HealthLeaders Media HR - July 27, 2009 | Culture of Compliance Preempts Whistleblower Suits
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Culture of Compliance Preempts Whistleblower Suits
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media

Waste and fraud in healthcare are getting a lot of scrutiny because a number of studies and estimates in recent months have shown that fraud and waste are adding billions of dollars to the nation's healthcare tab. Recovery audit contractors are on the prowl at hospitals, looking for Medicare overbillings. The Justice Department is conducting high-profile arrests of Medicare/Medicaid con men accused of multimillion-dollar fraud schemes. And the Obama Administration, desperate to find savings wherever it can to bring down the price tag of healthcare reform, is committed to an aggressive program to root out healthcare fraud. [Read More]
  July 27, 2009

Editor's Picks
Nursing salaries are on the rise nationwide
Compdata Surveys show wages for RNs increased by 9.2% over the last three years-which translates to an average of $61,300 per year. Previous year-to-year salary increases for nurses have been between $2,000 and $3,000. Researchers gathered the data among more than 320,000 nurses from nearly 900 healthcare organizations across the U.S. through questionnaires. These included hospitals, long-term care and rehabilitation facilities, homecare agencies, and physician clinics. Results shows nurses on the coasts of the country have the highest salaries; nurses in the Western region will take in an average $75,300 in 2009; and those in the Northeast will make about $67,400. The findings illustrate the healthcare industry has yearly pay increase budgets running around 3%, while other businesses have pay increases around 2%. The average nursing salary jumped up by 5.3% from 2008 to 2009 alone. [Read More]
CT's hospitals and nursing homes are suddenly shedding jobs
The Hartford Courant reports that the Nutmeg State's hospitals and nursing homes have eliminated 1,800 jobs since March. It's the first time the sector has shed jobs in a decade and it comes as the economy appears to be stabilizing. The Courant asks if this a trend we will see nationally? To which I would reply, we already are, at least in the hospital sector. Bureau of Labor statistics have shown that hospital hiring is increasing nationally, but is well off the pace set in recent years. There are a number of reasons: lower inpatient volume; higher mix of unemployed; tanking portfolios, etc. Take your pick. The fastest area of healthcare sector job growth is in ambulatory care, and that shouldn't be any surprise as the trend toward outpatient services continues. [Read More]
Texas health system forms temp agency to woo nurses
Texas Health Resources Inc., the largest hospital system in North Texas, has formed a temp agency with Arlington-based Medfinders, Inc. to oversee the staffing of all per-diem nurses for Texas Health's 14 hospitals across North Texas. By having an in-house agency, Texas Health says it's better able to fill its 5% nurse vacancy rate and avoid costly overtime by paying temporary nurses to cover shifts of full-time nurses. In addition, the health system hopes the joint venture will adapt to the working habits of the younger generation of nurses who prefer schedule flexibility and to want see other parts of the country rather than be tied to a single hospital. [Read More]
Dwindling reimbursements, tight budgets tough on faculty
As reimbursements decrease and department budgets are slashed, hospital leaders may want to work a little harder to ensure teaching faculty members are still feeling fulfilled. If faculty members leave, not only will you be faced with the cost of recruiting new physicians, but residency and fellowship accreditation may be jeopardized. The issue for hospital leaders is that faculty dissatisfaction may not always be obvious. Disgruntled faculty members won't throw up their hands and stop caring for patients. Instead, they're more likely to find little ways to express their frustrations. Faculty members usually show their discontent by missing meetings and deadlines, and showing a general disregard for their teaching responsibilities. If you notice these behaviors, have a conversation with the faculty members involved before their poor behavior escalates and formal action needs to be taken. If you deal with their actions early on, a casual conversation can typically solve problems. Do not approach faculty members in an accusatory manner. You're more likely to find a solution when faculty members perceive concern rather than criticism. [Read More]
Executives on the Move
WASHINGTON: Frieden appointed CDC director
President Barack Obama has appointed New York City Health Department Commissioner Thomas Frieden, MD, as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frieden is an expert in preparedness and response to health emergencies, and has been at the forefront of the fight against heart disease, cancer and obesity, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS, and in the establishment of electronic health records. [Read More]

GALVESTON, TX: Sollenberger named CEO of UTMB Health System
David L. Callender, MD, president of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, has named Donna K. Sollenberger to be executive vice president and CEO for the UTMB Health System. Sollenberger, who is CEO of the Baylor Clinic and Hospital and executive vice president of Baylor College of Medicine, will assume her new duties at UTMB Sept. 14.[Read More]

