HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - July 17, 2009 | Daydreaming on Healthcare Reform, and More View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Daydreaming on Healthcare Reform, and More
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

Leadership is a tough job, and we here at HealthLeaders Media want to help you with it. So with that in mind, I'm looking for a few good suggestions on questions you would like your peers to answer.
[Read More]
  July 17, 2009

Editor's Picks
Obama wants Medicare reimbursement taken out of federal hands
There's a power struggle going on behind the scenes of the healthcare reform battle that many people are paying little attention to. I can't figure out why, except that perhaps many are as skeptical as I am that Congress would ever give up any power that allows them to bring home the pork—this time in the form of taking away lawmakers' ability to set Medicare's payout rates. On the surface, for those who claim to care about the unsustainability of healthcare's astronomical cost increases, it's a good idea. So-called fiscally conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats are supportive of the idea, however, which might give it a snowball's chance if they hang tough. That will be tough to do, given the power of the healthcare lobby. Dare we call it the healthcare-industrial complex, echoing Eisenhower's warning about the rise of the military-industrial complex? Here's a clip of part of that speech. [Read More]
Hospital CEOs on healthcare reform, in their own words
Premier is notorious around our offices for inundating us with press releases, but often they're doing some pretty neat stuff. In this combination of text and YouTube videos, retired hospital CEOs debate the critical issues in the current healthcare reform debate. In this installment, Kester Freeman, retired CEO of Palmetto Health in South Carolina, talks about high healthcare costs and the fact that those costs are making the United States less competitive with other countries. You'll have to click around for other installments, but they're short, and interesting. [Read More]
If Health Reform is Approved, Many Federal and State Laws Will Need to Change
When Congress acts, it usually passes laws that conflict with state laws. It's no different with healthcare reform, says my colleague Cheryl Clark. She talked to Timothy Jost, a professor at the Washington and Lee School of Law, who has studied potential conflicts with current federal and state laws that will probably arise under a comprehensive health reform bill, should one pass. It must not only resolve conflicts between new programs and existing federal law, but it also will need to consider how new federal initiatives will mesh with existing state law, he says. [Read More]
Could a Health Plan Executive Actually Become Governor? Yes
My colleague Les Masterson takes a smart look at the Massachusetts gubernatorial candidacy of Charlie Baker, Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan's CEO. Baker has government experience, and has rebuilt a struggling health plan from the bottom up so that it has become one of the most respected insurers in the nation. As a Massachusetts resident who covers health plans, Les makes several good points as to why Baker has a real shot at winning in 2010, the most compelling of which might Baker's expertise at helping fix financing problems with the state's innovative mandatory health insurance program, which has been plagued by high—some say unsustainable—costs. [Read More]
An argument for healthcare rationing
I thought this was an excellent, well-reasoned (if long) piece about the reason healthcare rationing makes sense. The reason to do it is that since resources to pay for healthcare are not limitless, neither should cost be left out of the equation for publicly funded healthcare treatment decision-making. It's a compelling argument. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Healthcare vote illustrates stubborn partisan divide
New York Times - July 16, 2009
Many Surgical Residents Say Current Duty Hour Restrictions Put Safety At Risk
Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media - July 15, 2009
Safety Net Hospitals Concerned About Proposed Payment Cuts
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media- July 13, 2009
Brentwood, TN-based startup targets rural hospitals
The Tennessean - July 16, 2009
HIT Panelist Bashes CCHIT as Legacy Vendors' Puppet
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - July 15, 2009
Healthcare plan would add surtax on wealthy
Washington Post - July 15, 2009
Massachusetts takes a step back from healthcare for all
New York Times - July 15, 2009
Minnesota's public hospitals say services in peril
AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune - July 15, 2009

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HealthLeaders July 2009
Generation X and its life-balancing, tech-oriented, team-playing doctors is taking over. But what kind of healthcare will they give us? [Read More]
Service Line Management
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View from the Top

Medicare Advantage Cuts Wrong Prescription for Improving Healthcare Efficiency No physician would develop a treatment plan for a patient without first spending time to accurately diagnose the patient's condition. Misdiagnosis can result in debilitating outcomes for patients, while wasting valuable time and money. In its diagnosis of what ails the U.S. healthcare system, the Obama administration is at great risk of making a costly mistake by proposing cuts in a program that successfully addresses a core problem—the lack of coordinated care, say HealthLeaders Media contributors Robert Margolis, MD, and Craig Frances, MD. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Reform and the Healthcare Leader: David Maizel, MD, vice president and executive medical director with Sentara Medical Group in Norfolk, VA, spoke to me recently on the role of physician retention and recruitment for a system's success. He mixed some novel ideas with a real focus on execution. [Listen Now]
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