HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - May 8, 2009 | A Cookie for Cost-Cutting View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
A Cookie for Cost-Cutting
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

Hospitals are cutting costs in a variety of ways. Some are engaging their employees to help rein in costs, while some are taking a top-down approach and cutting employees themselves. It's painful, but it has to be done. Still, cost-cutting is not a long-term strategy with much staying power.
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  May 8, 2009

 
Editor's Picks
ER Docs Say HHS Head 'Uninformed'
New HHS chief Kathleen Sebelius didn't have to wait long before she made someone angry. In this case, it's emergency physicians who took issue with what she said about the reasons people seek so much care in the ED. Essentially, she said what most people seem to believe about overcrowded EDs—that the uninsured seek care there because they have nowhere else to go, and that often they would be better cared for in the non-acute setting. She calls the care for such people in the ED the "least effective, most expensive option." The American College of Emergency Physicians says that attitude perpetuates a myth, and that most people who visit the nation's EDs do indeed need to be there. Of course, the ACEP is "talking its book" to use a stock market term, but determining who's right is definitely key to improving the cost and quality of healthcare in this country. [Read More]
MD Anderson Partners with Banner Health for Phoenix Cancer Center
My colleague Cheryl Clark says Banner Health and Houston's world-renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center are partnering to build a $90 million cancer center in Phoenix, Banner's home turf. The new, largely outpatient center will be tied in with Banner's two-year-old, 76-bed Gateway Medical Center. The new facility, scheduled to be completed by 2011, is part of what looks like a medical arms race in the area. It follows the opening of Cancer Treatment Centers of America's fourth cancer center in Goodyear, 20 miles east of Phoenix, in late 2007. The Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson 100 miles away also treats a significant number of the state's cancer patients and is the state's only facility designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. It has plans to open a major outpatient facility in Phoenix within two years. At least a half dozen other major hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, now treat the region's estimated 19,000 cancer patients diagnosed annually and they will have to fight to remain competitive. [Read More]
High healthcare costs plague the insured in Massachusetts
Despite Massachusetts' pioneering 2006 health insurance overhaul, healthcare costs are devouring more than 10% of thousands of residents' income, according to a new study from Families USA, a nonprofit organization that lobbies for affordable care. While the rate at which these costs are increasing is troubling, I thought that asking patients to bear at least a portion of their healthcare costs was a critical element in ultimately helping drive down costs. We've been told for years that costs rise astronomically in part because patients have no incentive to shop for care. So which is it? [Read More]

This Week's Headlines
Childhood Game Inspires Hospital Emergency Department
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - May 4, 2009
Health Spending Is Taking Up Bigger Chunk of National Purse
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - May 4, 2009
Proposed IPPS Rule: Low Rates, Not Many Changes
Lisa Eramo, for HealthLeaders Media - May 4, 2009
Top Senate Democrat offers middle ground on healthcare
New York Times - May 5, 2009
Academic medical centers often guilty of research hype
Wall Street Journal Health Blog - May 5, 2009
No acquisition, but Philadelphia hospital changes name
Philadelphia Inquirer - May 5, 2009
Report: Medicare Advantage 'Extra Payments' Will Reach $11.4 Billion This Year
Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media - May 4, 2009

Webcasts/Audio conferences
Service Lines Strategies Workshop: Cardiovascular Physician Alignment (May 12)
Top 5 Healthcare Jobs
Chief Executive Officer: Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, Palmer, AK. The Chief Executive Officer will participate in operational decision-making processes necessary for the successful attainment of the hospital's mission . . . [Read More]
CEO/Administrator: HealthSouth, Tustin, CA. Accountable for planning, organizing, and directing the hospital to ensure that quality patient care is provided . . . [Read More]
Chief Executive Officer: Deaconess Medical Center, Spokane, WA. Will participate in operational decision-making processes necessary for the successful attainment . . . [Read More]
Chief Operating Officer: Western Arizona Medical Center, Bullhead City, AZ. Maintains an awareness of changes in healthcare matters that could have an impact on the success of the hospital . . . [Read More]
Senior Physician Practice Manager: Medical Center Clinic, Pensacola, FL. Provide management services for the medical departments by ensuring that the department is being run in a businesslike, professional, cost effective . . . [Read More]

Sponsored Headline
Fox Chase Cancer Center Case Study: Digital Signage Positively Impacts Care, Vericom.
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Jump . . . or Get Pushed

HealthLeaders April 2009
The tough decisions you don't want to make now—but may have to. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Redefining Cardio

The cardiovascular service line remains a dependable revenue generator for many hospitals. But a shifting market full of new options for patients means organizations must find ways to differentiate themselves. [Read More]
View from the Top

New Leadership Needed to Tackle Healthcare's Adaptive Challenges: Healthcare executives are under enormous stress. Trying to improve quality and safety, increase access, and reduce costs is exhausting. There is great pressure to satisfy many conflicting and competing interests. We all agree that deep systemic change is needed, and the gap between the current reality and where we want to be continues to widen. Yet many of the key parties behave as though they want their part in the current system to continue. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Partners in the Cardio Service Line: Peggy Naas, M.D., helps hospitals develop strategies to work with their physicians for VHA Inc. A growing trend for hospital leaders involves taking on physicians as employees, but describing the strategic importance of the trend as physician employment only misses a big part of the equation. Peggy and I talk about various ways to structure service lines in ways that partner with physicians rather than directing them as in a traditional employer/employee relationship. She will join me, along with the founders of the Minneapolis Heart Institute on May 12 for a Service Line Strategies Workshop webinar on cardiovascular physician alignment. [Listen Now]
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Corner Office

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