HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - March 4, 2010 | Medicare Cuts Delayed, Not Eliminated View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Medicare Cuts Delayed, Not Eliminated
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

All eyes in Washington and the medical community were on Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) this week as he single-handedly held up an unemployment benefits bill that included a provision to delay the 21% reduction in Medicare reimbursements to doctors, which was scheduled to take effect March 1. Bunning ultimately dropped his objection, and the Senate voted overwhelmingly to postpone the Medicare reimbursement cut until the end of March. But so what? [Read More]
  March 4, 2010

Editor's Picks
Obama increases malpractice reform funding
President Obama released a final healthcare reform plan this week, based in part on the discussions at last week's healthcare reform summit. A greater emphasis on malpractice reform was one of the GOP ideas that made it into the final proposal. Democrats remain committed to achieving reform through state grants that allow experimentation, rather than damage caps. Obama proposes increasing the funding for grants to $50 million, which still isn't a lot considering that's only $1 million per state. But it could be the first step toward setting up something like health courts to deal with malpractice cases. [Read More]
Healthcare reform by Easter?
I've given up making predictions about healthcare reform—that's a fool's game. But it seems pretty clear that the Democrats are making a final push for reform, and it is time for this year-long debate to end one way or another. Easter appears to be the new deadline, and the President is moving forward as if he has the votes for reconciliation (which only requires a majority) in the Senate. But as we've seen before, a lot can change in a short time. [Read More]
Proposed EHR Certification Program Won't Inhibit Innovation, Says Blumenthal
HHS released a proposed rule Tuesday that describes the creation of a certification program for EHRs, as mandated by the HITECH Act. The certification process has two stages. First, the National Coordinator for HIT would temporarily approve organizations to test and certify EHRs. Eventually, however, testing and certification would be transferred to private sector organizations. The ONC also plans to have a master list of certified products available on its Web site. [Read More]
Successful Physician Retention Must Start During Recruitment
My colleague Marianne Aiello just returned from Healthcare Strategy Institute's Physician Strategies Summit in Phoenix, where she picked up some useful tips for retaining and recruiting physicians. As she puts it in her column this week, "Successful physician retention is a process that starts early and never ends." [Read More]
AMA leader disappointed that pay cut issue still unresolved
American Medical Association President-Elect Dr. Cecil Wilson talked this week with C-SPAN about the Medicare and Medicaid budgets, the proposed 21.2% Medicare physician payment cut, and his quotes that were in a recent HealthLeaders Media article. [Read More]
Mission Driven, Financially Strong
Why is it that in times of economic stress, some hospitals manage through with strength to spare while others fall? While it may be tempting to say that those hospitals that thrive have the best payer mix or the most profitable service lines, often the deciding factor is the leadership's commitment to core principles of sound financial management. In this free HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs report, four leading hospital systems—Banner Health, Southwest General Health Center, The University of Kansas Hospital, and Parkland Health & Hospital System—share the lessons they have learned to help them identify cost-cutting measures that also add value to care efficiency, make strategic investments in areas under your control, and refocus on the fundamentals of financial discipline. [Read More]
Business Rx
How to Balance the Business of Medicine with Patient Care
Believe it or not, there are some physicians out there who only want to practice medicine, the noble profession to which they've dedicated their entire lives. It's important to make a distinction between physicians' roles in the management and the governance of the practice. [Read More]
Physician News
MGMA's Jessee Will Retire Next Year
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - March 1, 2010
Trained Interpreters Improve Patient and Provider Satisfaction, Says Study
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - March 1, 2010
Experts Call for Better Oversight of Radiological Procedures
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - March 1, 2010
Physicians Plunging into EMRs, But Expect Lots of Help
Rick Johnson, for HealthLeaders Media - March 2, 2010

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
March 8: Physician Compensation Models in a Strained Economy
March 30: Cancer Service Line Success: Better Coordination, Better Outcomes
March 31: Beyond ROI: Prove the Success of Your Marketing Efforts

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Beyond Meaningful Use
HealthLeaders February 2010
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]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Improving Healthcare Compliance by Understanding Generational Patient Expectations: Contributor Michael C. Howe, former CEO of MinuteClinic, offers advice for connecting with patients, based on generational differences in how people view healthcare. [Read More]
Audio Feature

A Look at Physician Decision-Making: American Medical Association President J. James Rohack, MD, talks about the results of the 2010 HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey and the pressures on physician decision-making. [Listen Now]
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Resources From HealthLeaders Media

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