HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - June 4, 2009 | Physicians' Role in Controlling Costs View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Physicians' Role in Controlling Costs
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Controlling costs took center stage this week in the healthcare reform discussions taking place in Washington. Although the specifics at this point remain largely up in the air, a key passage in President Barack Obama's speech to Senate Democrats on Tuesday may hint at what will be expected of physicians in future cost-control efforts. [Read More]
  June 4, 2009

Editor's Picks
MedPAC to get teeth?
If you're familiar with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's annual report to Congress, then you also know that its recommendations regarding payment policy and cost controls are typically just recommendations without any teeth, and often ignored. That could change, however. The Obama administration wants MedPAC to have real power so that it can tweak Medicare payments on an ongoing basis, instead of waiting for massive healthcare reform to fix everything at once. One option would make MedPAC part of the executive branch, another would give it authority to fast track its yearly recommendations through Congress. Either way, it would drastically change how payment policies are set. [Read More]
Blogging a malpractice trial
Want an up-close look at a malpractice trial? An anonymous emergency physician recently concluded a trial and is blogging about his experience. It's a fascinating read, but is it a smart move on the physician's part? A couple of years ago a doctor in a similar situation blogged about a trial as it was happening, and when the prosecution unmasked his blogging identity the case was shoved into the media spotlight, and it may have cost him a victory. The difference this time is the case is already over, but blogging about your own malpractice case seems risky in any circumstance. [Read More]
Gender and medicine
Female physicians in Canada average about 30 hours of direct patient care per week, compared to 35 hours for male physicians, according to a new report. Other studies have confirmed that female doctors tend to spend more time with patients and are more likely to work part time. But I still think it's early to assess the true impact of more gender balance in the physician workforce. Other research suggests that female physicians communicate better with patients and as a result are less likely to get sued and have higher satisfaction rates. Unfortunately, those positives don't seem to get as much attention as the productivity gap. [Read More]
Doctors offer discounts and other assistance
Doctors are encountering more patients struggling to pay for care, and some have responded by selectively cutting their fees or devising novel payment arrangements; others have taken a harder line on billing and are sending more overdue accounts to bill collectors. There may be a benefit to the former approach in the form of patient loyalty that will pay off when the economy turns around. But this article is just another example of how the recession continues to affect physician practices. [Read More]
Business Rx
Determining Your Practice's Worth Will be a Key to Financial Survival
Do you know what the practice is worth? This will be important to find out, as valuations are becoming increasingly warranted for numerous reasons. [Read More]
Physician News
Half of U.S. Hospitals Violate Law By Not Reporting Disciplined Doctors
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - May 27, 2009
Doctors warn on patients' falls
Boston Globe - June 4, 2009
Wrist procedure for angioplasty gains popularity
Miami Herald - June 2, 2009
Use Simulation Training to Boost Safety Culture
Tami Swartz, for HealthLeaders Media - June 4, 2009
Audio Conferences/Webcasts
July 22, 2009: Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Spine Care
June 26, 2009: ICU Overhaul 2009: Strategies to Reduce Costs and Improve Quality
June 17, 2009: HIPAA Changes: New Compliance Strategies for New Marketing Models
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]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

HIM Professionals Help Physician Practices Now More Than Ever: As physician practices move away from paper-based record keeping and into the era of electronic medical records, the caliber of staff needed to coordinate, manage, and protect patient information grows exponentially. With all of these new challenges, how can physician practices successfully make the transition to electronic records? [Read More]
Audio Feature

Surviving the New P4P: Joint Surgery and Hospital-Physician Alignment: Physician and hospital leaders from the joint replacement service line discuss how the changing healthcare landscape will affect hospital and physician partnerships toward quality improvement. [Listen Now]

Sponsor PhysicianLeaders

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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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