HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - March 19, 2009 | The Coming Fight over Malpractice Reform View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
The Coming Fight
Over Malpractice Reform

Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

There's a chance that the Obama administration's efforts to revamp the healthcare system will finally bring physicians the malpractice tort reform they have been hoping and fighting for all these years. There's also a chance that the battle over malpractice could turn sour and derail the entire healthcare reform process. How it will play out depends on how much physicians, lawyers, and the administration are willing to compromise. [Read More]
  March 19, 2009

Editor's Picks
Low-cost doctor told to raise fees
New York is one of many states working on a way to offer residents affordable health coverage, and the current "low-cost" option being considered would offer coverage for as low as $121.79 per month. But when a New York City physician began treating his patients for a lower $79-per-month fee, those infinitely-wise bureaucrats over at the New York State Insurance Department decided that affordable coverage isn't quite as important as following state regulations. The department accused the doctor of "operating as an insurance contractor without a license" and forced him to begin charging $33 per visit for all but preventative care. The irony is amazing. [Read More]
Doc pushes federal solution for ER crisis
A University of Alabama-Birmingham physician is pushing for federal help for the overburdened ER system. The Emergency Services Act of 2009 now before Congress would, 1) create a bipartisan commission on access to emergency medical services, 2) increase Medicare payments for emergency doctors, and 3) create standards for ED boarding and diversion. This might help, but not by itself. Patients need better primary care so they don't go to ERs for routine problems, and unless the number of uninsured who go to ERs is reduced, financial problems will persist. The ER problem can only be truly addressed as part of a much more comprehensive healthcare reform effort. [Read More]
The hidden primary care system
Specialists are increasingly providing routine follow-up and preventive care that should be provided by primary care doctors, according to a new study. Researchers looked at more than 1 billion ambulatory visits to U.S. office-based specialists and found that 46.3% of visits were for routine care of patients already known to the specialist, while referrals accounted for only 30.4% of all visits. [Read More]
Big pharma is listening
I've heard from quite a few physicians who really enjoy Sermo, the physician-only social networking site that launched in 2006. I'm less familiar with Medscape Physician Connect, Sermo's main competitor, but in general, physicians seem to enjoy online forums that allow them to interact exclusively with other doctors. But doctors aren't the only ones reading the information posted on the major social networking sites. Pharmaceutical companies and other industries pay big bucks for access to these online physician discussions—that's how the Web sites make money. [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. [Learn More]
Business Rx
Physician Comp Continues to Climb
A new compensation survey suggests that physicians are weathering the economic downturn, but it does little to suggest that medicine is recession-proof. [Read More]
Physician News
Louisiana taking aim at doctor shopping
New Orleans Times-Picayune - March 16, 2009
E-prescribing to soar with new spending
Reuters/Yahoo News - March 17, 2009
Study: Florida would save money by boosting primary care
Miami Herald - March 16, 2009
Los Angeles doctors do exams at barbershops
Los Angeles Times - March 13, 2009

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
April 20, 2009: Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Joint Replacement
March 20, 2009: 5 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience at Your Hospital
On Demand: Solving Your Nurse Shortage: Long-Term Strategies That Work
From HealthLeaders Magazine
SOS: Public Hospitals
HealthLeaders March 2009
On the brink even during good economic times, many public hospitals are operating in technical insolvency amid a painful recession. But they can take heart from following the example of two that have managed well. [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]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Athletic Trainers Fill Niche as Physician Extenders: Marjorie J. Albohm, president of the National Athletic Trainers' Association, makes the case for using athletic trainers as physician extenders in some primary care and specialty physician practices. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Set Standards to Avoid Conflict of Interest: Kenneth Irons, MD, chief of regional and neighborhood clinics for Duluth Clinic, talks about his organization's policy that set guidelines for how physicians and employees relate to pharmaceutical representatives. [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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