HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - February 12, 2009 | Quality Care by Committee is Hard to Measure View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Is Anyone Listening to What Docs Say About Quality?
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Pay for performance? Doesn't work! Withholding reimbursement for never events? Ineffective! Improving transparency? Mediocre, at best! That's the impression you get from this year's HealthLeaders Media survey of physician leaders. Physicians didn't exactly come out and say these quality improvement approaches are worthless, but when we asked them to rank the most effective strategies for improving quality of care, these supposedly cutting-edge programs fell far behind much simpler methods. [Read More]
  February 12, 2009

Editor's Picks
Study: Care coordination doesn't save money
A study looking at 15 care coordination programs involving Medicare patients found that only two resulted in a change in hospitalization rates—and one of those two saw more hospitalizations. This is a sobering finding for proponents hoping better coordination would help keep patients with chronic illnesses out of the hospital. But it could just be that the types of coordination programs studied weren't effective. The authors concluded that Medicare's medical home project holds more promise. [Read More]
Voluntary vs. mandatory payment disclosure
To their credit, both physician groups and the drug and device industries are making efforts to voluntarily disclose financial ties amid growing scrutiny. But that doesn't mean the push to mandate disclosure will end. Senator Chuck Grassley's (R-MT) Physician Payment Sunshine Act is still on the horizon, and a comparison of the voluntary and mandatory methods of disclosure leads to a predictable conclusion: The mandatory method would be stricter. [Read More]
Docs suing insurers over inaccurate charges
We reported a couple of weeks ago about a ruling in New York requiring UnitedHealth to shut down its Ingenix databases, which were providing inaccurate "usual, customary, and reasonable" charge estimates. But the story doesn't end there. The AMA and other physician groups are now suing Aetna, Cigna, and other insurers for relying on the faulty data and underpaying physicians for more than a decade. The previous ruling mandated that a new, independent database be established to provide accurate pricing information, so this new lawsuit seems more about restitution than reform. [Read More]
Addressing the doc shortage through legislation
Two Texas Congressmen, Republican Michael C. Burgess and Democrat Gene Green, introduced two bills on Monday aimed at addressing physician shortage issues. One (HR. 914) would establish a loan program to support residency training programs in rural hospitals, and the other (HR. 916) would authorize $43 million in grants to public health teaching institutions, specifically targeting preventive medicine. Who knows if these bills will go anywhere, but it's good to see that some legislators are thinking about physician shortages. [Read More]
Business Rx
Physician Job Sharing: Is it Right for You?
Physician job sharing provides numerous benefits for not only the physicians themselves, but their employers as well. [Read More]
Physician News
Maryland insurance administration offers guidelines for 'boutique' medical practices
Baltimore Sun - February 11, 2009
Top doctor at University of Chicago Medical Center steps down amid talk of massive layoffs
Chicago Tribune - February 9, 2009
How to help patients make wiser health choices
AP/Yahoo News - February 10, 2009
New Jersey's Virtua Health ordered to end 'most top docs' ad
Philadelphia Inquirer - February 12, 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
Back to Basics
HealthLeaders February 2009
The strategy for surviving the economic downturn? Invest in core strengths, scrutinize staffing and operations, seize partnership opportunities—and get down to work. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Essential and Expensive
Patient demand for intensive care services continues to rise—but ICUs cost a ton of money. Here's how some providers are making intensive care worth their financial while. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Twelve Physician Organizational Innovations: Contributor Richard L. Reece, MD, examines 12 innovative, physician-based organizational structures that are changing the healthcare system from the bottom up. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Industry Survey 2009: Physician Reaction Richard W. Schwartz, MD, MBA, professor of surgery at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, analyzes results from the HealthLeaders Media Physician Leaders Survey. [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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