HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - December 4, 2009 | Three Ways to Thrive Under a Leaner Reimbursement Environment View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Three Ways to Thrive Under a Leaner Reimbursement Environment
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

Legislators and academics, among others, have been crying "wolf" about healthcare's unsustainable long-term cost curve for years now. So why should we pay attention this time, as Congress struggles to pass a comprehensive healthcare reform bill? Several CEOs think regardless of whether it actually happens, it's wise to prepare as though it will, because the wolf is getting hungrier and hungrier as time passes.
[Read More]
  December 4, 2009

Editor's Picks
Catholic Investors Want Health Companies to Disclose Executive Pay
High pay packages for top executives at health, drug, insurance, and biotech companies are doing their part to boost healthcare cost inflation, says a coalition of primarily investor groups in charge of about $100 billion in investment capital. They want a group of 21 companies to publicly disclose their executive pay packages, as well as the benefit packages of their lowest-paid workers. The 21 companies were singled out because they had not agreed to engage in discussions with the coalition about releasing the information. The group said that many of the companies are among the most aggressive in trying to kill health reform legislation, and thus, the information could shed some light on their motivations. Some of this information is indeed public, but as for the rest of it, good luck. [Read More]
Are Hospitals Illegally Charging the Uninsured Too Much?
Interesting article here by my colleague Cheryl Clark, who says a new report questions whether California hospitals are abiding by a law that requires them to disclose prices of procedures when requested by patients. According to the RAND Health study, researchers conducted their study by posing as a fictional, uninsured, low-income patient who sent letters requesting price quotes from 353 acute care hospitals for one of three common elective procedures. However, the authors said they received responses from less than one-third. Additionally, two-thirds of the prices quoted by those hospitals exceeded the median price that Medicare reimburses hospitals for each of these procedures. [Read More]
Two Ways the Senate Bill Will Pay for Healthcare Reform
If you want your head to swim, read this article by my colleague Janice Simmons on how the healthcare reform bill making it through Congress won't increase the federal deficit. Then decide whether you believe it. The confusion is not from Janice's writing, but from the many targeted tax increases and provisions within the law. Arbitrary regulations such as imposing a tax on individuals without qualifying coverage of $750 per year—up to a maximum of three times that amount—to be phased in beginning in 2014 is one example. Increasing the tax on distributions from health savings accounts or Archer medical savings accounts that are not used for qualified medical expenses to 20% (from 10% for HSAs and from 15% for Archer MSAs) of the disbursed, effective January 1, 2011 is another. You get the idea. When people talk about democracy looking like sausage being made, this is what they mean. [Read More]

This Week's Headlines
Feds Offering $235 Million to Model Health IT Communities
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - December 2, 2009
MedPAC: Regional Variation in Service Use Not Same as Medicare Spending
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - December 2, 2009
Do Not Look to Military Health System as Universal Model, Says Report
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - December 3, 2009
Sioux City, IA, hospital settles U.S. allegations - November 3, 2009
Study shows treatment after heart attack is getting faster
USA Today - December 3, 2009
Nonprofit Hospitals Showing Financial Improvement, says Moody's
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - December 1, 2009
Los Angeles County supervisors OK agreement to reopen King hospital
Los Angeles Times - December 2, 2009

Webcasts/Audio conferences
Joint Replacement Service Lines: Alignment and Business Strategies for a Changing Environment (January 22)
Women's Health: Building a More Profitable Service Line With Existing Assets (December 17)
Marketing Cardiology: Service Line Strategies for Marketers (On Demand)

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Carving Out a New CEO Model

HealthLeaders November 2009
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]
View from the Top

Politicians' Stab at Healthcare Reform is Unreasonable and Unworkable HealthLeaders Media contributor Russell Libby, MD, says the premise of "healthcare reform" seems to be that everyone can keep his favorite insurance coverage, keep his doctor, reduce her insurance premium, cover 30 to 40 million more people, keep Medicare the wonderful program it is, expand Medicaid to as much as 20% of the population, and, to add sugar to the deal, cut the federal deficit by $130 million. Libby says he can't imagine how it's going to happen. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Retail Clinics a Disruptive Innovation: I spoke with Paul Keckley, director of Deloitte's Center for Health Solutions, on the latest developments in retail clinics. The business model has gone through its adolescent stage, he says, but it's here to stay. Hospitals should get in on this game, because consumers want it, it's a disruptive innovation, and it can drive business to their primary care physicians and ultimately, the hospital. Think EMR. [Listen Now]
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Corner Office

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