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Obama: I Need Your Help, Doctors
Elyas Bakhtiari, Managing Editor

President Barack Obama's nearly hour-long speech to the American Medical Association on Monday didn't contain much in the way of new policy proposals. But he made it clear that physicians may play a pivotal role in determining whether or not healthcare reform legislation moves forward smoothly in the coming months. [Read More]
  June 18, 2009

 
Editor's Picks
Hanging up the white coats
Say goodbye to the most well-known symbol of the medical profession. The AMA voted in its annual meeting this week to establish a dress code that would do away with the white coats that have distinguished physicians for years. The idea is to reduce the risk of infection from bacteria on unwashed sleeves. I've seen mixed reactions from physicians. Some are perfectly willing to make the change if it improves patient safety. Both for others, the white coat holds a lot of meaning and symbolism and they don't like the AMA telling them what to wear. [Read More]
Experienced doctors migrating to Florida, Texas
The latest MGMA salary survey finds that experienced physicians are increasingly migrating to Florida and Texas, while physicians out of residency favor North Carolina and Illinois. Martin Osinski, past president of the National Association of Physician Recruiters, MGMA's partner on the survey, says the pattern for experienced physicians could involve the lack of income tax in Florida and Texas, as well as other financial considerations. Several states, including Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, lost more physicians than they gained. [Read More]
Daschle: Tort reform necessary
Obama mentioned malpractice reform in his speech to the AMA on Monday, and former Sen. Tom Daschle also emphasized the importance of controlling the cost of malpractice insurance this week. The question is: How? Obama made it clear that caps on malpractice awards are off the table—that is being handled by the states, anyway. It will be interesting to see whether the alternative really addresses the problem. If the administration really wants physicians to stand with it on healthcare reform, it has to give them substantial malpractice reform. [Read More]
Court: Medical residents must pay taxes
Medical residents may be considered as full-time employees whose pay is subject to Social Security taxes, a federal appeals court ruled. The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed two earlier district court opinions that had concluded the U.S. erred in collecting Social Security taxes from medical residents at University of Minnesota and the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. The three-judge appellate court panel said the U.S. Treasury Department has latitude to interpret the IRS Code and made a "permissible interpretation" that medical residents are full-time employees subject to payroll taxes. [Read More]
Business Rx
Is It Time to Start Shopping for an EHR?
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act is creating a lot of buzz in the healthcare industry. Approximately $20 billion will be appropriated through the act to help physicians, medical practices, hospitals, states, and some healthcare vendors adopt information technology that will be used meaningfully. What does this mean for you and your practice? [Read More]
Physician News
$788,000 paid to doctor accused of faking study
New York Times - June 18, 2009
New York doctors race to abide by in-office surgery law
New York Times - June 17, 2009
More medical schools beef up conflicts policies
Wall Street Journal Health Blog - June 17, 2009
Some Docs Upset at AMA's Public Plan Stance
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - June 16, 2009

Audio Conferences/Webcasts
July 22, 2009: Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Spine Care
On Demand: HIPAA Changes: New Compliance Strategies for New Marketing Models
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Service Line Management
Faster, Safer Joint Replacements
Hospitals are fine-tuning the surgical process from start to finish in order to replace joints faster and safer than ever before. [Read More]
PhysicianLeaders Forum

Bylaws Best Practices for Today: Contributor Joseph D. Cooper, MD, a senior consultant for The Greeley Company, offers advice for modernizing medical staff bylaws to improve physician-hospital collaboration. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Surviving the New P4P: Joint Surgery and Hospital-Physician Alignment: Physician and hospital leaders from the joint replacement service line discuss how the changing healthcare landscape will affect hospital and physician partnerships toward quality improvement. [Listen Now]

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