HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - January 15, 2010 | Hospital Growth at Your Own Risk View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Hospital Growth at Your Own Risk
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

Healthcare has been in growth mode as long as most of us can remember. Part of that is because demand for healthcare services grows along with the population. But according to many experts, growth is part of the problem. Actually, it's not the growth due to population increases that's the problem, it's the ever-increasing growth in cost per capita that has been outpacing GDP growth and inflation for a couple of decades now, with no interruption. But if you're interested in maximizing revenues at your organization, that's where some bright spots are.
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  January 15, 2010

Editor's Picks
Reform Provision Would Require Providers to Buy Testing Equipment for Obese Patients
My colleague Cheryl Clark has been digging deep into the healthcare reform bills being reconciled in Congress, and she's found that three paragraphs in the latest version of the Senate's health reform bill could lead to an enormous increase in the cost of medical diagnostic equipment for physician's offices, clinics, and hospitals, in part to accommodate the obese or morbidly obese. And here I thought the healthcare reform bills were about cost control? So much for the rhetoric, as usual. [Read More]
Seven Health Reform Provisions That Could Take Effect This Year
My colleague Joe Cantlupe says despite the fact that many health reform provisions will take effect after a few years, some, including many that directly affect health insurers, will go into effect in 2010. That leaves precious little preparation time after the bill is finally passed. In preparation, many organizations are trying to balance preparation with the uncertainty of a bill of which the final contents are unknown. It's a difficult juggling act, to say the least. [Read More]
Medicare Payment Panel Likely to Remain in Final Reform Bill
While it may have dual names in the healthcare reform debate—such as the Independent Payment Advisory Board or the Independent Medicare Advisory Board—the possibility of its creation has created a firestorm of controversy in the healthcare community because of its perceived restrictions. However, the provision—now included in the Senate bill—may not be totally out in the cold, says my colleague Janice Simmons. [Read More]
Shifting Costs onto Consumers May Create Long-term Problems
My colleague Les Masterson looks at a study that's been lost in the shuffle. The study claims to show that shifting healthcare costs onto consumers might achieve the short-term goal of lowering healthcare costs, but hurt the long-term goal of a healthier populace because treatment adherence falls when consumers have to pay for at least part of their healthcare themselves. While the study's conclusions are interesting, I'm not sure I buy the argument that many of these people are eschewing paying for their medication because they need to eat. I think an explanation that deserves at least as much attention is that people could be doing it because they just don't want to pay and not taking those drugs doesn't cause an immediate effect on their day-to-day lives—not necessarily because they're making a heartbreaking choice between paying for their medicine or paying for food. You be the judge. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
CT AG's Office Suing Health Net for Member Data Breach
Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media - January 13, 2010
Congress Eyes Review of Rapidly Rising Drug Costs
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - January 13, 2010
Democrats say significant progress made in health talks
Wall Street Journal - January 14, 2010
Report: AHIP Used Third-party TV Ads to Oppose Health Reform
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - January 13, 2010
St. Vincent, HealthSouth Expand Rehab Joint Venture
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - January 13, 2010
Rural Minnesota Hospital Survives a Fight with the Feds
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - January 13, 2010
Tax expansion could pay for healthcare overhaul
Los Angeles Times - January 14, 2010
Bristol, PA-based Lower Bucks Hospital files for bankruptcy
Philadelphia Inquirer - January 14, 2010
Wisconsin health official says hospital tax a success
AP/Chicago Tribune - January 14, 2010
Health bill may be lenient on employers
Boston Globe - January 13, 2010

Webcasts/Audio Conferences
Marketing Oncology: Service Line Strategies for Marketers (January 25)
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 (On Demand)

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Five Strategies that Prove Healthcare is Still a Growth Industry

HealthLeaders January 2010
Here is a review of growth opportunities that will increase revenue, decrease costs, or enhance services in the areas of leadership, finance, physicians, technology, health plans, quality, and outcomes. [Read More]
Service Line Management
The Sports Center

Famous athletes and big sports programs may be the public face of sports medicine, but at its core are local communities and, increasingly, the unconventional athlete. [Read More]
View from the Top

The Top 10 Mistakes in Setting Goals: For years healthcare leaders have been evaluated by means of a "Does Not Meet/Meets/Exceeds" scale. But a far more fair method is the use of a clear, objective, and weighted evaluation based on specific goal achievement, says contributor Bill Bielenda. However, initial implementation of this leader evaluation system can be challenging for some organizations. Here, Bielenda provides the top 10 most common mistakes made during the first year of rollout and how they can be handled. [Read More]
Audio Feature

The Value of Partnerships: Jim Molpus, HealthLeaders Media director of strategic relationships, talks about a new interactive offering from HealthLeaders Media, Breakthroughs: Aligning Hospitals and Physicians Toward Value. This detailed, and free, report provides case studies of four leading healthcare organizations, as well as audio, video and commentary from a recent live roundtable discussion with the four CEOs of those organizations. [Listen Now]
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