HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - December 15, 2010
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7 Resources for Boosting Outpatient Business
Cora Nucci, Senior Online Editor
Community hospitals without a solid growth strategy for outpatient may be facing a grim future, but here are seven free resources to guide your strategic discussions.[Read More]
    
 
December 15, 2010
 
Editor's Picks

3 Actions That Could Save Community Hospitals
The future doesn't look good for independent standalone community hospitals, writes HealthLeaders senior leadership editor, Philip Betbeze, "unless your hospital happens to be of the critical access variety." He likens hospitals in the 30-300-bed category as the hardware store in the middle of town, competing with bigger, multi-hospital systems as the Home Depots of the healthcare world. "In the new era, data will be king, and if you can't show you're at least as good—and as cheap—as your competitors, you're likely not going to be around long," Betbeze writes. But he offers expert tips from a profitable and quality award-winning hospital's CEO. [Read More]

Can Hospitals Break Even with Medicare?
Most hospitals lose money on Medicare. It typically only reimburses 85% to 90% of costs, and it usually takes cost shifting to private plans for a hospital to stay in the black. The equation looks like this: Take the (hopefully) positive margins from private payer business and subtract the (usually) negative margins of Medicare and Medicaid business, and what's left over, if anything, is profit. But what if you could get that Medicare number to zero?[Read More]

IHI Forum Reflections: 10 'Aha' Moments
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement's annual quality forum in Orlando drew a record number of attendees. Many went home inspired by panels on quality initiatives that emphasized the patient perspective. Some are already thinking about how to apply what they've learned.[Read More]

Observation Status Rules Rankle Hospitals, Patients
Like thousands of acute care facilities across the country, Immanuel St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, a part of the Mayo Health System in Minnesota, is dealing with competing concerns related to "observation" status. On one side, administrators and physicians are required by Medicare's strict billing criteria to place certain patients in observation status rather than admit them as regular inpatients. In essence, they are not sick enough to be admitted, but they're too sick to be sent home. But as they follow the rules, absorbing this cost of care, hospitals are feeling the wrath of patients and family members.[Read More]

Breakthroughs Report: Future Healthcare and Collaboration
Explore strategies to accelerate the drive toward more cost-efficient and quality healthcare. In this new HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs report, leading hospital systems—Virtua, Crouse Hospital, Heartland Health, and The Chester County Hospital—share insights and lessons learned. [Read More]

Intelligence Report: Hospital Mergers & Acquisitions
Brand-new research shows that 64% of healthcare leaders expect an increase in M&A activity between acute care hospitals and both diagnostic imaging and ambulatory surgery centers. As the transaction tide continues to rise, the newest HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Report, Hospital Mergers & Acquisitions: Opportunities and Challenges, reveals key insights to help keep you afloat. More Analysis »
Leaders Forum

It is Time to Act
With the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, along with the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, major change will be coming to the way healthcare is organized, delivered, and managed in the United States. Healthcare leaders have been dealing with constant change for the past 30 years, but now the rate of change will need to accelerate in order to achieve success in a reformed healthcare environment. [Read More]

Sponsored Headlines

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This Week's Headlines

Following the Money, Doctors Ration Care
The New York Times, December 13, 2010
Physician RAC Vulnerabilities Detailed in CMS Release
HealthLeaders Media, December 14, 2010
The little-known decision-makers for Medicare physicians fees
The New York Times, December 13, 2010
Medical Travel Goes Local
HealthLeaders Media, December 13, 2010
Missouri secretive, lax on doctor discipline
St. Louis Today, December 14, 2010
Maine physician finds niche dispensing marijuana
The Portland Press Herald, December 13, 2010

Webcasts/Audio Conferences

Surgeon General Addresses Electronic Health Data Security Concerns (October 4)
Strategies to Manage ED Arrivals (October 1)

Stay Connected to Community and Rural Hospital Weekly

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
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Patient-Centered Surgery
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Audio Feature

David Nichols: Primary Care Doc, Pilot Puts Patients First

For 31 years, David B. Nichols, MD, has been commuting once a week to Tangier Island, VA, piloting his own plane or helicopter. The 15-minute flight over the Chesapeake takes Nichols to an area where the residents have triple the rate of disease he has seen any place else. Now, as Nichols oversees final touches on the launch of a modern health clinic on the island, he actively faces his own mortality.[Listen Now]
Sponsor Community and Rural Hospital
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