HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - December 11, 2009 | Four Reasons Sanford-MeritCare Merger Provides a Blueprint for Accountable Care View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Four Reasons Sanford-MeritCare Merger Provides a Blueprint for Accountable Care
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

A model of the health system of the future has come screaming out of the Dakotas like a winter blizzard. Who would've thunk it? For someone with such clout, Kelby Krabbenhoft, CEO of the combined entity that is called Sanford Health-MeritCare, is unassuming and humble about his role. I spoke with Krabbenhoft recently, and as I reviewed the interview, I came up with four reasons the merger should pave the way for a more accountable healthcare if other systems can follow Sanford-MeritCare's lead.
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  December 11, 2009

Editor's Picks
20 People Who Make Healthcare Better
I had a hand in writing one of the 20 profiles in this story, but just a small hand, so I don't feel like I'm tooting my own horn when I tell you that you should read it. At this time of the year when all of us are counting our blessings, we should be grateful there are people like the 20 profiled in this piece. If you're not glad you spent the time when you're finished, I'll personally guarantee a full refund of the purchase price of this link. [Read More]
Freshman Senators' Amendments Focus on Improving Valuee
Perhaps these amendments should've been the foundation of healthcare reform from the very beginning. It's hard to argue against any of them, unless you happen to be in healthcare, and even then, you'd best do it under your breath. [Read More]
EPA: Despite Plenty of Hospital Activity, No Added Scrutiny on Healthcare
Guess they're busy enough regulating carbon dioxide emissions, for now, but the EPA has not formally increased its focus on hospital enforcement. Hospitals aren't identified as one of the agency's national enforcement priorities, a press agent told my colleague Scott Wallask recently in an interview. However, the EPA is looking at ways to ensure hazardous drug wastes are not disposed of improperly, among other priorities that may affect hospitals. [Read More]
Reform Should Create Transparencies Throughout Healthcare
My colleague Les Masterson has written an interesting opinion piece this week, about the desperate need for better transparency in healthcare. Provisions in health reform legislation being discussed on Capitol Hill would open up claims and payment data to consumers; require insurers to provide detailed information about policies, such as out-of-pocket costs and claims denial rates; and offer information about how premium dollars are spent, but he would go beyond that. I would too, for that matter. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Finding the nerve to cut health costs
New York Times, December 9, 2009
Initiative Hopes to Improve Patient Safety in Public Hospitals
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2009
Study: Patient Knowledge of Their Meds Woeful
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2009
SSM Health Care, Select Medical Form Rehab Partnership
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2009
Tufts, Signature Healthcare form affiliation
Boston Globe, December 9, 2009
For some ages 55 to 64, Medicare will cost too much
Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2009
Survey: Health Costs, Reform a Source of Stress for Americans
Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media, December 8, 2009
Aetna overstated spending on patient-care category
Wall Street Journal, December 9, 2009
Supporters add hidden nuggets to healthcare bills
USA Today, December 9, 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
20 People Who Make Healthcare Better

HealthLeaders December 2009
The very essence of healthcare is to make a difference for good. In our annual HealthLeaders 20, we offer profiles of some who are doing just that. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Emerging Service Lines

Hospitals that lead the way in emerging service lines may find themselves positioned to be market leaders in the future. Here's a look at which services are emerging and why. [Read More]
View from the Top

Counterintuitive Thinking During Difficult Times: Bold Growth Strategies: Designing revenue growth strategies that are bold in nature and accelerating the implementation of those strategies are fundamental to the success of healthcare organizations, says contributor Mark Dubow. [Read More]