HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - April 30, 2009 | It's Time to Pay Primary Care More View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
It's Time to Pay Primary Care More
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

As Democratic leaders in Congress prepare to introduce healthcare reform legislation, the Obama administration is expressing concern about the growing primary care doctor shortage and exploring ways to increase physician supply, according to recent reports. That is an encouraging sign. [Read More]
  April 30, 2009

Editor's Picks
Drug company had doctor hit list
"We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live." That's what a Merck employee allegedly wrote about physicians who had been publicly negative about Merck or its drug Vioxx. The e-mail came out in a class action lawsuit against Merck in Melbourne. The drug company reportedly had a "hit list" of doctors that it wanted to "neutralize" or "discredit" for criticism of the anti-arthritis drug, which was later withdrawn from sale after concerns were raised that it caused heart attacks and strokes. You can't make this stuff up. [Read More]
Malpractice suits drop 41% in Pennsylvania
President Obama suggested in a press conference last night that medical malpractice reform will be a bipartisan priority in the larger healthcare reform effort—good news for doctors. Congress may want to consider mirroring reform efforts in Pennsylvania, where new statistics show a 41% drop in medical malpractice lawsuits since reforms in 2002. One of the new rules requires a "certificate of merit" from a medical professional, establishing that "the medical procedures in a case fell below applicable standards of care." As a result, the cost of malpractice insurance is beginning to stabilize or drop. [Read More]
Are virtual colonoscopies effective?
The answer to that question will depend largely on whether you ask a gastroenterologist or a radiologist. The less invasive alternative to a traditional colonoscopy is often preferred by patients, but the debate about its effectiveness continues, and it's difficult to get a straight answer because of the financial consequences. Radiologists perform virtual colonoscopies, and if the procedure is proven to be more effective, gastroenterologists could lose a very profitable revenue source. For all the alarm ringing about comparative effectiveness research, these are the types of questions we need an independent research group to answer. [Read More]
Physicians may have to write essays for referrals
A proposed rule would require physicians to write a "short narrative" describing a patient's clinical condition in order to refer a patient for hospice care under Medicare. CMS is concerned about the rising number of hospice patients who survive longer than six months. That's an understandable concern, and I can't blame CMS for wanting to make sure patients are being appropriately referred for hospice care. But I also don't know many physicians who will be happy about the added administrative burden. [Read More]
Business Rx
Offer Relocation Assistance in Down Housing Market
The housing market continues to make physician recruitment more difficult. And some organizations are increasing their signing bonuses to help with housing. [Read More]
Physician News
IOM calls for doctors to stop taking gifts from drug makers
New York Times - April 29, 2009
When the patient gets lost in translation
New York Times - April 30, 2009
Recession leaves health agencies weakened in swine flu defense
New York Times - April 30, 2009
An affordable fix for modernizing medical records
Wall Street Journal - April 30, 2009

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
May 12, 2009: Service Lines Strategies Workshop: Cardiovascular Physician Alignment
April 29, 2009: Marketing Neurosciences: Service Line Strategies for Marketers
On Demand: Compensation Packages to Recruit and Retain Physicians in Today's Economy
On Demand: Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Joint Replacement
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Jump . . . or Get Pushed
HealthLeaders March 2009
The tough decisions you don't want to make now—but may have to. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Redefining Cardio
The cardiovascular service line remains a dependable revenue generator for many hospitals across the country. But a shifting market full of new options for patients means organizations must find ways to differentiate themselves to keep it that way. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Strategic Planning Begins With The basics: Contributor Susan Schettino-Genrich, CMM, CPC, explores some of the steps physician practices need to take to ensure continued success and growth while dealing with the economic downturn. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Engage Physicians to Achieve Top Cardiac Care: Physician leaders David Pate, Marigene Hartker, and Joseph Knapp discuss how to enhance quality in the cardiac service line through physician alignment, quality initiatives, and leadership strategies. "Hospital leadership needs to take responsibility for establishing alignment with physicians," says Pate, CEO of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, TX. [Listen Now]

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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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