HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - March 31, 2010
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What a TV Show Can Teach Us About Readmissions
Cheryl Clark, Editor, Community Hospitals
When I recently heard that several state health officials are examining avoidable hospital readmissions, somehow I thought of Florence Hufnagel. In the 1980s TV series St. Elsewhere, she was the comical senior who kept returning to the hospital for yet another serious medical issue. In the new health reform bill, readmissions like those Hufnagel suffered are a very serious deal for a number of reasons. For starters, starting in 2012 Medicare isn't going to pay for many of them. And that's potentially a lot of hospital revenue. [Read More]
    
 
March 31, 2010
 
Editor's Picks

Will Obama Name Don Berwick to Lead CMS?
Don Berwick, a Harvard pediatrician and a long-time instigator for hospital change, is being vetted for what is arguably the most important job in health reform—Payer In Chief. The administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is expected to remodel the entire way hospitals provide care in order to get paid. [Read More]

Healthcare Reform Will Impact Long-Term Care
This popular story by my colleague, MacKenzie Kimball, highlights a little known fact about the health reform bill. It allows everyone to buy long-term care coverage, insurance that will help keep seniors and others out of nursing homes. Other provisions in the bill will improve transparency to give patients and providers a better sense of nursing home ownership. [Read More]

AMA Blasts House for Not Voting on Doc Pay Cut
Imagine that. Congress sneaking away for a two-week spring break without acting on the SGR fix, allowing a 21.5% Medicare physician pay cut to take effect tomorrow. For years, doctors have been successful in obtaining short term delays, but now threaten to stop taking Medicare, or at least accepting new patients until this contentious issue is resolved. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

Strategic Alliances to Outsource or Vend IT
Among the most significant benefits derived from strategic alliances is that participants can save money and reduce their risks through capital and resource sharing, says contributor Susan Patton. Strategic alliances offer opportunities to leverage economies of scale to decrease unit costs for goods and services and to increase quality and access specialized services, resources and personnel, such as IT, she says. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Study: People would donate kidneys for payment
USA Today ? March 31, 2010
Law may do little to help curb unnecessary care
New York Times ? March 30, 2010
Hypothermia: Medicine's cool comeback from cardiac arrest
USA Today ? March 29, 2010
Derby, CT-based Griffin Hospital reports breach of 957 patients' records
Hartford Courant ? March 30, 2010

Webcasts/Audio Conferences

Neuroscience Service Lines Strategies (April 22)
Integrated Compensation Plans to Enhance Physician Performance (May 13)
Five Proven Steps to Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores (May 19)

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Audio Feature
Strategies for Rural Recruitment and Retention: Jeremy Levin, director of advocacy for the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, discusses efforts to recruit and retain physicians in a rural environment. [Listen Now]
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