HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - February 13, 2008
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Hoeft to Lead AHA Small or Rural Governing Council
Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media
Kathleen Hoeft, administrator and CEO of Ashley (ND) Medical Center, has been tapped to lead the American Hospital Association's Section for Small or Rural Hospitals in 2008. [Read More]
February 13, 2008
Editor's Picks

In communities losing hospitals, rising voices
Officials have announced that two Newark, NJ, hospitals would be shut down before summer 2008, and their services would be consolidated with St. Michael's Medical Center. The three hospitals, owned by Cathedral Healthcare System, were losing $6 million a month, according to Catholic Health East--the company taking them over. But angry residents and elected officials say the closings will leave parts of Newark without vital services for a community with many immigrants and poor people. Due to the community protests and complaints by elected officials such as Mayor Cory A. Booker, Catholic Health East has agreed to form a steering committee made up of council members from the affected neighborhoods. Two local task forces have also been formed to advise the committee on the continuation of essential services, like trauma care, at the hospitals. [Read more]

Only hospital in Lancaster, TX, to close its doors
Officials at Medical Center at Lancaster (TX) have announced the 90-bed facility will close after 25 years of operation. Hospital spokesman Joe Poulos said the hospital was probably headed for bankruptcy due to a variety of factors, including increased competition, high levels of unpaid patient bills and low payment rates from HMOs. [Read more]

Arbitration a growing trend in healthcare
Legal experts say attempts to channel potentially unhappy patients away from the court system and into arbitration are becoming increasingly common in healthcare. Proponents say arbitration is faster, cheaper and fairer than trials, but critics say the system can be weighted against consumers and makes it harder to track complaints or build legal precedents. In a project set to start next month in Montgomery County, PA, the local medical society, bar association, and Abington Memorial Hospital will work together to solve medical disputes with mediation. While an arbitrator decides a case, a mediator will shuttle between the two sides to help them reach an agreement. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the patient can still file a lawsuit. [Read more]

Speed Alabama hospital OKs, study says
A report from the Birmingham-based Alabama Policy Institute argues that the state's certificate of need laws limit hospital competition that might drive down medical costs and give patients more choices. Alabama currently requires certificate of need approval for new medical construction or renovations costing more than $4.5 million, and for medical equipment purchases over $2.3 million. Hospitals that want to offer a new service must also get the OK from state health planners. "Any proposed action will be opposed by other hospitals in the community because of the threat to their established patient flow," wrote University of Alabama at Birmingham health economist Michael Morrisey, PhD, in the report. "So, in addition to the usual construction and operating costs, an effort to expand will be tied up with CON hearings, decisions, appeals and more appeals." [Read more]

Wal-Mart expands in-store health clinics
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will open its first in-store medical clinics under its own brand name after leasing space in dozens of stores to outside companies that operate the convenience-care clinics. Wal-Mart will open "The Clinic at Wal-Mart" as a joint venture with local hospital systems in Atlanta, Dallas and Little Rock, Ark., beginning in April 2008. About 7 percent of Americans have tried a clinic at least once, according to an estimate by the Convenient Care Association. That number is expected to increase dramatically, as chains like Wal-Mart, CVS Corp., Target Corp. and Walgreen Co. partner with mini-clinic providers like RediClinic and MinuteClinic to expand operations. The Convenient Care Association estimates there will be more than 1,500 such clinics by the end of 2008, up from about 800 in November 2007. [Read more]
Leaders Forum

The Power to Create Sustainable Results by Changing Behaviors:
If influence is the capacity to help ourselves and others change our behavior, then it is clearly one of the most vital and most unavailable capacities in the world. While we all want influence, however, few know how to get it. [Read more]
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Why Is The ED Such A Pain?
The emergency department has a culture all its own with a unique set of challenges to match. It's also your hospital's window to the community. So you'd better make it work. [Read more]
Community Call
Discussion Board
Each week, Community Call will pose a question to encourage community and rural hospital leaders to share success stories and best practices. This week's question is "How much impact will the increase of convenient care clinics have on business at community and rural hospitals?"
Audio Feature
Why Physicians Leave: Brian McCartie, regional VP with Cejka Search, discusses physician turnover trends based on Cejka's annual physician retention survey.
Sponsor Community and Rural Hospital
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