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Whistleblowers Say Money Is Not Their Motivation
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media

A spate of very large whistleblower settlements in the healthcare sector amounting to billions of dollars in fines have been reported over the last few years. For the most part, the big ticket fines are directed at pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer, which paid $2.3 billion last fall to settle whistleblower claims that it illegally marketed its drugs to physicians. Hospitals are not immune from prosecution, however. Neither are physicians. It would be reasonable to assume that the primary motive for whistleblowers—who are eligible for up to 25% of the recoveryis money. Not so, say most of the 26 whistleblowers who were recently surveyed. [Read More]
  May 17, 2010

Editor's Picks
Main Culprit In Large Patient Information Breaches: Unencrypted Laptops
Dom Nicastro at our sister company HCPro provides a timely reminder about the importance of securing laptop computers to avoid a costly breach of patient confidentiality. Of the 79 entities that reported breaches of unsecured PHI affecting 500 or more individuals on the Office of Civil Rights website as of Friday, May 14, 20 involved a laptop. For example, a thief stole a laptop in March that contained information about 9,600 patients from a New Mexico Medicaid program subcontractor, according to a New Mexico Human Services Department press release. It might be time for your hospital or physician group to conduct a count of your laptops, and determine who has access to patient records through these small, easy portable (and therefore easily stolen) devices. [Read More]
SoCal Hospitals Work On Way to Get Around Physician Employment Ban
A group of 157 Southern California hospitals is trying to get around the state's ban against the corporate practice of medicine by making a way rural and small hospitals could create special foundations that would hire doctors—in some ways similar to Kaiser Permanente and other larger systems. "Right now, the larger hospitals have the ability to create these medical foundations, and most of them do so, such as Catholic Healthcare West, Sutter Health, Scripps, and Sharp," says Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California, which includes Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. "We want to give all hospitals the leverage to do this, too," Lott says, adding that "some of our hospitals are desperate for physicians." [Read More]
Design Physician Wellness Activities Around Health, Not Discipline
Medical staff and hospital leaders are well aware that physician burnout can potentially put patients at risk for adverse events. What they might not be aware of is that organizational culture and the way physician wellness activities are designed may be contributing to physician burnout. Liz Jones, an editor with HCPro, suggests that hospitals focus less on disciplining problem physicians and more on physician wellness committees that stress advocacy instead of corrective action. [Read More]
Executives on the Move
JUPITER, FL: Jupiter Medical Center has new CEO
The Jupiter Medical Center Board of Trustees has selected John D. Couris as the hospital's new CEO. Couris, 42, will join JMC in mid-June. He currently serves as COO and administrator for Morton Plant North Bay Hospital in Tampa. He brings 17 years of healthcare leadership experience to his new role, including seven years at Massachusetts General Hospital. [Read More]

IDAHO FALLS, ID: Eastern Idaho RMC names new COO
Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center has named Sandee Moore COO of the hospital's administrative team. Moore has served in various capacities with HCA for 5 years. Moore comes to EIRMC from Sunrise Medical Center, a 700-bed hospital in Las Vegas, where she served as Associate Administrator. Before that, she worked for HCA's HealthONE Medical Center of Aurora, a 384-bed hospital in Denver. [Read More]

SOUTH BEND, IN: Press Ganey adds to leadership team
Press Ganey Associates, Inc. announced the promotion of Robert Draughon to president/CFO, and the hiring of Christopher Clemmensen as vice president of hospital marketing. Draughon has been with Press Ganey since early 2009, when he was named CFO. Before joining Press Ganey, Clemmensen held senior marketing positions with Thomson Reuters, Solucient, and Caremark. [Read More]

TAMPA: Former QB Griese to chair Moffitt Cancer Center national board
Moffitt Cancer Center has named ABC/ESPN football analyst Bob Griese chairman of Moffitt's national board of advisors. Griese will fill the role held by veteran ABC newsman Sam Donaldson since 2003. Donaldson, who is stepping down from the post, will remain on the board composed of nationally known members that serve as Moffitt advocates and share its mission to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. [Read More]

COLUMBIA, SC: BCBS of South Carolina CEO Sellers to retire
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina announced that Chairman/CEO M. Edward Sellers plans to retire as CEO, effective Aug. 1, and that current President/COO David S. Pankau has been named president/CEO, also effective on Aug. 1, 2010. Sellers will continue as chairman of the board. Sellers, 65, has been with Blue Cross and Blue Shield for 32 years, including 23 years in South Carolina. He has been CEO since 1992 and chairman since 2001. Pankau, 46, has been with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina for 17 years. He was appointed president and COO on Aug. 1, 2009. [Read More]

THORNTON, CO: New CEO named at North Suburban Medical Center
HCA-HealthONE LLC North Suburban Medical Center has appointed Jennifer D. Alderfer as CEO at North Suburban Medical Center. Alderfer succeeds Todd Steward, who is now CEO at Saint David's South Austin Medical Center in Austin, TX. Alderfer was promoted from COO at North Suburban Medical Center, where she has served since 2006. [Read More]

MURRAY, UT: Cash named Operations officer at Intermountain MC
Bob Cash, administrator of Intermountain Healthcare's Logan Regional Hospital, has accepted a position as operations officer at Intermountain Medical Center. Cash replaces Jeff Sanders, who is taking a new executive job in his home state of Maine. Cash will join the administrative team at Intermountain Medical Center on June 7. He will oversee cardiovascular services, surgical services, imaging, research, hyperbaric medicine, sleep services, and transplant services. [Read More]

CHICAGO: Short Named Interim CEO of Our Lady of the Resurrection MC
John J. Short has been named interim executive vice president/CEO of Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center. He succeeds Ivette Estrada, who retired after serving as a healthcare executive for nearly 30 years, nine of which she served as executive vice president/CEO of the hospital. [Read More]

NEW YORK: Goodwin named COO at Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation
The Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation has named Peter Goodwin as its COO/treasurer. He will take over from the current COO/Treasurer Marc A. Nivet, who will step down on June 1 to become the Chief Diversity Officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges. Goodwin most recently was vice president of National Program Affairs for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Goodwin has worked for 30 years as a professional in the non-profit sector, including his earlier position as hospital administrator for the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. [Read More]

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