CLEVELAND: Cleveland Clinic promotes two executives
Cleveland Clinic promoted two executives to integrate medical care and operations. Marc Harrison, MD, has been named CMO, and William "Bill" Peacock III has been named COO. Their objective is to improve efficiencies, reduce expenses and coordinate efforts to enhance the clinic's overall operations and medical delivery system. In their new roles, Harrison will provide clinical oversight to operational decisions made throughout Cleveland Clinic and Peacock will oversee all of the Clinic's facilities and services. [Read More]

ST. CROIX, USVI: Plaskett named acting CEO at Juan Luis Hospital
Darice Plaskett was formally installed as acting CEO of the Juan F. Luis Hospital last week during a meeting of the St. Croix District Governing Board of Director's of the Virgin Islands Government Hospital and Health Facilities Corporation. Plaskett, who remains the hospital's COO during the transition, was unanimously voted in to temporarily replace outgoing CEO Gregory Calliste, who tendered his resignation earlier this month to pursue a job opportunity in New York.[Read More]

NAPERVILL, IL: Wurth named new president of IHA
The Board of Trustees of the Illinois Hospital Association has selected Maryjane A. Wurth as the new president of IHA. Wurth succeeds Ken Robbins, who has served as IHA president since 1983 and will retire later this year. Wurth, 53, currently the COO at the Healthcare Association of New York State, will assume her duties at IHA in October. [Read More]

ATLANTA: Hannah named CFO at Piedmont Heart Institute
William L. Hannah has been named CFO for Piedmont Heart Institute. He is responsible for the overall financial leadership of PHI and corresponding management activities to include accounting, audit and budgeting. Before joining Piedmont, Hannah was a partner in KPMG, LLP, in Atlanta. Most recently, he served as a partner in KPMG's Healthcare CFO Advisory Services Practice and was responsible for all CFO advisory services provided to healthcare clients in the Southeast. [Read More]

HENDERSONVILLE, TN: Donahey takes over as COO at Hendersonville MC
Kenneth C. Donahey takes over as COO at Hendersonville Medical Center this week. Former COO Brian Cook was recently promoted to CEO at Parkridge East Hospital in Chattanooga. Donahey comes to Hendersonville, a 110-bed community hospital owned by TriStar Health System, after serving as associate administrator and ethics and compliance officer at Chattanooga's Parkridge Medical Center for the last four years.[Read More]

TUCSON, AZ: Farrell named Carondelet Holy Cross' first CMO
Roy G. Farrell, MD, has joined Carondelet Health Network as CMO for Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital. The role of CMO is a newly created position at Holy Cross. Farrell is the first person to assume this role at the hospital. Farrell comes to Southern Arizona from the Puget Sound, Washington area, where he served as the Medical Director for Group Health Hospitals in both Seattle and Redmond. Farrell also held the positions of Chief of Urgent Care, Chief of Emergency Services and Chief of Clinical Services at various Group Health hospitals.[Read More]

CHICAGO: Zaletel named CEO Lexington Health Care
Lexington Health Care, a family-owned healthcare company providing sub-acute medical and rehabilitative services and long-term care, has named Dale Zaletel as the company's new CEO. Zaletel, who previously held the position of COO since joining Lexington in May 2008, succeeds John Samatas as CEO, who will continue to serve on the company's board of directors. [Read More]

MAMMOTH LAKES, CA: Mammoth Hospital CFO quits after three months on the job
Recently hired CFO James Hughey will leave Mammoth Hospital on July 31 to go to work at the San Mateo Medical Center. Hughey has worked at Mammoth Hospital just over three months. Mammoth Hospital Administrator Gary Boyd says Hughey told him that small town life had a "bigger impact on him than he thought it would." At a recent employees' meeting, Hughey had also spoken candidly about the chronic deficit at the 17-bed, critical-access hospital.[Read More]

BRIGHTON, MA: Cormier starts today as COO at St. Elizabeth's MC
St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, a Caritas Family Hospital and teaching affiliate of Tufts University School of Medicine, reports that new COO Philip M. Cormier will join St. E's today. Most recently Cormier served as CEO at Kindred Boston North Shore Hospital. Before that he was COO at Northeast Hospital Corporation in Beverly, MA.[Read More]

From HealthLeaders Magazine
Time For 'Dr. Next'?

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]
Audio Feature

Physicians and System Success: David Maizel, MD, vice president and executive medical director with Sentara Medical Group in Norfolk, VA, spoke to Senior Editor Philip Betbeze 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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