HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - February 10, 2010
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Scope of Practice Battle Overlooks Reality; Rural Areas Lack Doctors
Cheryl Clark, Editor, Community Hospitals
The lawsuit filed by 40,000 California doctors last week to halt nurse anesthetists' newly obtained ability to administer anesthesia without physician supervision opened the floodgates of fury. Beneath the din, however, is the underlying crux of the issue: the impact of the physician shortage on rural hospitals, which struggle to find and contract with primary care or specialty doctors willing to work in their areas, and especially at contract rates the poorer, smaller hospitals can afford. [Read More]
    
 
February 10, 2010
 
Editor's Picks

10 Ways to Improve Handoffs in Your Hospital
Providers are increasingly realizing that the process of "handoffs" is an obvious setting for preventable errors to begin. HCPro, Inc. editor Julie McCoy gives 10 tips that may seem like common sense, but following them may reduce communication disconnects that result in mishaps. [Read More]

There are Big Bucks in Better Patient Flow
Heartland Health in Missouri dug into gaps in patient flow and found a lot of missing money. Karen Minich-Pourshadi, HealthLeaders Senior Editor for Finance, says that improvements the emergency department made a lot of difference simply by removing some obvious bottlenecks. [Read More]

Patients Stealing $52M Worth of Items from Hospitals, Says Survey
Who knew patients would be pilferers? John Commins, HealthLeaders Senior Editor for Human Resources, reports on a hospital survey indicating that patients think hospitals are hotel rooms, secretly pocketing TV remotes and even telephones as they are discharged. [Read More]

Many Small Practice Physicians Putting off Meaningful Use Guidelines
Concerns about whether electronic medical record systems will work, whether they will meet as yet unpublished certification requirements, and who will pay their costs is scaring many physicians in small or solo practices from buying in. Some wonder if it will eventually prove worth it, as I reported after a series of interviews last week. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

TRICARE Protests: Round 2
For organizations interested in federal healthcare contracting, the lessons from a series of TMA contracts and the protests that followed continue to be learned and, in some cases, forgotten. As the saying goes, "it ain't over until the fat lady sings"—and she's still waiting in the wings. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Former California hospital executive will plead guilty to paying kickbacks
Los Angeles Times ? February 10, 2010
Healthcare hiring continues
Wall Street Journal Health Blog ? February 8, 2010
Long-term care hospitals face little scrutiny
New York Times ? February 10, 2010
Hospitals may ask TN to tax them
The Tennessean ? February 8, 2010

Webcasts/Audio Conferences

ED Overhaul: Reduce costs, improve quality, and increase satisfaction (February 23)
Physician Compensation Models in a Strained Economy (March 8)
Marketing Oncology: Service Line Strategies for Marketers (On Demand)

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Five Strategies that Prove Healthcare is Still a Growth Industry
Here is a review of growth opportunities that will increase revenue, decrease costs, or enhance services in the areas of leadership, finance, physicians, technology, health plans, quality, and outcomes. [Read More]
 
Service Line Management
The Sports Center
Famous athletes and big sports programs may be the public face of sports medicine, but at its core are local communities and, increasingly, the unconventional athlete. [Read More]
 
Audio Feature
Nurse Anesthetists Necessary In Rural Areas: Richard Rawson, President and CEO of three small Adventist hospitals in rural areas of California's Central Valley, says retaining the ability of nurse anesthetists to practice without physician supervision is essential for his hospitals' financial viability. The alternative would be "devastating," he says. [Listen Now]
Sponsor Community and Rural Hospital
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