HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - April 9, 2010 | A Hospital Dies in Manhattan—Are More to Come? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
A Hospital Dies in Manhattan—Are More to Come?
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

When St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan announced midweek that it would be closing, the news wasn't especially surprising, but it was still a sad day for hospital leaders everywhere. To be sure, many of St. Vincent's problems over the past couple of decades have been self-inflicted. But its failure can't be pinned solely on management. Its ultimate failure should be considered a failure of all of us to collectively deal with the endemic problems of medical centers like St. Vincent's all over the country.
[Read More]
  April 9, 2010

Editor's Picks
Will Retail Clinics Be a Key Player in Post-Health Reform World?
My colleague Cheryl Clark takes a look at this notion in an interesting article that suggests, yes, they can be a key player in providing access to basic services for the newly insured under healthcare reform legislation. But that would mean such clinics would accept Medicare and Medicaid, and not all of them currently do. An aside: It's funny to me that the AMA wants investigations into conflict of interest for the retail clinics owned by drugstores, for example. While that may be a good idea, it's funny because I haven't heard the organization calling for investigations about conflict of interest for physician groups that own imaging centers, for example. I don't expect anything more—after all, a lobbying group is a lobbying group. For another lesson on this fact, just read the next item. [Read More]
Docs/Owners at Surgery Centers Operate More Often, Says Study
A new study by the journal Health Affairs shows that doctors invested in outpatient surgery centers perform about twice as many surgeries as doctors with no such financial stake, according to my colleague John Commins. Who's surprised? Well, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Advocacy Committee, for one. At least they're clear about what side they're on. [Read More]
Community Hospital War Pits University Against the Rest of Region's Healthcare System
Here's an interesting commentary about a very public fight between powerful Scripps Healthcare and the University of California San Diego. Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder is convinced UCSD is trying to abandon—little by little—the safety net population it agreed to serve decades ago when it took over the 10-story county hospital building near downtown San Diego for $1. He has good reason. UCSD has admitted it will downsize its safety net acute care hospital, and beef up its presence in nearby—and affluent—La Jolla with a brand new 245-bed hospital. Instead of treating the poor, Van Gorder believes, UCSD wants to treat the rich, poaching well-insured and affluent patients and philanthropists who might otherwise align with Scripps. [Read More]
Insurers Must Push Employers to Reward Value
My colleague Les Masterson has an interesting commentary here about the tendency of many companies to not push their third-party health plan administrators for value—instead taking the easy way out by dumping cost increases on their employees in the form of higher premiums and coinsurance costs, not to mention lost wage increases. Call me cynical, but my thinking is that many companies are trying to get out of providing healthcare benefits altogether, so strategically, why spend time and effort working on these problems when we have 10% unemployment (jobs are scarce and employees won't complain), and the government seems willing to take on providing healthcare? [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Six Ways Future Healthcare Will Emphasize Individualized Care
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - April 7, 2010
Former Mount Sinai Official Indicted for Bid Rigging, Fraud
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - April 7, 2010
Kroger shuts 20 Little Clinic locations
The Tennessean - April 7, 2010
Despite Shrinking Budgets, Hospitals Maintain Infection Control Funding
Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media - April 6, 2010
Highmark Opening More Health Insurance Stores
Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media - April 7, 2010
Massachusetts insurers call halt, get state warning
Boston Globe - April 7, 2010
In medicine, the power of no
New York Times - April 7, 2010
Financial health improving at Miami-based Jackson Health System
Miami Herald - April 8, 2010
HCA readies public offering to raise $3 billion
The Tennessean - April 8, 2010

Webcasts/Audio Conferences
Neuroscience Service Lines Strategies (April 22)
Integrated Compensation Plans to Enhance Physician Performance (May 13)
Five Proven Steps to Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores (May 19)
Seamless Systems of Care: Better Alignment, Coordination, and Outcomes (June 2)

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View from the Top

Incorporating Joint Commission OPPE into a Hospital-Wide Quality Improvement Program: The Joint Commission and other accrediting bodies and payers have established more stringent guidelines for the ongoing evaluation of the professional practice quality of each medical staff member, across all departments and services. Called Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation, the program features six core areas measuring a practitioner's clinical and behavioral competence. As regulations and medical practice in general have become more complex—and data have become more plentiful—having a positive dialogue regarding the specifics of a physician's practice as part of the organization's quality improvement program has become more challenging, writes contributor Richard Bankowitz, MD. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Why Patient Experience Should Drive CEO Decision-Making: If a hospital is to become patient-centric, the CEO has to have patient experience at the top of his or her list of concerns, says Gary Adamson, chief executive officer of Starizon Studio. The CEO is the only person in the organization who can span across all the department silos and drive a well-thought out, orchestrated patient experience, he says. [Listen Now]
Create Extra Capacity, Without Extra Expense: Many healthcare leaders think their hospital is seeing all the patients they can, but what if you could add extra capacity without the expense of staffing up or building new capacity? Wayne Keathley, president of New York's Mt. Sinai Medical Center, was able to add 10,000 patient discharges per year by working on accountability and efficiency in patient throughput. [Listen Now]
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