HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - June 17, 2009
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How Does A Gust of Wind Incapacitate Indian Hospital?
Cheryl Clark, Editor, Community Hospitals
Hickory Starr has been working for the Indian Health Service for 28 years, for 14 years as a hospital CEO. And he's used to dealing with very big problems in providing good care. But when a gust of wind 10 days ago tore down the power lines and incapacitated his Indian Hospital in Lawton, a 28-bed critical access facility in Southwestern Oklahoma, he says, "I just wanted to scream." [Read More]
June 17, 2009
Editor's Picks

Some Doctors Tell the AMA: "I Quit"
A statement opposing a public plan from America's largest organized physician group upset a lot of doctors, including many members, who say the American Medical Association is out of touch with problems today's doctors face in delivering care. The AMA is centered more on improving reimbursements and less on patient care, they say. [Read More]

How Many More People Will the Kennedy Plan Cover?
My colleague, Jim Molpus, dug some sobering numbers out of a recent Congressional Budget Office analysis of Sen. Kennedy's health plan proposal. He finds that while 39 million Americans would gain coverage, many millions would lose their employer sponsored plans. The net gain? Not so much. [Read More]

Cooperatives Could Be A Solution for Health Coverage
Might health insurance cooperatives work for small businesses or groups? The idea is not far-fetched, and some in Congress are looking at the idea. If it works for groceries, books, child-care and farm products, why not medical coverage? They're non-profit and member driven, and a solution in Seattle. [Read More]

Is There A Doctor in the House? Depends on Where You Live
Statistics from the American Medical Association vastly underestimate the number of practicing physicians, according to a report that looked at California's doctor supply. Rural areas, as believed, have the worst ratio of primary care physicians and specialists per 100,000 population. [Read More]

Americans Want Health Reform
Across the country, many people answered a survey that they are fed up with existing healthcare policies in the U.S. and want reform. But they don't want to pay for it, and may become confused if an ad war from opposing camps gathers steam. A reform bill should go on President Obama's desk soon, Kaiser president says. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

RACs: Self Assessment and Aggressive Appeals Are Key
Reimbursement investigations will likely be pursued in numbers and with a tenacity not previously seen in the Part B Medicare program. Data from the demonstration project shows that while very few providers appealed, those that did saw a high percentage of wins. An aggressive appeals stance on the part of providers, therefore, will likely emerge as a significant deterrent against marginal investigations as the program matures. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Health insurers refuse to limit rescission of coverage
Los Angeles Times ? June 17, 2009
Hospital fined by Maryland regulators for not reporting errors
Washington Post ? June 15, 2009
Medicine in the age of Twitter
New York Times ? June 12, 2009
Children suffer as states cut health budgets
Wall Street Journal ? June 17, 2009

Webcasts/Audio Conferences

Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Spine Care (Live)
HIPAA Changes: New Compliance Strategies for New Marketing Models (On Demand)
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Bundling By Decree
Can an industry addicted to payment for procedure survive episodic care? Geisinger has. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Faster, Safer Joint Replacements
Hospitals are fine-tuning the surgical process from start to finish in order to replace joints faster and safer than ever before. [Read More]
Audio Feature
From HFMA: Finance Help for Patients Jerry Smith, vice president of revenue cycle at St. Vincent's Health System, discusses the successful implementation of a patient financial assistance program, live from HFMA. [Listen Now]
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