HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - October 26, 2007 | Do the Right Thing View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Do the Right Thing
Molly Rowe, Senior Editor-Leadership

I spend a lot of time talking to healthcare leaders who expect and enforce excellence. They implement new patient safety initiatives, force staff accountability, and are upfront about outcomes, patient satisfaction, and even executive salaries. Occasionally I take for granted that all leaders--and all organizations--are like this. And then I am reminded that they're not. [Read More]
  Oct. 26, 2007

 
Editor's Picks
Do hospitals offer enough free care?
Nonprofit hospitals that rely on their tax-exempt status to maintain costs may want to consider just how much charity care they're providing. A group of activists and politicians, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, are taking a close look at the possible flaws of the charity care system and criticizing some hospitals for not providing enough free care. Critics of the current system say they will introduce legislation this fall to make nonprofit hospitals more accountable to the public and perhaps put a minimum requirement on charity care. [Read More]
WellPoint docs to get Zagat ratings
Consumers who turn to well-known survey firm Zagat for restaurant recommendations and hotel ratings will soon be using it to rate and review doctors--at least if they're insured by WellPoint. WellPoint, one of the nation's largest health insurers, will release physician ratings based on four categories (trust, communication, availability, and office environment) to about a million members by the end of March. Physician rating systems always spark controversy, and this kind of peer-to-peer (i.e., no medical experience necessary) rating system will certainly draw some docs' ire. [Read More]
Infectious leadership
A lot's been written this week about infectious disease, but how about infectious leadership? In this post, Harvard Business Professor Michael Watkins discusses how, for good or for bad, leadership defines an organization's culture. Leaders' behaviors trickle down to do their direct reports, who pass them on to the next level, and so on through the entire organization. Watkins asks the question: What kind of leader are you--"infectious like humor or infectious like the plague?" No sane leader would answer "like the plague," but how does a leader really know? [Read More]
To cure insurance woes, docs offer prepaid care
Hundreds of doctors are experimenting with flat-rate, prepaid care plans that eliminate the hassle of insurance claims and referrals while offering patients the peace of mind of unlimited primary care at fixed prices. Not surprisingly, insurers aren't crazy about this concept and even the docs themselves say the program needs to be fine-tuned, but this is likely to be one of many stories we read of providers/insurers/employers going beyond conventional wisdom to solve the problem of rising premiums and the uninsured. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
New Jersey hospital competition heats up over cardiac care
Philadelphia Inquirer - October 19, 2007

Doctor-patient bond frays after medical mistake
Washington Post - October 24, 2007
Health plan used by United States is debated as a model
New York Times - October 20, 2007
Putting superbugs on the defensive
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - October 23, 2007
Democrats unyielding on health plan cost
AP/Yahoo News - October 24, 2007
Radical plan to stanch San Francisco hospital's hemorrhaging
San Francisco Chronicle- October 20, 2007
The habits of highly successful bosses
Inc. - October 2007
From HealthLeaders Magazine
The Great Disclosure Debate

HealthLeaders October 2007 With everyone from competitors to patients urging a shift to full transparency, many executives are facing a decision: Should we post our quality data? [Read More]
  • Sweet Deal
  • Finding a Few Good Men
  • What's in a Name? A Lot, Actually
  • Five Minute Consult

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    View from the Top

    Leadership is Key in Sustaining Change: Strong leadership was key to an organization turnaround at Texas-based St. Joseph Health System, say contributors Edward Hindin and Tamara Simpson. [Read More]
    Audio Feature

    Employee Self-Control: Annette Odland, clinical service leader at Wright Medical Center, describes how staff at the critical access hospital imposed strict behavioral guidelines on themselves. [Listen Now]
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