HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - January 29, 2009 | California's State of Emergency View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
California's State of Emergency
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

In many ways California is nothing like the rest of the nation. So when the rest of the country reads about California emergency room doctors filing a class-action lawsuit against the state over low reimbursements and a failing safety net, it is tempting to dismiss it as an isolated problem. But the underlying challenges that prompted the lawsuit are not unique to the state by any means, and it may be better to think of California as a bellwether than an anomaly. [Read More]
  January 29, 2009

Editor's Picks
Medical office real estate remains strong
Although there was a sharp drop in sales of medical office buildings in 2008, these properties are still viewed pretty favorably compared to the rest of the abysmal commercial real estate market, according to this New York Times piece. For doctors, that means now might be a good time to buy, given the favorable interest rates. But there may be a downside: At least one provider in the article found the market profitable enough that he essentially switched professions to focus on developing office spaces. [Read More]
Surgeons-for-hire ease ER load
Temporary, or locum tenens, surgeons are apparently becoming a more common solution for hospitals struggling to staff EDs, often because physicians have opted out of late-night call rotations. This is usually a more expensive option for hospitals, and it probably is at best only a short-term solution. But particularly in rural areas, locum tenens doctors are valuable while a hospital is in the process of recruiting. As we see more severe physician shortages, look for this field to continue to grow. [Read More]
A warning from across the pond
British hospitals are facing a shortage of surgeons, and many are worried about new rules that will further restrict resident work hours. Physicians in training are already limited to 58 hours a week, and in August that will change to 48 hours. But most trainees already exceed the limits, in part because they think the shortened hours don't provide enough time for proper training. There are also safety concerns because of rushed handoffs between the shorter shifts. I've gone back and forth about this issue regarding U.S. physicians. Eighty hours doesn't seem like an unreasonable restriction. But toss this article on the mounting pile of evidence on the anti-restrictions side. [Read More]
More transparency from doctors and device makers
The long march toward cleaning up the relationship between doctors and drug and device makers continues. On the device maker side, companies are ordering sales representatives to steer clear of doctors after hours when at conferences, for instance. The North American Spine Society also just adopted strict rules requiring physicians attending conferences to disclose not only financial ties with medical-device companies, but dollar amounts as well. This is all good progress, but the pressure won't ease up anytime soon. [Read More]
Business Rx
Follow the Revenue Stream to Maximize Reimbursement
Providers, practice administrators, and office staff members should be well versed in the basic components of the revenue stream to maximize revenue while staying within compliance guidelines. [Read More]
Physician News
CNN story helps surgeon perform 'lifesaving' op - January 29, 2009
Outpatient surgeries triple since '96
Boston Globe - January 29, 2009
Doctors at Nashville-based Saint Thomas raise concerns
The Tennessean - January 28, 2009
Aging boomers spark expansion of medical fields
Hartford Courant - January 26, 2009
More delays for women in emergency care
New York Times - January 26, 2009

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
February 20, 2009: ED Overhaul 2009: Five Improvements to Make Today
February 12, 2009: Incentive-Based Compensation Plans to Enhance Physician Performance
On Demand: Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Women's Health
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

The Evolution and Importance of the Medical Home: Contributors Jim Hardy and Diana Verrilli share insights from the 2008 McKesson Health Solutions Leadership Forum and discuss how the medical home may be the answer to many of healthcare's current problems, but only after the model evolves beyond its current phase. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Five-Minute House Call with Country Doctor of the Year: An interview with David Watson, MD, a family practitioner for more than 50 years in Yoakum, TX, who was recently named Country Doctor of the Year by physician staffing group Staff Care. [Listen Now]
Sponsor PhysicianLeaders

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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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