HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - February 4, 2010 | Missed Opportunities for Malpractice Reform View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Missed Opportunities for Malpractice Reform
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

After months of public debate about healthcare reform, one thing is now clear: Barring last-minute changes, the current medical malpractice system will remain intact, no matter what happens to the bill. Not only has there been little progress in addressing the problems related to medical liability reform, but serious and honest discussions about malpractice and defensive medicine have been largely absent from the larger reform debate. [Read More]
  February 4, 2010

Editor's Picks
A five-year fix for Medicare pay cuts?
Congress is apparently considering setting aside $82 billion for Medicare physician payments in order to avoid cutting reimbursement for the next five years. If Congress doesn't act, the sustainable growth rate mandates a 21% payment cut in March. The Senate recently passed a pay-as-you-go law that would require new spending to be paid for with tax increases or spending cuts, but legislators included a loophole specifically for the Medicare payment fix. While this is good news for physicians worried about short-term cuts, physicians need a permanent solution to the SGR problem. [Read More]
Meaningful Use in Small Practices
For many physicians in small office practices, the thought of adopting electronic medical records to meet federal "meaningful use" guidelines and timelines is a daunting one at best. We don't yet know how many practices, large or small, will be eligible for ARRA reimbursements next year, but previous studies suggest it is smaller practices that will have the most problems and lag behind. [Read More]
Doctors Sue To Stop Unsupervised Nurse Anesthetists from Administering Anesthesia
Physicians in California have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, claiming that a state regulation allowing certified registered nurse anesthetists to administer anesthesia without physician supervision puts patients at risk. This is as much about turf and billing as patient safety, though. CRNAs are cheaper than physicians and if allowed to provide anesthesia without supervision, they will likely form independent groups that compete directly with physicians to provide hospital services. [Read More]
Surgeons Still Forgetting To Remove Objects from Patients
It's hard to believe that after all the attention forgotten surgical objects have received, the problem is, in some places, actually getting worse. For example, for fiscal year 2007-08 in California, state health officials counted 141 retained foreign objects in patients. For the next fiscal year, 2008-09, the count was 196. And in the first 70 days of the 2010 fiscal year, between July 1 and Sept. 8, 2009, 45 foreign objects have been reported. At this pace, by end of this fiscal year, the number of mistakenly left objects will number 225. [Read More]
Live ED Overhaul Webcast on February 23
Join HealthLeaders Media on February 23 for HealthLeaders Media Rounds: ED Overhaul: Reduce costs, improve quality, and increase satisfaction from 9 a.m.-noon, PST. This three-hour Webcast features discussion—including interactive Q&A—of the key issues impacting ED management. Hear top executives from Scripps Health, Tomball Regional Hospital, William Beaumont Hospital, and Methodist Healthcare share solutions to: crowding and wait times, streamlining the admission process, ED and hospital integration, staffing plans that reduce costs and increase coverage during peak hours, physician alignment, and quality and patient safety improvement. For more information and to register click here. To attend the program live on the Scripps La Jolla campus, click here.
Business Rx
Four Surefire Messages to Get Physicians' Attention
Trust is the name of the physician communication game. And one of the best ways to cultivate trusting relationships with physicians is via face-to-face discussions. [Read More]
Physician News
AMA launches new Web site to help physicians volunteer in Haiti
American Medical Association - February 4, 2010
FDA aims at doctors' drug pitches
New York Times - February 1, 2010
U.S. doctors say Haiti stands out from other disasters
USA Today - February 2, 2010
New ways to calculate the risks of surgery
Wall Street Journal - February 2, 2010

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
February 23: ED Overhaul: Reduce costs, improve quality, and increase satisfaction
March 8: Physician Compensation Models in a Strained Economy
On Demand: Marketing Oncology: Service Line Strategies for Marketers

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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]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

What Innovation Means to Healthcare: Contributor Jason Hwang, MD, offers examples of disruptive innovations that prove that value and affordability in healthcare are not mutually exclusive. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Which Health Reform Provisions Will Pass This Year? Ned Moore, CEO of Portico Systems, talks about health reform in light of Scott Brown's recent election win in Massachusetts. [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 HealthLeaders Media book that combines expert tips with marketing samples, tools, forms, and checklists that will help grow your practice.
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