HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - November 18, 2009
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Little-Known Medicare Pay Code Change Will Hurt Specialists
Cheryl Clark, Editor, Community Hospitals
While the theatrics of the reform debate hold the nation in suspense, another dramatic policy change—with potentially tragic ramifications—has crept into next year's Medicare physician pay schedule with astonishingly little fanfare. [Read More]
November 18, 2009
Editor's Picks

Researchers Studying Whether New Medicare Rule Will Reduce In-hospital Falls
Will Medicare's new rule that bars payment for care required for injuries from an inpatient fall backfire? Geriatricians worry it could lead to more use of physical restraints with potentially harmful effects, or providers may simply keep patients in bed for longer periods of time, restricting their mobility. [Read More]

Maternity Ad Campaign Gets Patients to Shop for Quality
Those who brand their healthcare services should be aware that more consumers will be asking tough questions about quality, not just taking the word from a neighbor. This campaign by the nonprofit California Healthcare Foundation did not attempt to direct patients to any hospitals, but successfully helped them know the right questions to ask. [Read More]

Secret Shopper Program Checks Hospitals' Hand Hygiene
An unusual coalition of hospitals, safety organizations, and state government formed in Maryland in an effort to study hand-hygiene practices. Within each of 45 participating facilities, secretly designated employees will watch staff behavior starting Jan. 1. An education campaign is also underway. [Read More]

RAC Preparations Well Under Way Despite Budget Issues
Hospital coffers are hurting from the recession, but a survey of facilities by HCPro found that most realize they must set aside money to prepare for audits. Amounts averaged between $200,000 and $600,000 for RAC preparedness. [Read More]

Happy Thanksgiving!
From all of us at HealthLeaders Media, have a happy Thanksgiving holiday. HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly will not publish next week, but will be back December 2.
Leaders Forum

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]
This Week's Headlines

Mammography outcry points to trouble for healthcare reform
Los Angeles Times ? November 18, 2009
Doctors urge a focus on geriatrics
Boston Globe ? November 16, 2009
Hidden mistakes in Connecticut hospitals
Hartford Courant ? November 16, 2009
Many doctors to stay course on breast exams for now
New York Times ? November 18, 2009

Webcasts/Audio Conferences

Women's Health: Building a More Profitable Service Line With Existing Assets (December 17)
Marketing Cardiology: Service Line Strategies for Marketers (December 3)
Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Stroke Care (On Demand)

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Putting nurses back at the bedside:
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Carving Out a New CEO Model
Responding to heightened scrutiny and reimbursement cuts, healthcare CEOs are becoming increasingly interactive with a growing list of constituents. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Don't Count on Colonoscopies
New procedural developments and a shifting market are changing how physicians and hospitals work together to deliver digestive health services. [Read More]
Audio Feature
Reform and Nonprofit Healthcare: Bruce McPherson, president and CEO at the Alliance for Advancing Nonprofit Health Care, speaks about health reform. [Listen Now]
Sponsor Community and Rural Hospital
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