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'Green Hospital' Has a Double Meaning
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

I was always taught "green" principles growing up, although you would never confuse my family with the stereotypical group of hippies that one usually imagines when the issue of environmentalism comes up. Not by a long shot. It was all about being grateful for what you've been given and not wasting it, and saving money.
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  August 7, 2009

Editor's Picks
Voters Reject Deficit Spending for Healthcare Reform
I thought healthcare reform was supposed to save money. Apparently not, as bills coming out of Congressional committee seem to hover around a cost of nearly $1 trillion, a number that's almost unimaginable in size. Anyway, the public doesn't support deficit spending to fix healthcare's problems. Excuse me for ranting, but why is it that fixing problems with healthcare, education, and the military, just to name a few examples, involve throwing more money at it? That's why voters don't trust you to borrow money to fix problem areas. Here's an idea for Congress in all those situations. Why don't you work on fixing the waste first, and then when you've shown you're able to do that, voters might be more willing to cut you some slack on proposals that cost a lot of money. [Read More]
Consistent Measures of Quality, Cost Needed to Support Reform Efforts
Quality is the key to healthcare reform, and the ability to measure quality is central to any efforts to reform the healthcare system, says Mark McClellan, former CMS administrator under President George W. Bush. It will take 18.73 years to close the gap between best possible and actual care, according to Carolyn Clancy, MD, head of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. [Read More]
Could A Massachusetts-Style Individual Mandate Work Across the Nation?
Some say a Massachusetts-style mandate to cover the uninsured could work well nationwide, but others disagree, predictably. Many think the Massachusetts program has been a success, but that largely depends on what you value most: coverage for the uninsured or budget neutrality. On the former, the state has largely succeeded. On the latter, many say the Massachusetts plan is a failure. My colleague Cheryl Clark does a nice job of getting both sides of the story, as well as pointing out the difficulties of rolling out such a program nationwide. [Read More]
White House affirms deal on drug costs
Why does Medicare pay retail for drugs? Because of backroom deals like this that throw light on the risky game that the Obama administration has played as it tries to line up support from industry groups typically hostile to government healthcare initiatives. Tackling healthcare reform is a Catch-22, really. In order to get enough support to pass a bill from industry players to whom Congress members are beholden, deals like these need to be made. But it's deals like this that often scuttle well-meaning proposals. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Centrist Democrats upbeat on healthcare bill
New York Times - August 6, 2009
United Agricultural Benefit Trust spotlighted as model for healthcare cooperatives
Los Angeles Times - August 6, 2009
Bristol (CT) Hospital agrees to reopen medical clinic
Hartford Courant - August 6, 2009
GOP activists pack town-hall meetings, shake support for healthcare bills
Boston Globe - August 6, 2009
Healthcare debate: How many are actually uninsured?
AP/Yahoo News - August 6, 2009
Health lobbyists blitz Congress
Wall Street Journal - August 5, 2009
To ensure they get paid, doctors seek entire bill for patient share upfront
Wall Street Journal - August 5, 2009

Webcasts/Audio Conferences
Advanced Service Line Marketing: New Orthopedics Growth Strategies (August 18)
Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Spine Care (On Demand)

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Web-Based Analytics Improving Medical Practice Strategic Planning: Stone Medical Clinic had much to be proud of—a long history of excellent patient care, well trained physicians, and a growing roster of new patients. What it lacked, however, was profitability comparable to similar-sized practices. What it needed was the ability to review many disparate pieces of patient information related to the business side of the practice, from verifying coverage to collecting co-payments. [Read More]
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Strategic Alignment: Physician alignment has become a hated buzz phrase with wildly different definitions, depending on whom you talk to. This week, I speak with Nick Sears, MD, chief medical officer for MedAssets, about physician alignment in the hospital setting. We delve into his personal experience with physician alignment strategies, and the latest thinking behind why such projects so often fail to generate savings and better relationships between management and physicians. [Listen Now]
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