HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - October 30, 2009 | Exclusive Interview: Lessons From Wayne Sensor's Fall at Alegent Health View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Exclusive Interview: Lessons From Wayne Sensor's Fall at Alegent Health
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

I've gotten huge response from my column last week about the difficulty of large-scale culture change at hospitals and health systems, epitomized by the sudden resignation of Wayne Sensor as CEO of Omaha's Alegent Health, after two physician confidence votes went against him. I'm guessing this week's column, written after an exclusive interview with Sensor, will generate an even bigger response. At least I hope so, because I feel as though many hospital and health system leaders are in a no-win situation with transformational change.
[Read More]
  October 30, 2009

Editor's Picks
What do CEOs think?
The 2010 edition of the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey for CEOs is now open online at Included this year are new questions that seek your thoughts on the economy, the HIT stimulus package, and healthcare reform efforts, among others. Plus, we build on key benchmark questions from last year, checking on your top priorities and your assessment of key healthcare trends. This comprehensive survey should take about 14 minutes to complete, and closes the night of Monday, Nov. 2. Be sure to provide contact information and we'll enter your name in a drawing for a $1,000 gift card. [Take the Survey Now]
Recession Slows Charitable Giving for Healthcare
New data shows that charitable giving to healthcare institutions only grew a tepid 2.9% between 2007 and 2008. Hey, that's still more than most people got for raises during that recession-wracked time. But my colleague John Commins says much of the slight gain in 2008—about $241 million—was attributable to bookkeeping dates. Most nonprofit hospitals and healthcare systems closed their books before the last quarter of 2008, when U.S. gross domestic product plunged more than 5%. So things will likely look at lot worse this time next year, because of the retrospective nature of the data. Legislation to limit tax deductions for charitable contributions, which Congress is considering, would only further erode this important source of income for healthcare organizations. [Read More]
Providence Health, Catholic Health Initiatives Form Medical Reference Lab Partnership
Catholic Health Initiatives, a 78-hospital nonprofit chain, has obtained 25% equity in a lab company owned by fellow nonprofit chain Providence Health & Services, which has 25 hospitals, reports my colleague John Commins. The deal will result in the creation of one of the nation's largest medical reference laboratories, and echoes similar deals as Novant Health's purchase of a large regional chain of imaging centers as hospitals look to diversify their income streams and create more comprehensive systems of care. [Read More]
GAO Finds Physician Profiling Can Work
My colleague Janice Simmons reports that the Government Accountability Office says in a new report that physician profiling on their resource use could work in development of a program to provide physicians with confidential feedback on the Medicare resources they used to provide care to Medicare patients. Presumably, such a program could help physicians become more efficient users of resources. Something tells me doing such a thing might not go over too well with docs, however. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Feds Dole Out Dollars to Fight Hospital-Acquired MRSA
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 28, 2009
Senators Push for More Fraud Prevention in Health Reform
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, October 29, 2009
Small Healthcare Entities Need Red Flags The Most
Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, October 28, 2009
House healthcare reform bill to include public option
Washington Post, October 29, 2009
Business groups push hard against Senate reform bill
Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2009
Billionaire offers $100-million guaranty to reopen King hospital in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Times, October 29, 2009
Delicate dance for two lobbyists on health bill
New York Times, October 28, 2009
Webcasts/Audio Conferences
Women's Health: Building a More Profitable Service Line With Existing Assets (December 17)
Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Stroke Care (November 17)
RAC Strategy: Preserve Margin, Prevent Take-backs, Promote Alignment (November 10)
Flexible Medical Staff Models of the Future (On Demand)
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Care Team Architecture

HealthLeaders October 2009
Creativity and flexibility count, sure. But underlying the successful care team design is a foundation of essential and lasting values. [Read More]
Service Line Management
State of Emergency

The nation's emergency departments are feeling the effects of the economic downturn, but innovations in patient throughput and other strategies offer hope for a beleaguered system. [Read More]
View from the Top

Utilizing Clinical Integration to Foster Successful Hospital Operations Improvement: Don't use impending healthcare reform and the uncertainties surrounding it as an excuse not to enact necessary clinical integration strategies that will improve operations regardless of how legislative healthcare reform eventually plays out. While considerable uncertainty still exists surrounding the details of healthcare reform, certain consequences of reform are so likely that hospitals need to address them. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Reform is Missing the Boat on Transparency: I spoke recently with John Bardis, CEO of MedAssets, a healthcare supply chain and revenue cycle management company, about his crusade against the lack of transparency in durable medical devices, contracts for which preclude hospitals from disclosing how much they pay for such devices. Bardis thinks this lack of transparency is the top financial challenge facing hospitals, and there's precious little in healthcare reform legislation that will shine a light on the murky way device companies keep prices artificially high. [Listen Now]