medical Association, talks about legislative priorities for 2009 and the likelihood of passing meaningful healthcare reform in the coming year. [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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