HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - February 17, 2010
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Rural CEOs Concerned about Doc Recruitment, Controlling Costs Not So Much
Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media
In the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2010, we found that there was surprisingly little disagreement between CEOs at non-rural hospitals compared with CEOs at rural and community hospitals about most issues. However, there were some disconnects. [Read More]
February 17, 2010
Editor's Picks

No Longer Waiting for Feds, States Jumpstart Health Reform
Although health reform has stalled on the federal level—at least for now—some states are beginning their own initiatives. At least 26 states are considering healthcare regulations ranging from management of chronic disease to healthcare quality improvements, as well as insurance programs for children, says Richard Cauchi, health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. He adds, however, that most states are strapped financially and are unlikely to undertake any major reform. [Read More]

Are Hospitalist Physician Assistants the Answer to Shortages?
In last week's Community Sense column, Cheryl Clark examined the impact of the physician shortage on rural hospitals, which she said struggle to find and contract with primary care or specialty doctors willing to work in their areas and at rates the smaller hospitals can afford. In this article, HealthLeaders Media Editor Karen Cheung offers one possible solution to the nationwide physician shortage: The use of hospitalist physician assistants. [Read More]

RAND: Reform Would Increase Healthcare Spending, But Millions More Would Have Insurance
In just over a week, congressional leaders will meet with President Obama in a televised healthcare reform summit. As a way of anticipating questions about the two reform bills passed last year by the House and the Senate, RAND researchers have been examining the impact of the bills, with a focus on access, quality, and cost. During a conference call yesterday, RAND representatives said both bills would increase health spending slightly, but would also reduce the number of individuals without health insurance by more than 50%. [Read More]

Individual mandate a sticking point in the healthcare debate
The so-called individual mandate—which would fine citizens without insurance—is a controversial sticking point to the now-stalled healthcare bills in Congress, the Los Angeles Times reports. Here, the Times provides two competing views on the topic from top health economists Linda Blumberg of the Urban Institute and Glen Whitman from CalState Northridge. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

Length of Stay: The Management Headache That Will Not Go Away
The current financial crisis notwithstanding, operating margins have continued to shrink and raising capital has become a daunting task. This increasing financial pressure comes at a time when EMR and other technology investments are needed to stay viable as a quality healthcare provider. Unless you have a lot of empty beds, improving patient throughput is key to successfully managing this pressure, say contributors William F. Ott, Jr., and Michael N. Abrams. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

White House hints of new health bill
New York Times ? February 17, 2010
Georgia governor's hospital tax strongly opposed
Atlanta Journal-Constitution ? February 17, 2010
In California, exhibit A in debate on insurance
New York Times ? February 16, 2010
Proposed bill would make medical mishaps by CT hospitals public
Hartford Courant ? February 16, 2010

Webcasts/Audio Conferences

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

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Beyond Meaningful Use
Technology can help the healthcare industry achieve better outcomes and cost savings, but only if providers incorporate decision-support tools and a coordinated approach to delivering care. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Imaging After the Recession
After freezing capital spending during the recession, hospitals are investing in imaging again. But reimbursement cuts and reform have changed the focus of the service line. [Read More]
Audio Feature
Nurse Anesthetists Necessary In Rural Areas: Richard Rawson, President and CEO of three small Adventist hospitals in rural areas of California's Central Valley, says retaining the ability of nurse anesthetists to practice without physician supervision is essential for his hospitals' financial viability. The alternative would be "devastating," he says. [Listen Now]
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