HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - April 21, 2010 View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free

Southwest Healthcare: How Could So Much Be So Wrong?
Cheryl Clark, Editor, Community Hospitals
It isn't every day that a 218-bed hospital system gets three state fines at once for causing "immediate jeopardy" to its patients, including one penalty for $100,000—the highest assessed so far. But that's the situation now faced by Southwest Healthcare System in Murrieta, a burgeoning bedroom community 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles. [Read More]
April 21, 2010
Editor's Picks

Better Nurse-Patient Ratios Could Save Thousands of Lives Annually, Says Study
This long-awaited study applied California's 2004 nurse-patient ratio rule to New Jersey and Pennsylvania outcomes and determined that 468 patients who died in those states would still be alive if they had those ratios too. This controversial issue pits nursing groups against hospitals, which question whether they can afford all these extra personnel. [Read More]

Could You Save $3 Million By Putting Your Budget on a Diet?
My colleague, Senior Editor for Finance Karen Minich-Pourshadi, compares the job of a hospital finance czar with that of Jenny Craig. Putting your hospital's expenses on a diet is a challenge, but she gleans lessons from a few case studies. [Read More]

Joint Commission to Release Communication, Language Standards to Encourage Health Equity
When patients can't understand their discharge instructions, who is to blame if they're readmitted because of poor follow-up care? Now the Joint Commission has issued guidelines for formally training medical interpreters. [Read More]

CMS Proposes Cutting Inpatient Payments by 0.1%
My colleague, Senior Editor for Quality Janice Simmons, makes sense of the federal revised hospital payment system to take effect next year. There's a lot of caveats, but the bottom line is in her lead paragraph. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

Incorporating Joint Commission OPPE into a Hospital-Wide Quality Improvement Program
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]
This Week's Headlines

Nominee for Medicare-Medicaid agency has reputation for being visionary
Washington Post April 21, 2010
Cuomo accuses Senate leader of diverting millions from clinics
New York Times April 21, 2010
When heart devices fail, who should be blamed?
New York Times April 21, 2010
More doctors are prescribing medicines online
Wall Street Journal April 20, 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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Audio Feature
Strategies for Rural Recruitment and Retention: Jeremy Levin, director of advocacy for the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, discusses efforts to recruit and retain physicians in a rural environment. [Listen Now]