HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - April 1, 2010 | Physician-Owned Hospitals Are Losers in Healthcare Reform Law View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Physician-Owned Hospitals Are Losers in Healthcare Reform Law
Joe Cantlupe, Senior Editor

After President Obama signed healthcare reform legislation last week, there was much joy (at least for Democrats). For physicians who own hospitals, it meant upheaval. As of now, there are about 260 physician owned hospitals in the U.S. About 58 are undergoing construction and expansion plans, with an estimated $450 million in outstanding expenditures. With healthcare reform, those projects are frozen, going nowhere, or in the midst of confusion. [Read More]
  April 1, 2010

Editor's Picks
CMS Tells Contractors to Delay Doc Payments for 10 Days Again
Left stranded by Congress taking a two-week holiday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the second time this month has told contractors to delay reimbursements to physicians and other healthcare providers for 10 business days to temporarily avoid the 21.2% Medicare pay cuts that were to go into effect on April 1. As Congress left the Capitol for spring break last weekend, the American Medical Association blasted lawmakers for the "unconscionable" action of not acting on the "doc fix." [Read More]
27 Senators Tell CMS to Relax, Postpone Meaningful Use Rules
Very few hospitals are able to satisfy the 23 electronic health record objectives or requirements necessary for federal incentives payments, says a bipartisan coalition of 27 U.S. senators, which wants CMS to allow a slower, more gradual implementation process and relax or change many other EHR mandates. "We urge you to consider a longer transition that recognizes a practical, incremental approach to EHR adoption that rewards the efforts already underway in America's hospitals," wrote the senators, who include Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, Barbara Boxer, D-CA, and Lamar Alexander, R-TN. [Read More]
Physician Group Sues to Overturn Health Reform
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has filed a lawsuit to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, claiming the health reform mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional under the Fifth and 10th amendments, the Commerce Clause, and the authority to tax. "If the PPACA goes unchallenged, then it spells the end of freedom in medicine as we know it," Jane Orient, MD, executive director of AAPS, said in a media release. Orient also predicted "a dire shortage of physicians if the PPACA becomes effective and is not overturned by the courts." [Read More]
Health Reform Covers More Children But Who Will Care for Them?
A major selling point for the week-old health reform legislation is that it promises to improve care and access for children, accomplished in myriad ways with provisions that take effect in six months, or by 2014. But one nagging problem that isn't resolved is the shortage of pediatric specialty physicians, says Jim Kaufman, vice president for public policy for the National Association of Children's Hospitals, which represents 140 pediatric specialty centers in the U.S. That's an issue sure to intensify as more children with serious medical issues requiring specialty care are brought in by their parents for treatment, he says. [Read More]
Patient Safety Incidents Showed Little Change in 2009, Says HealthGrades
While the number of patient safety incidents that occurred among hospitalized Medicare patients dipped slightly below the one million mark in 2009, the number of injured did not vary greatly from the rates in previous years, according to the new annual study from HealthGrades, an independent healthcare ratings organization based in Golden, CO. Overall, the incidents created additional health costs of $8.9 billion annually. Also, 99,180 Medicare patients—a tenth of those who had experienced a patient safety incident—died as a result, according to HealthGrades' Patient Safety in American Hospitals study. [Read More]
Business Rx
11 Strategies for Payment Reform in Primary Care
Reforming payment structures for primary care "is absolutely essential to the implementation and sustained operation" of a medical home, according to the chairman of a payment reform task force for the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative. [Read More]
Physician News
Reprimand lets doctor continue unorthodox work
Charlotte Observer - March 31, 2010
Pediatric ER turns fun and games into effective care
Chicago Tribune - March 31, 2010
Study: People would donate kidneys for payment
USA Today - March 31, 2010
Pfizer gives details on payments to doctors
New York Times - April 1, 2010
Law may do little to help curb unnecessary care
New York Times - March 30, 2010
Derby, CT-based Griffin Hospital reports breach of 957 patients' records
Hartford Courant - March 30, 2010
Banking on Shut Eye: Hospital Opens Sleep Medicine Program
Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media - March 29, 2010
Hypothermia: Medicine's cool comeback from cardiac arrest
USA Today - March 29, 2010

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