HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - April 29, 2010 | Are Concierge Medical Services on the Upswing? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Are Concierge Medical Services on the Upswing?
Joe Cantlupe, Senior Editor

A longtime pediatrician, Natalie Hodge, MD, was living the life of primary care despair. For years she rushed from patient to patient in her office, giving them a few minutes here and there, doing a ton of insurance paperwork, and then decided enough was enough. Eventually, she founded Personal Medicine, essentially a concierge medical service, which avoids third party payers as much as possible, and adds its own unique touches, like specialization in house calls, and thriving on "virtual" communication. If anything, these are certainly interesting times for concierge medicine, though whether it is the wave of the future remains to be seen. It's not an easy sell for everybody, either patients or physicians, who number about 5,000 in concierge practices. [Read More]
  April 29, 2010

Editor's Picks
Nearly Half of Primary Care Docs Get No Additional Compensation for On-call
On call coverage doesn't mean more income, as a survey shows. Nearly half—44%—of primary care physicians received no additional compensation, in the form of a daily or annual stipend, for on-call coverage, according to the Medical Group Management Association's Medical Directorship and On-Call Compensation Survey: 2010 Report Based on 2009 Data. [Read More]
To Reduce Spending, American College of Physicians Will Advise Doctors What's Too Costly and Useless
Maybe we should call this the answer book for internists, at least in terms of recommendations to keep costs down. This summer, the organization representing 130,000 internists will publish a series of papers that will tell America's doctors what they should and should not order in regards to diagnostic tests and therapies, a guideline that strives to lower cost while it eliminates unnecessary care. While the organization will be looking at diagnostics as well as therapies, its first target will be the former. [Read More]
AHA Leaders Told Help Is Coming for EHRs, Doc Fix Payments
Hospitals are facing major challenges right now that need to be addressed to ensure that quality care delivery continues, attendees of the American Hospital Association's annual membership meeting in Washington, DC, were told. One of the major areas of concern has been how hospitals can become "meaningful users" of electronic health records and adopters of health information technology under current federal regulations. [Read More]
Diagnostic Imaging Uses 57% of the Cost of Cancer Care
The cost of treating cancer has been going up, but the cost of imaging to diagnose and stage those with the disease is skyrocketing, according to a report. In fact, imaging tests in cancer care for Medicare patients accounted for 57% of all cancer costs in 2004, suggesting that the study population "represented the majority of cancer costs borne by Medicare beneficiaries, according an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. [Read More]
Medicare Tries to Reduce Fraud and Waste, but Causes Backlog in Payments
Efforts to reduce Medicare fraud and waste embedded in the system used to pay $310 billion in provider claims annually has made some progress, but an accelerated push has delayed claims payments and caused backlogs, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley said following release of a General Accountability Office audit. [Read More]
HHS: HIPAA Regulations Will Come Next Month
The timing of the release of proposed HIPAA regulations per the HITECH Act became a little clearer this week. The Department of Health and Human Services released its semi-annual regulatory agenda in the Federal Register and wrote that modifications to the HIPAA privacy, security, and enforcement rules will be coming in May. HHS did not detail exactly which proposed rules would be released, however. [Read More]
Time to Tell Your Leadership Team's Story
The April 30 deadline is approaching to enter the seventh annual Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare Awards—a program that celebrates stories of great healthcare leadership in hospitals, health plans, and medical group practices. There are five categories: large hospitals and health systems (500 or more licensed beds); community and mid-sized hospitals (100 to 499 licensed beds); small hospitals (fewer than 100 licensed beds); health plans (state, regional, and national); and medical group practices (physician-owned, single- or multi-specialty groups employing 25 or more physicians). Winners will be announced nationally and profiled in an issue of HealthLeaders magazine. [Learn More]
Business Rx
How to Determine Compensation for Medical Staff Leaders
In the past, many physicians considered their medical staff leadership responsibilities a privilege. Therefore, they did not demand compensation. However, in recent years, it has become common practice for hospitals and medical staffs to compensate chiefs of staff and medical staff presidents, committee chairs, and department chairs for their leadership involvement. There is no magic formula to help hospitals determine which leaders to compensate and how much. However, there are some questions that medical staffs and hospital executives should ask themselves before putting their John Hancock on a check. [Read More]
Physician News
Leading Medical Groups Adopt New Ethics Code
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - April 23, 2010
FDA Calls for Reducing Infusion Pump Risks
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - April 26, 2010
Healthcare cost increase is projected for new law
New York Times - April 26, 2010
Doctors raise questions about St. Vincent's plan
New York Times - April 28, 2010
MN-based Park Nicollet rolls out an online diagnosis service
Minneapolis Star Tribune - April 28, 2010
Judge rejects plea deal on Guidant heart device
New York Times - April 28, 2010
Detroit Doc Gets Six Years for Medicare Fraud
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - April 27, 2010
Next in healthcare war: Applying the law
USA Today - April 27, 2010

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Split Decisions
HealthLeaders April 2010
While reforms aim to encourage coordination, linking the care continuum will happen at the service line level. But first providers will have to change their relationships, and how they think about care delivery. [Read More]
Service Line Management
On the Spectrum
The lack of care coordination for those with autism is costly for patients and providers alike. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Legislation Requires Development of Technology Standards and Protocols: New health reform legislation requires the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to develop interoperable and secure standards and protocols to facilitate the enrollment of individuals in federal and state health and human services programs. The new standards and protocols may affect how healthcare providers conduct health plan eligibility verification transactions standardized under HIPAA, as well as how providers comply with the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive programs' "meaningful use" objectives and measures pertaining to use of an EHR for electronic insurance eligibility verification. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Boost Patient Satisfaction Via Patient Flow: Are long wait times in the ER hurting the patient experience at your organization? Denice Soyring Higman, RN, president and founder of Soyring Consulting in St. Petersburg, FL, discusses how hospitals can dramatically boost patient satisfaction scores with simple patient flow changes and by using clinical data to improve efficiency and productivity in the ER. [Listen Now]
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Resources From HealthLeaders Media

Improve patient satisfaction, CAHPS scores, and quality with the strategies and tools in Physician Entrepreneurs: The Quality Patient Experience.
Learn how to harness the power of a large organization, either by expanding the practice or partnering with hospitals, private investors, or other physician groups, with Physician Entrepreneurs: Strength in Numbers.
Read about the latest business strategies to help you grow beyond traditional practice models in Physician Entrepreneurs: Going Retail.
Start marketing your practice or refine your existing marketing program with Physician Entrepreneurs: Marketing Toolkit, a HealthLeaders Media book that combines expert tips with marketing samples, tools, forms, and checklists that will help grow your practice.
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