HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - May 29, 2009 | Hospitals May Need Operators, Not Innovators View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Hospitals May Need Operators, Not Innovators
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

Many in government, academia, and other industries often decry the lack of "innovators" among leaders in healthcare services, which includes hospitals, health systems, and physician practices, among other subsectors. But do we really need innovators in such a highly regulated business? It's just a thought, but perhaps we'd be better off with accomplished operators and fewer "idea people."
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  May 29, 2009

Editor's Picks
Do CEOs matter?
One could certainly argue that—however unfairly—the image of the CEO has suffered with the implosion of the economy. The nation's business leaders have seen their hard-won reputations tarnished by the misdeeds of a few reckless executives. Eventually, when the nation emerges from this recession, it will be interesting to see if the role of the CEO changes, particularly in such a heavily regulated area as healthcare. Will the innovative visionary still have a place in the C-suites of post-recession America? Or, will he be replaced by bean counters and team players? [Read More]
Will antitrust laws trip up healthcare reform?
Meeting President Obama's goal of cutting $2 trillion from the nation's healthcare budget is going to require coordination between physicians, hospitals, and drug makers. But when does coordination become collusion? There's concern that efforts to coordinate care to reduce the growth in healthcare costs could run afoul of antitrust laws. The New York Times points out that while the president is asking the health insurance industry for detailed proposals to cut costs, he hasn't provided any relief from antitrust laws. In 1993, when the nation's drug makers tried to craft a voluntary cost-control plan, the Justice Department shot down the idea, saying it would violate antitrust laws. [Read More]
Study: Retail clinics gravitate to affluent areas
Shocking news! A new report says that for-profit, walk-in retail clinics in grocery and drugstore chains aren't in the poorest neighborhoods. Who'd have thought! This is a valid story, but spare us the outrage. Of course these clinics gravitate toward more affluent areas. That's where insured and paying customers live. Remember, we are talking about "retail" clinics, not nonprofit or charity clinics. If we want more retail clinics in poor neighborhoods, we have to provide financial incentives. [Read More]
Report: CEO confidence at all-time low
Read this. My colleague Ben Amirault at HCPro, Inc. offers a concise assessment of the impact on the healthcare industry of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, which President Obama signed into law last week. The Act gives additional resources to law enforcement for fighting fraud and abuse and strengthens fraud laws and statutes. Basically what the bill does is protect the government from organizations that look the other way when they suspect a claim to be false in order to get out of any liability. The logic being if they do not investigate suspicious claims, they can always say they never knew about it. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Georgia-based WellStar Health System plans bold, high-priced expansion
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - May 27, 2009
Eneida O. Roldan, MD, to lead Miami-based Jackson Health System
Miami Herald - May 27, 2009
Prince George's County, MD, Hospital Authority hopes bidders will join forces
Washington Post - May 26, 2009
Webcast brain surgery? Hospitals see marketing tool
New York Times - May 26, 2009
Primary Care Needs New Innovations to Meet Growing Demands
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - May 27, 2009

Webcasts/Audio Conferences
HIPAA Changes: New Compliance Strategies for New Marketing Models (June 17)
Sponsored Headline
Fox Chase Cancer Center Case Study: Digital Signage Positively Impacts Care, Vericom.
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Cash for Computers

HealthLeaders May 2009
With an 11-figure incentive to invest in information technology and electronic medical records, healthcare executives need to determine if this offer from Uncle Sam is the kind of help that they are prepared to accept. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Simpler Surgeries, Complex Market

Technological advances have impact beyond the OR, affecting market trends and hospital-physician alignment. [Read More]
View from the Top

The Holy Grail of Evidence-Based Medicine: HealthLeaders Media contributor Mark Hochstetler, MD, says he is probably more optimistic than most healthcare professionals about the value of evidence-based medicine. Hochstetler it is a tool that can be used or misused to achieve certain goals. Misuse doesn't mean the tool should be tossed out—it just needs to be policed, he says. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Joint Ventures Far From Dead: Karen Gledhill, a partner with the Charlotte, NC law firm of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, and chair of its healthcare practice group, says joint venture deals hospitals are striking with their physicians are still a popular choice, even in these dark economic times. [Listen Now]
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