HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - December 17, 2009 | The Top Five Physician Stories of 2009 (Other Than Reform) View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
The Top Five Physician Stories of 2009 (Other Than Reform)
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

The healthcare reform debate has made 2009 both exciting and frustrating for anyone involved with the healthcare industry. The problem with such a massive story is that it tends to have a wide gravitational field that draws attention away from other news and events that would be top-of-mind in any other year. So before the Senate votes and healthcare reform returns to center stage, here are some of the top non-reform stories of 2009 that were of interest to physicians. [Read More]
  December 17, 2009

Editor's Picks
Hospital Leaders: How to Add Value to Healthcare
The current relationship between hospitals and physicians has been built around rewarding for volume of services and not quality. That model is breaking down as reformers in Washington have hospital and physician inefficiency in their sights, with Medicare pushing toward value-based purchasing and experimenting with a payment system that rewards a system of coordinated care. In this HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs report that you can download for free, four leading hospital systems—Gundersen Lutheran Health System, Sanford Health-MeritCare, SSM Health Care, and Virginia Mason Medical Center—share the lessons they have learned about adding quality to healthcare. [Read More]
House delays 21% Medicare cut until March
The House tucked a provision into a defense spending bill passed yesterday that will delay the pending 21% cut in Medicare payments to doctors until March. Previous legislation that would have permanently fixed the sustainable growth rate formula failed in the Senate, but the House recently passed H.R. 3961, which includes a more long-term solution. In a statement, the American Medical Association praised the delay, but urged the Senate to join the House in passing a real solution so the President can sign it into law early next year. [Read More]
Radiologists Rap Study Linking CT Scans with Cancer
Radiologists are poking holes in a study this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine that links the overuse of CT scans with thousands of new cancer diagnoses and deaths. Researchers estimated that there were 72 million CT scans performed in 2007, which resulted in 29,000 excess cancer diagnoses, and as many as 15,000 additional cancer deaths. The American College of Radiology claims the methodology was flawed, and that "the 29,000 figure, if even close to accurate, is overall a very small risk versus the immediate, proven life-saving benefits of CT." Given its outrage about the breast cancer guidelines a few weeks ago, one might start to wonder if the ACR has a financial interest in attacking any study that points out the dangers of excessive imaging. [Read More]
Should Physician Practices Pursue Joint Commission Accreditation?
By just about any measure, Joint Commission accreditation is an affirmation that your physician practice has reached the pinnacle of professionalism, particularly in quality and patient safety issues. But achieving accreditation requires a lot of resources—staff, time, and energy—and the return on investment isn't always apparent. It's worthwhile, consultants say, but you have to be willing to put in a lot of work to get the process off the ground. [Read More]
Happy Holidays!
From all of us at HealthLeaders Media, happy holidays. HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders will not publish next week, but will be back with a new issue December 31.
Business Rx
Physician Relations: Effective Leadership is Key to Winning Program
As the number of physician relations programs grows, there is a tremendous opportunity for those who want to rise to the level of management. Regardless of the program's maturity, effective leaders continue to balance their ability to look at the whole ladder, while never losing site of the individual rungs. [Read More]
Physician News
Exam-room rules: What is in a name?
New York Times - December 17, 2009
Rogue group of pain managers skirts rules
Palm Beach Post - December 17, 2009
Internet security breach found at UCSF School of Medicine
San Francisco Chronicle - December 16, 2009
Grassley eyes Miami doctor
Miami Herald - December 17, 2009

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
January 22, 2009: Joint Replacement Service Lines: Alignment and Business Strategies for a Changing Environment
December 17, 2009: Women's Health: Building a More Profitable Service Line With Existing Assets
On Demand: Marketing Cardiology: Service Line Strategies for Marketers

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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]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Top 10 Ways to Determine Your Readiness for ACOs: Contributor Laura P. Jacobs, MPH, senior vice president with The Camden Group, offers 10 questions to help you prepare for the transition to an accountable care organization. [Read More]
Audio Feature

iPhone Imaging: Asim F. Choudhri, MD, author of a study about iPhone imaging software, talks about how mobile technologies could change how physicians practice medicine. [Listen Now]
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Resources From HealthLeaders Media

Sign up to receive our new, free e-mail publication that offers concise updates on the top nursing leadership headlines, as well as best practices, practical advice, and expert strategies from nurse industry thought leaders.
Improve patient satisfaction, CAHPS scores, and quality with the strategies and tools in Physician Entrepreneurs: The Quality Patient Experience.
Learn how to harness the power of a large organization, either by expanding the practice or partnering with hospitals, private investors, or other physician groups, with Physician Entrepreneurs: Strength in Numbers.
Read about the latest business strategies to help you grow beyond traditional practice models in Physician Entrepreneurs: Going Retail.
Start marketing your practice or refine your existing marketing program with Physician Entrepreneurs: Marketing Toolkit, a new HealthLeaders Media book that combines expert tips with marketing samples, tools, forms, and checklists that will help grow your practice.
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