HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - July 9, 2009 | Medicare Redistribution is a Step in the Right Direction View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Medicare Redistribution is a
Step in the Right Direction

Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

The reimbursement redistribution from specialists to primary care physicians that has been a long time coming may have begun last week when CMS announced what amounts to a nearly 8% reimbursement increase for primary care and a double-digit decrease for some specialties. But read just a little bit of the 1128-page proposed rule for the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and you'll start to get an idea of just how convoluted and arbitrary the current physician reimbursement system can be. [Read More]
  July 9, 2009

Editor's Picks
Seattle doctors cut out insurers
A Seattle primary care clinic that has cut insurers out of the equation just received $4 million in venture capital to expand. The physicians charge patients a $99 fee to join, and then a monthly rate of $39 to $119, depending on age and level of service. Patients aren't denied service for pre-existing conditions and get round-the-clock access to appointments. So far, the physicians are pleased—there a fewer administrative hassles and the clinic says per-patient profit is triple that of insurance-based clinics. Could this work everywhere? [Read More]
$155 billion to end physician-owned hospitals?
America's hospitals made headlines this week after agreeing with the Obama administration to cut $155 billion in Medicare hospital spending, asking in return for payment rates in a public option to be higher than Medicare levels. But Physician Hospitals of America claims there was another quid pro quo: The administration allegedly agreed to restrict the development of physician-owned hospitals. I haven't seen confirmation of this anywhere else; if it's true, it hasn't been widely reported. But the American Hospital Association has been trying to sneak this type of restriction into legislation for years. [Read More]
Generation Gaps Affect Physician Recruitment
This is a topic I've been working on quite a bit lately. Generation gaps in medicine are a real concern for both physicians and administrators, and medical staff leaders are tasked with incorporating physicians of all ages and smoothing over differences that can cause tension. There is no easy answer, but leadership training and mentorship programs can go a long way toward helping younger physicians acclimate to the current culture without forcing them to abandon some of the qualities that, though different from their predecessors, make them uniquely talented clinicians. [Read More]
Do physicians use social networking sites?
An international survey of physicians suggests that most don't. More than two-thirds of doctors in the U.S., Europe, Mexico, and Brazil are either unfamiliar with the sites or don't use them. But among those who use them, Facebook dominates—40% of doctors in the U.S. who use social networking sites use Facebook. I didn't see Sermo on the list, but I know several doctors who participate in that physician-only social network. As Pauline Chen, MD, has pointed out, online social networking has the potential to improve the doctor-patient relationship. [Read More]
Business Rx
Hospitals, Physicians Negotiate Call Pay
As healthcare organizations continue to struggle with on-call compensation issues, hospitals, like physicians, are starting to push back. [Read More]
Physician News
Healthcare overhaul goals prove challenging
Wall Street Journal - July 9, 2009
Medical journal eases rule silencing filers of complaints
Wall Street Journal - July 8, 2009
Paging study finds that the doctor is often out
Washington Post - July 7, 2009
California Med Board Goes After Unlicensed Docs
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - July 6, 2009

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
July 22, 2009: Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Spine Care
August 18: Advanced Service Line Marketing: New Orthopedics Growth Strategies
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PhysicianLeaders Forum

Physician Retention is More Important than Ever: Andy Guenther, a physician recruiter with Delta Physician Placement, argues that physician retention policies are crucial in today's difficult recruitment environment and offers strategies proven to retain physicians. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Spine Strategies: Eula McKinney, director of the spine service line at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, talks about the recession's impact on spine care and effective strategies for aligning with physicians to reduce costs. For more info, sign up for Service Lines Strategies: Spine Care. [Listen Now]
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Resources From HealthLeaders Media

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