HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - November 5, 2009 | Coca-Cola Partnership Hits a Nerve View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Coca-Cola Partnership Hits a Nerve
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Once again, news about a partnership between physicians and private industry has sparked controversy in the medical community. But this time, the controversy isn't related to drug or device companies at all. A number of family practice physicians are upset with the American Academy of Family Physicians for partnering with Coca-Cola Co., the world's No.1 soft-drink maker, to develop consumer education content about beverage sweeteners and other health topics. [Read More]
  November 5, 2009

Editor's Picks
Fee schedule cuts imaging payments, boosts primary care
I wrote about this proposal when it was first released, and now CMS has issued the final rule without major changes. The 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule will recalculate the estimated utilization rate for imaging equipment—raising it from 50% to 90%—which will lead to significant reimbursement cuts for cardiologists, radiologists, and other specialists. The money CMS saves will be used to boost payments to primary care doctors by 5%-8%. The change will phase in over a four-year period. [Read More]
CMS releases final OPPS rule
The 2010 OPPS final rule released on Friday contains few surprises, but does finalize two changes that received considerable attention when CMS proposed them. First, CMS adopted a new standard for supervision of nonphysician providers in the hospital and for on-campus outpatient departments. The physician must be present on the same campus and be "immediately available," rather than in the department. It also finalized its new payment calculation method for the hospital pharmacy overhead costs of separately payable drugs and biologicals. [Read More]
Physician-owned hospitals claim vindication
Physicians Hospitals of America feels vindicated on news that the Department of Justice reached a $27.5 million settlement with for-profit Universal Health Services and its subsidiaries for violations of the anti-kickback and false claims laws at the corporation's hospitals in McAllen, TX. Molly Sandvig, PHA executive director, claims physician-owned hospitals were unfairly blamed for excessive costs in McAllen, when "the real problem lies with big corporate hospital chains." [Read More]
Reform provision considers payment for prayer treatments
Hidden in the Senate version of health reform is wording—introduced by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) and backed by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)—that would require insurers to consider covering Christian Science prayer treatments, which can cost about $20 a day. Some physicians have a problem with this, in part because they are being encouraged to rely on comparative effectiveness research when making decisions, and there really isn't much scientific evidence supporting prayer-based treatments. [Read More]
Business Rx
Three Common Hiring Mistakes
Physician practices are less likely than larger healthcare entities, such as hospitals and nursing homes, to find themselves in an employment suit. It can still happen, however, and here are three errors committed during the recruiting and hiring process that can lead to a lawsuit. [Read More]
Physician News
Health bills aim a light on doctors' conflicts
New York Times - November 4, 2009
Senators propose lawsuit reform as part of healthcare overhaul
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - November 4, 2009
Surgeons Give Six Reasons Why Senate Reform Plan Will Worsen Care
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - November 5, 2009
WebMD founder plans new medical site
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - November 5, 2009

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
December 17, 2009: Women's Health: Building a More Profitable Service Line With Existing Assets
December 3, 2009: Marketing Cardiology: Service Line Strategies for Marketers
November 17, 2009: Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Stroke Care
November 10, 2009: RAC Strategy: Preserve Margin, Prevent Take-backs, Promote Alignment

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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]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Which Patient Gets into the OR First? Contributors offer a new method for prioritizing urgent and emergent surgical cases based on a case study at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, GA. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Physicians, Patients, and PHRs: Larry Garber, MD, medical director of informatics at Fallon Clinic in Worcester, MA, talks about his experiences implementing a personal health record system and how it has affected physician-patient relationships. [Listen Now]
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Resources From HealthLeaders Media

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