HealthLeaders Media QualityLeaders - March 19, 2009 | Using the "R" Word View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Using the "R" Word
Jim Molpus, Editor-in-Chief, HealthLeaders Media
So far, the American public has been too shocked by the continuing economic crisis and other matters to pay attention to the details of the stimulus package that are more far reaching, but we may expect that to change soon. As with the idea that health benefits may lose their tax-free status, or that veterans would end up paying a portion of their own care for war-related injuries, administration tests and trials are starting to get translated into dollars and their impact on the populace. [Read More]
March 19, 2009
Editor's Picks

Restructuring team brought in to Maryland medical center amid federal investigation
As a federal investigation continues into operations at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, MD, an outside "restructuring team" has been brought in. The team is helping to manage the hospital and ensure that it is not violating federal healthcare laws. Three executives with the hospital, including its CEO, have been on administrative leave amid the investigation. Ultimately, officials say the goal of the team's work "is to create a compliance program that parallels the same high standards as [the hospital's] clinical quality." The federal investigation, the scope and details of which have not been made public, involves the hospital's relationship with an unnamed physician group. [Read More]

The doctor will BRMS you now
Studies by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies have found that at least 1.5 million people are hurt by medication mistakes each year in the United States, resulting in approximately $3.5 billion in additional treatment expenses. Business Rule Management Systems, established to automate some day-to-day technology functions, are growing in popularity as a means to cut these costs. More and more organizations are also looking to such technology to enhance efficiency. [Read More]

New Florida hospital has a hotel feel
Steering away from the traditional "institution" look, University Community Health's new Long Term Acute Care Hospital at Connerton in Land O'Lakes, FL, has given its facility a more comfortable feel. It offers more of a hotel atmosphere, with its modern chandeliers, floors that look like wood, picture windows, and earth tone decor. The 50-bed hospital also features a meditation room and courtyard, and its private rooms include full bathrooms, large windows, mounted televisions, and chairs that fold out into beds. [Read More]

Groups bash U.S. healthcare for detained immigrants
U.S. healthcare has come under fire with two advocacy groups for what they say has been poor treatment of immigrants. In separate reports by the Human Rights Watch and the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, the groups say U.S. immigration authorities routinely delay, deny, or botch medical care for detained immigrants in poorly equipped facilities nationwide. They blame the problems on unskilled or indifferent staff, overcrowding, bureaucratic red tape, language barriers, and limited services available to detainees of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In response, the ICE says its Division of Immigration Health Services offers detainees general and emergency healthcare, as well as dental, chronic, and mental care. [Read More]

Medtronic links device for heart to 13 deaths
At least 13 patient deaths may be attributed to a Medtronic heart device that remained in widespread use even after it was recalled in 2007. The device, a thin electrical cable that connects an implanted defibrillator to a patient's heart, was recalled after five deaths were reported. The device's malfunction involved fractures in its cable that could cause a defibrillator to fail to deliver a lifesaving shock to an erratically beating heart, or to fire for no reason. Regardless, about 150,000 Americans still have the device leads in their bodies. [Read More]

Are You Part of a Top Leadership Team?
HealthLeaders Media is gearing up for its fifth year of the Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare program that recognizes the best in senior leadership teamwork at hospitals, health plans, and medical group practices. This year's winners will be honored during HealthLeaders Media '09: The Hospital of the Future Now, an event planned for October 15-16 at The Palmer House in Chicago. If you and your organization have an outstanding teamwork story to share, go to the Top Leadership Teams site to learn more about the six categories, download an entry form, and submit your entry. The deadline to submit is April 30.
This Week's Headlines
Dissent halts ER plan at University of Chicago
Chicago Tribune - March 16, 2009

Texas Medicaid criticized on kids' care
Dallas Morning News - March 17, 2009

Prostate cancer screening may not reduce deaths
Washington Post - March 19, 2009

Webcasts/Audio Conferences

From HealthLeaders Magazine
SOS: Public Hospitals
On the brink even during good economic times, many public hospitals are operating in technical insolvency amid a painful recession. [Read More]  

Service Line Management
Beyond Obstetrics
A changing female demographic has created new opportunities for hospitals to grow the women's health service line into much more than just labor and delivery. [Read More]

Leaders Forum
Five Action Steps to Help You Lead in Times of Economic Crisis
The economic crisis is presenting leaders with unforeseen challenges, and many of those leaders are not prepared to respond effectively, says HealthLeaders Media contributor Dan Sinnott. Here, Sinnott provides five actions that enable leaders to turn a crisis into an opportunity. [Read More]
Audio Feature
Squeezing More from Your Insurer: David Neikrug, chief executive officer of Optimatum Group LLC, discusses how companies are managing to cut their healthcare costs in ways that don't involve shifting costs directly onto employees. [Listen Now]
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