HealthLeaders Media PhysicianLeaders - May 21, 2009 | The True Cost of Resident Work-Hour Restrictions View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
The True Cost of Resident
Work-Hour Restrictions

Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

Work restrictions intended to limit residents' fatigue and stress have associated labor costs of nearly $1.6 billion per year, according to a new study. The researchers based their assumptions on Institute of Medicine recommendations to improve adherence to an 80-hour work week, encourage naps during extended shifts, and limit shifts without naps to 16 hours. Their ultimate conclusion was that the effectiveness of the IOM's recommendations is unknown. But are those the only costs tied to work restrictions? [Read More]
  May 21, 2009

 
Editor's Picks
Is healthcare better without doctors?
The answer, of course, is no. But researchers at the California HealthCare Foundation raise an interesting point in a report that suggests consumers can, and perhaps should, get more healthcare outside of the traditional physician-based system. Sure, it would be ideal to have physicians involved in every care decision, but there increasingly aren't enough doctors or funds to make that a reality. Physicians have to be more efficient to meet growing patient care needs, and one way to do that is to take the simpler stuff—that can be handled over-the-counter or by a nonphysician practitioner—off their plates. [Read More]
Study: Small gifts influence doctors
Many doctors will swear that small gifts and promotional items from pharmaceutical companies have no influence on their prescribing or practice habits. But a new study that compared medical students at a school with a gift ban and a school without one found that prescribing patterns do change. Physicians are often unaware of the influence and even reluctant to admit that they can be influenced. "Many physicians, because they are medical experts, believe they are not susceptible to the influences," the researchers said. [Read More]
Patients skimping on healthcare
More people are canceling doctors' appointments, leaving prescriptions unfilled, and skipping screenings such as Pap smears to save money, according to a national survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Seventy-three percent of doctors said more patients are cutting prescription dosages, 66% have seen more health problems caused by patients skipping preventive care, and 58% reported more canceled appointments. Obviously, this affects practice economics in the short-term, but it also means practices may have to deal with sicker patients down the road. [Read More]
How physicians can help achieve healthcare reform
Healthcare heavyweights Elliot Fischer, MD, and Donald Berwick, MD, have an article in the New England Journal of Medicine this week exploring how physicians can advance the healthcare reform process. "The first step is to acknowledge that delivery-system reform offers a potential win-win situation for providers. Physicians should support and help to develop integrated systems of care," they write. "The second step is for physicians to recognize that achieving savings sufficient to cover the cost of expanded coverage need not impose a hardship on patients or providers." [Read More]
Business Rx
Fit, Family are Keys to Retention
The recession appears to have—at least temporarily—slowed physician turnover. But the factors that make retention such a challenge haven't disappeared, and hospitals and practices continue to seek ways to keep physicians they've recruited. [Read More]
Physician News
Study: Simulators make surgeons better
BBC - May 15, 2009
Poll: Sizeable Minority of Americans Would Consider Medical Tourism
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - May 20, 2009
Vermont acts to make drug makers' gifts public
New York Times - May 20, 2009
New tool in the MD's bag: A smartphone
Washington Post - May 19, 2009

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
June 26, 2009: ICU Overhaul 2009: Strategies to Reduce Costs and Improve Quality
June 17, 2009: HIPAA Changes: New Compliance Strategies for New Marketing Models
On Demand: Service Lines Strategies Workshop: Cardiovascular Physician Alignment
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Cash for Computers
HealthLeaders May 2009
With an 11-figure incentive to invest in information technology and electronic medical records, healthcare executives need to determine if this offer from Uncle Sam is the kind of help that they are prepared to accept. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Simpler Surgeries, Complex Market
Technological advances have impact beyond the OR, affecting market trends and hospital-physician alignment. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Save Primary Care, But Don't Rob Peter to Pay Paul: Contributor Phillip Miller from Merritt Hawkins & Associates, a national physician search firm, explains why increases to primary care compensation can't come at the expense of specialists—both are experiencing shortages and should be priorities. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Hospital-Physician Alignment: What You Need to Know Today: Deane Corliss, vice-chair of the Health Care Practice Group at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, discusses what is driving hospital-physician alignment today and offers sound advice before you pony up the legal fees. [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 new HealthLeaders Media book that combines expert tips with marketing samples, tools, forms, and checklists that will help grow your practice.
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