HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - September 23, 2009 View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free

A Rural Health Reform Shopping List
Cheryl Clark, Editor, Community Hospitals
With key members of the Senate Finance Committee and the Blue Dog Democrats hailing from predominantly rural states, advocates for non-urban regions are more hopeful than ever that they are finally getting their message across. Here are some essential reform measures that hospitals, physicians, community clinics, and other care providers in rural parts of the country say are needed to correct inequities for providers in low-population areas of the country. [Read More]
September 23, 2009
Editor's Picks

Patient Death Reinforces Need for Surgical Fire Precaution
When a patient dies because of a hospital-caused fire, there can be hell to pay in a hospital's lost good reputation. Electrocautery pens, drapes, and alcohol prep solutions and oxygen make for a deadly combination for flash events. [Read More]

Baucus Announces Physician Payment Changes
So many amendments (564), and so little time. But Sen. Max Baucus is determined to fix the horribly misnamed sustainable growth rate, which should give many doctors some relief. Now the debate shifts again to getting it done, or getting it done right. [Read More]

Community-Based Health Prevention Programs Promote Long-Term Savings
How does $10 per person save $16 billion per year? My colleague Janice Simmons explored how investments in certain proven prevention programs—such as improved nutrition, prevented tobacco use, and increased physical activity—provide more bang for the buck by saving $5.16 for every dollar spent. [Read More]

HIPAA's Harm Threshold is a Huge Weakness
Is a privacy breach a violation only if the breach poses a risk of harm? This new threshold proposed by HHS is a huge weakness that may leave hospitals even more vulnerable than they already are. Where is the balance between practicality and protection? [Read More]
Leaders Forum

Five Strategies to Thrive in Difficult Times
Generally required to keep more cash on hand than other businesses, healthcare organizations are suffering from an inability to access capital and remain solvent. In order for healthcare organizations to emerge with their reputations and operations intact, they will need to be inspired in the way they lead their organizations now, and in the months ahead. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Lines drawn as Senate panel begins debating health bill
Washington Post - September 23, 2009
Kaiser Permanente's chief optimistic about health overhaul effort
New York Times - September 23, 2009
Hospitals' charity care under scrutiny nationwide
Chicago Tribune - September 22, 2009
Medicare bills high at Los Angeles hospitals
Los Angeles Times - September 21, 2009

Webcasts/Audio Conferences

RAC Strategy: Preserve Margin, Prevent Take-backs, Promote Alignment (November 11)
Flexible Medical Staff Models of the Future (October 29)
Marketing to Physicians: Build Relationships to Increase Referrals (October 22)

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Service Line Management
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Audio Feature
Get Rid of the Paper Trail: Why should you go fully electronic when it comes to credentialing? For one, you could see as much as a 50% reduction in costs, says Matthew Haddad, president and CEO of Merversant. [Listen Now]