HealthLeaders Media HR - September 8, 2009 | Unions' Merger Creates Daunting Adversary for Hospitals
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Unions' Merger Creates Daunting Adversary for Hospitals
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media

Healthcare news was made outside of the Beltway recently with the auspicious announcement that three of the nation's largest nurses unions—California Nurses Association/National Nurses organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and Massachusetts Nurses Association—would merge and form the nation's largest registered nurses union. The merger had long been in the works, but that did nothing to quell the bald-faced glee of labor advocates salivating over the organizing potential for the new, well-funded, well-organized union. [Read More]
  September 8, 2009

Editor's Picks
Are hospital job cuts a signal of something larger than the recession?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Statistics' seasonably adjusted preliminary data shows the nation's hospitals shed 700 jobs in August, posting the second such month-to-month decline since June, when overall hospital payrolls shrank by 200 jobs. Despite that contraction, the overall healthcare sector—from physicians' offices to blood and organ banks—reported 27,900 payroll additions in August, and 180,400 new jobs in the first eight months of 2009. Nearly two-thirds of job growth in the healthcare sector is in ambulatory healthcare services, which reported 18,300 new jobs in August and 119,600 new jobs in the first eight months of 2009. Judging by those figures, which are preliminary and subject to significant revision, it would appear that the recession has finally caught up with the hospital sector. But it also raises some troubling questions. Why are hospitals one of the few areas in the overall healthcare sector that are experiencing little, if any, job growth? And, if it's just the recession that's stunting hospital job growth, then why hasn't it affected ambulatory healthcare services, which are posting some of the strongest job growth in the overall economy? Is the stagnant job growth in hospitals a temporary condition? Or, is it the start of a permanent contraction in hospital growth and services? [Read More]
Is your staff prepared for H1N1?
My colleague Cheryl Clark does a typically solid job of raising concerns about the ability to protect healthcare workers against transmission of H1N1. Of course, this is a huge safety issue for patients and staff. But it also becomes a serious staffing issue as well if a significant percentage of your employees are out with the flu. Oddly, many of the hospital people I've spoken with about swine flu are almost nonchalant about the issue. In the words of one nurse I spoke with last spring: "We're a hospital. We deal with sick people all the time." [Read More]
Hospitals face civil actions for reporting physician misbehavior
Here is an example of how a good idea can be undermined when it runs up against reality and trial lawyers. Hospitals are obligated under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act to report physicians whose privileges have been denied or revoked under certain circumstances. But in doing so, they run the risk of being sued by those same physicians. Such is the predicament that Georgetown University Hospital is facing now. Carlos F. Gomez, MD, is suing Georgetown University Hospital for $1.25 million for rejecting his application for staff privileges and reporting Gomez to the National Practitioner Data Bank. Gomez, who has a history of substance abuse but has been sober for the past five years, alleges that Georgetown rejected his application based on his scarred past. [Read More]
Executives on the Move
BOSTON: Hannon named CEO at New England Baptist Hospital
New England Baptist Hospital in Boston announced its board of trustees has appointed a new president and chief executive: Patricia L. Hannon, who is currently senior vice president for healthcare operations at Baystate Health in Springfield. Hannon, who is also chief operating officer at Baystate Medical Center, will start her job at New England Baptist on Nov. 2. [Read More]

FLINT, MI: Mazurkiewicz named CFO at McLaren Health Care
David Mazurkiewicz, Senior Vice President, Finance for Henry Ford Health System, has been named Senior Vice President and CFO of Flint, MI-based McLaren Health Care. Mazurkiewicz will join McLaren in early October. Mazurkiewicz will succeed McLaren Senior Vice President and CFO Dennis Krzeminski, who is retiring Oct. 9. Mazurkiewicz joined Henry Ford Health in 1983 as that system's senior director of corporate assets and assistant treasurer. [Read More]

CLEVELAND: University Hospitals appoints Sunshine as new CMIO
University Hospitals has appointed of Jeffrey L. Sunshine, MD, vice president and chief medical information officer. He has been serving in those capacities on an interim basis since November 2008. In these roles, Sunshine will be a member of the leadership team for the strategic planning, operations, integration, and implementation of information systems and services throughout the health system, particularly in the development of UH's $100 million Electronic Medical Record project. While interim, he led EMR implementation across eight UH hospitals serving thousands of physicians. [Read More]

NASHVILLE: HCA names Tayrien to newly created CHIO position
Richard Tayrien, MD, will become HCA's Chief Health Information Officer, a new position, effective Sept. 21. Tayrien, 56, will lead an expanding team of clinicians and informaticists and be responsible for the continued development and implementation of hCare, HCA's program for advanced health information technologies. Currently, Tayrien is Vice President, Clinical Information Systems for Catholic Healthcare West, where he is responsible for strategy, development and implementation of clinical information systems. He previously was Regional Medical Director for Clinical Informatics at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center/Barrow Neurological Institute. Tayrien practiced internal medicine for the first 18 years of his career. [Read More]

AUSTIN: Suehs to lead Texas HHS
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has selected Thomas Suehs of Austin to be the next Texas health and human services executive commissioner. The appointment is effective Sept. 1. Suehs has served as deputy executive commissioner for financial services at HHSC since 2003. His responsibilities include providing administrative leadership, oversight, and direction for the financial management of the five health and human services agencies. Suehs replaces Executive Commissioner Albert Hawkins, who retired Aug. 31. [Read More]

WINSTON-SALEM, NC: Forsyth Cardiac & Vascular Center gets new director
Kirsten Royster, the senior director of support services at Forsyth Medical Center, has been named the new vice president of the Forsyth Cardiac & Vascular Center. Royster, who joined FMC in 2005 as the director of patient access, has played a role in the development and implementation of a new patient care model for FMC and led efforts to transform the hospital's revenue cycle. [Read More]

SUNRISE, FL: McCann named Chief Industry Officer at Interim HealthCare
Barbara McCann has been appointed Interim HealthCare's first-ever chief industry officer. Interim HealthCare's independent franchisees employ more than 75,000 healthcare workers who serve 50,000 patients daily. [Read More]
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Get ready for the failure of the HIT stimulus dream, episode of care contracting, the end of easy credit, and a public plan. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Ralph de la Torre, MD, CEO of Boston's Caritas Christi Health Care, discusses his system's "alternative quality contract" with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. [Listen Now]
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