HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - April 2, 2009 | Technology Can't Improve Patient Care Alone View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Technology Alone Can't
Improve Patient Care

Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

The government hopes e-prescribing will save $22 billion over the next decade by preventing medical errors and increasing the use of generic drugs. The forecast, prepared by healthcare research firm Visante, claims electronic prescribing can prevent 3.5 million medication errors and 585,000 hospitalizations by 2018. Technology alone won't make those estimates a reality, however. [Read More]
  April 2, 2009

Editor's Picks
Are doctors opting out of Medicare?
The headline of this New York Times article says they are, but the author doesn't provide many examples to suggest this is an increasing trend, other than the fact that more Medicare beneficiaries are having trouble finding a primary care doctor these days. In our recent HealthLeaders Media Survey, about 12% of doctors said they will stop accepting new Medicare/Medicaid patients in the next three years. Physicians have been threatening to leave Medicare en masse for years, but last minute action to prevent reimbursement cuts has typically stopped most from following through. [Read More]
38% of providers receive no on-call compensation
The Medical Group Management Association has launched its first-ever on-call compensation survey, a sign that the days of call coverage in exchange for medical staff privileges are truly over. About 60% of physicians receive some sort of additional compensation for taking call, although that number is higher for physicians in hospital-owned practices. Compensation can range from as high as $2,000 a day for neurosurgeons to around $500 for urologists. Rates also vary significantly depending on region. [Read More]
Docs push for clean slate on Medicare reimbursement rates
According to the sustainable growth rate formula used to calculate Medicare payments, physicians are slated for a 21% Medicare pay cut in January 2010. But most aren't worried about that actually happening, primarily because the Obama administration's push for healthcare reform presents an opportunity to finally fix the flawed methodology that causes potential payment cuts every year or two. The Obama budget assumes that the pay cut will not take effect and also hints at a completely revised payment system. For years, Congress has been putting band-aids on the problem by freezing payment rates at the last minute. Maybe they will deliver a real solution this time. [Read More]
"They killed my patient. Then they tried to hide it."
This is a very compelling account of an obstetrician who got caught up in a medical malpractice trial after one of her patients died during childbirth, allegedly because of poor anesthesiology care. Several years after giving a sworn statement about the case, the physician was called to testify in a malpractice trial, where the hospital's lawyer accused her of changing her story. Luckily, she had saved a copy of her original testimony and was able to prove that the hospital had deliberately forged her previous statement to avoid losing the case. It sounds like the hospital deserved to get hit with the eight-figure settlement it paid out. [Read More]
E-prescribing Survey
How is the government's e-prescribing incentive changing physician practice workflow, operations, and therapeutic decisions? Please take our 60-second survey. [Take the Survey Now]
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
Be Prepared for Recovery Audit Contractors
A three-year pilot program launched in 2006 helped CMS start taking a much closer look at Medicare claims, processes, and errors relating to them. The Recovery Audit Contractor program, initially performed in only a few states, is now being introduced nationwide. [Read More]
Physician News
With too few doctors trained on it, surgical robot sits unused at Texas hospital
Fort Worth Star-Telegram - March 30, 2009
Nonprofit hits medical journal editors, urges inquiry
Wall Street Journal - March 27, 2009
Doctors who prescribe more activity want insurers to offer more coverage
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - March 26, 2009
Doctors urge limits on drug firm money
Wall Street Journal - April 1, 2009
No one able to keep former Acton, MA, doctor's records
Boston Globe - April 2, 2009

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
May 12, 2009: Service Lines Strategies Workshop: Cardiovascular Physician Alignment
April 28, 2009: Compensation Packages to Recruit and Retain Physicians in Today's Economy
April 20, 2009: Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Joint Replacement
On Demand: 5 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience at Your Hospital
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

Four Strategies for Promoting Physician-Hospital Alignment: Hugo J. Finarelli, Jr., PhD, author of The Hospital Executive's Guide to Physician Staffing, offers four strategies for promoting hospital-physician alignment, and as a result, improving recruitment and quality efforts. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Physician Leaders Survey: Max Reiboldt, CEO of The Coker Group, offers insights on the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2009, discussing physician recruitment and retention trends. [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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