HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - June 5, 2009 | Meet the Working Poor: Possibly Yourself View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Meet the Working Poor:
Possibly Yourself

Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute says, among other important points, that because of the development of employer-sponsored healthcare over the past 50 years or so, healthcare's share of worker compensation among all income groups has increased dramatically. That's no surprise. But because employers can't keep up, they've been cutting benefits through higher co-pays, co-insurance and yes, consumer-directed healthcare initiatives. The upshot: these plans ultimately reduce compensation for most employees. But not for all.
[Read More]
  June 6, 2009

Editor's Picks
Stakeholders' Health Reform Letter to Obama Offers Few Specifics
This letter reminds me of the viability plans the nation's automakers presented to the president at various times since they were given multi-billion-dollar lifelines. Grand plans that ultimately didn't amount to much. The idea for the automakers' plans in late 2008 and early this year was that they would prevent Chrysler and GM from having to file for bankruptcy protection. At the risk of being labeled a cynic, it might be a little too late, folks. My colleague Janice Simmons concluded, rightly, that the letter didn't offer much in the way of specifics to cut the cost and improve the quality of healthcare. From the looks of things, Sen. Charles Grassley has already joined me in the cynics' ranks. [Read More]
Obama's sounding more like McCain on taxing health benefits
Stop me if this sounds like a John McCain campaign speech, but President Obama told Democratic senators he's willing to consider taxing employer-sponsored health benefits to help pay for a broad expansion of coverage. Obama still says he has serious concerns about doing so, but that doesn't mean it's a deal-killer if Congress includes it in a broad healthcare reform plan. In any case, if benefits do get taxed in any healthcare reform bill, I'll bet the president can count on support for the idea from one influential senator from a warm southwestern state. [Read More]
Obama Wants Final Health Reform Bill by October
My colleague Janice Simmons says that President Obama is sticking with his demand that lawmakers present him a healthcare reform bill by October. His comments at the White House reflect some of the findings of his Council of Economic Advisors' report, The Economic Case for Health Care Reform, that was released on Tuesday. Long on goals and short on how those goals will be achieved, the White House seems to be gearing up to promote healthcare reform to the public. The details are Congress's job, the president seems to be saying. [Read More]
Red Flags Rule: Comply Now, Avoid Lawsuit Later
You're going to have to comply with the Red Flags rule sooner or later. But the sooner you do, the better off you'll be, says my colleague Dom Nicastro in this article. The rule requires organizations considered as "creditors" to implement programs to identify, detect, and respond to patterns, practices, or specific activities that could indicate identity theft. You might think this is something that your CFO or your CIO should be reading, but it's very important to other senior leaders as well. Why? The compliance date is still Nov. 1, 2008, which means if you're not compliant now, you're busy racking up potential penalties despite the delay in enforcement. [Read More]

This Week's Headlines
Feds Target Radiology Imaging Payment Cuts
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - May 29, 2009
Health insurers balk at some changes
New York Times - June 3, 2009
University of Alabama at Birmingham medical center says it's eliminating 245 jobs
Birmingham News - June 3, 2009
Connecticut hospital set to lay off nearly 80
AP/Hartford Courant - June 3, 2009
Harvard mobile clinic may save healthcare system millions
Boston Globe - June 3, 2009
Jindal: LSU needs more detailed plan on hospital
New Orleans Times Picayune - June 2, 2009
Grady Memorial Hospital still waiting for funds
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - June 1, 2009

Webcasts/Audio conferences
Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Spine Care (July 22)
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

Dollars for Wellness: Wellness gets a lot of positive press, but there's often little in terms of carrots or sticks in many employer-sponsored programs to get measurable results. It's different at Carolinas Health System, says Donna Lockhart, a vice president with the system. Lockhart, whom I recently spoke with, says CHS' program is working by paying employees to comply. She says the benefits far outweigh the program's cost. [Listen Now]
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