HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - February 24, 2010
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Hospitals Renew Battle to Hire Doctors in California
Cheryl Clark, Editor, Community Hospitals
Throughout California, institutional hiring of doctors is limited to teaching and county hospitals and prisons, a policy that sets the state apart from all other states in the nation but four. The hiring situation is causing concern for rural areas in the state, which are already in dire need of physicians. Fear that patient access to care, and thus care itself, will suffer as a result is not unfounded. [Read More]
February 24, 2010
Editor's Picks

Docs Worried as Payment Cut Deadline Nears
All looks lost for repeal of the 21% cut of physician Medicare fees, scheduled to take place Monday. CMS can step in, but if it does, doctors' pay will be held up for another 15 days. AMA president says Congress is diddling while patient care sits under a guillotine. [Read More]

New Joint Commission Standard Defines Medical Interpreters
You know that all too often you can't understand your patients or their family members. But what happens when the translator or interpreter you contract with can't understand them either, or the caregiver can't understand the interpreter? New guidelines strive to tear down these barriers. [Read More]

Nurses Associations Look for New Protections, Federal Laws to Protect Nurse Whistleblowers
A Texas nurse was acquitted earlier this month of felony charges that she misused confidential patient information in reporting a physician to the Texas medical board. But could the messy case happen somewhere else? Nursing groups want to make sure that it never can. [Read More]

Medical Practice Leaders Frustrated About Medicare's PQRI Data Requirements
Is the PQRI system, which pays doctors 2% for reporting quality data about their practices, worth the effort? Some reports say it isn't, considering that it takes at least nine hours just to download the complicated reports. [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

On eve of health meeting, big questions still linger
New York Times ? February 24, 2010
Study finds doctors reducing work hours, potentially worsening shortage of primary care docs
AP/Yahoo News ? February 24, 2010
iPhone app tells wait time in ER at the Hospital of Central Connecticut
Hartford Courant ? February 23, 2010
Study: Half of infection deaths linked directly to hospital care
Wall Street Journal Health Blog ? February 23, 2010

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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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