HealthLeaders Media HR - April 6, 2009 | Octomom Records Breach a Lesson in Patient Privacy
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Octomom Records Breach a
Lesson in Patient Privacy

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media

Kaiser Permanente should be commended for quickly firing or disciplining 23 employees for unauthorized viewing of the personal medical files of Nadya Suleman, aka, Octomom. The repercussions of privacy violations can do more than simply embarrass a patient: They can also cause patients to delay care or not seek care for fear that their medical conditions might be made public. [Read More]
  April 6, 2009

 
Top 5 Healthcare Jobs

Chief Nursing Officer
CHRISTUS Health, Lake Charles, LA. Executive leader responsible for patient care delivery, nursing, and nurse practice throughout a facility within a CHRISTUS Health . . . [Read More]

CEO/Administrator
HealthSouth, Tustin, CA. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for all day-to-day operations of the hospital. This position is accountable for planning . . . [Read More]

Director of Patient Care Finance
Northern Westchester Hospital, Mount Kisco, NY. The Director of Patient Care Finance assists the CFO & the Sr. V.P. Patient Care Services & Chief Nursing Officer with the overall fiscal management . . . [Read More]

Chief Financial Officer
Brim Healthcare, Copperhill, TN. Brim Healthcare seeks an experienced healthcare executive for the position of Chief Financial Officer at Copper Basin Medical Center . . . [Read More]

Chief Financial Officer
Infinity Healthcare, Hillside, IL. Long-term healthcare company seeks a Chief Financial Officer who advises and assists the owners in forecasting the company's fiscal needs/commitments . . . [Read More]
Editor's Picks
Down economy makes nursing jobs harder to find
We've been hearing for so long about the nursing shortage. Now, the recession may have inadvertently provided a Band-Aid for the problem. The Washington Post is reporting that, contrary to popular wisdom, nursing jobs are getting harder to find. The Post notes that Inova Health System, which employs 4,353 nurses and operates five hospitals in Northern Virginia, has an extraordinarily low 3.5% vacancy rate, with most of the openings in critical care. Other hospitals in the region are reporting similar rates. Like everybody else, nurses have been impacted by this recession. Those nurses who'd either retired or gone part-time, returned to full-time status when they looked at their latest 401(k), or maybe after a spouse got laid off. While this is a short-term positive, it may cause problems later on. Fact is, we do have a nursing shortage, and when the economy recovers and more nurses either leave the profession or retire, that will become painfully evident. [Read More]
Grady Memorial cuts malcontents to improve 'Grady culture'
When Grady Memorial Hospital announced last month that it was laying off 140 employees, CEO Michael Young said the hospital needed to save money. But a drop in government funding and an increase in uninsured patients were just two reasons for the layoffs. The pink slips were Young's first major move in remaking the so-called "Grady culture," which critics say tolerates inefficiency and hampers patient care. "It's an old and unsuccessful way to run a hospital," Young told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This sounds like a great strategy, if it works. The problem is who gets to decide when an employee or a physician is a trouble maker who doesn't mesh with the "culture?" What if that employee is persistently raising safety or procedural questions that hospital administrators would rather not address? Somewhere in Atlanta, a trial lawyer is smiling and sharpening his pencils. [Read More]
BCBS Florida cuts 300 employees
I always thought that working for BlueCross BlueShield was one of those destination jobs. Once you had it, you were set for life. Nevermind! BlueCross BlueShield of Florida said last week it is cutting 300 employees, or about 5%, from its statewide workforce. Spokesman John W. Herbkersman says the company is anticipating additional reductions of 200 to 250 workers that will occur through attrition. Herbkersman said the cost-controlling measure will allow the company "to provide more affordable healthcare choices" for its customers. "In today's turbulent economy, no business finds itself immune from its effects," Herbkersman says. "In an effort to keep our costs in line with our financial commitments, we have directed every division at BCBSF to find ways to help us lower the overall cost of doing business without compromising on service to our customers. This review includes reducing both our non-labor and labor costs." [Read More]
Class-action status sought in Mercy Health back wages suit
Two former employees filed a federal lawsuit against the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, alleging it failed to pay them for training and for work they did during meal breaks over at least a three-year period. The lawsuit seeks class-action status and could cover as many as 4,000 people who worked for the hospital system. It was filed by two nurses who worked at Mercy Hospital before it became UPMC Mercy in January 2008. The plaintiffs allege that hospital officials knew that extra work was being performed and that employees were not being appropriately paid for it. The complaint seeks damages, as well as injunctive relief to prevent the hospital system from continuing the alleged illegal practice. [Read More]
Nine people account for 2,700 ER visits, $3 million tab
The Associated Press reports that just nine people accounted for nearly 2,700 of the emergency room visits in the Austin, TX, area during the past six years at a cost of $3 million to taxpayers and others. The patients went to hospital emergency rooms 2,678 times from 2003 through 2008, said the report from the nonprofit Integrated Care Collaboration, a group of healthcare providers that care for low-income and uninsured patients. The average emergency room visit costs $1,000. Hospitals and taxpayers paid the bill through Medicare and Medicaid. [Read More]
Thomson Reuters IDs $4 billion in savings for nation's healthcare system
A new study by Thomson Reuters claims that hospitals in the United States can help patients by doing less and could save at least $4 billion in the process. [Read More]
Are You Part of a Top Leadership Team?
HealthLeaders Media is gearing up for its fifth year of the Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare program that recognizes the best in senior leadership teamwork at hospitals, health plans, and medical group practices. This year's winners will be honored during HealthLeaders Media '09: The Hospital of the Future Now, an event planned for October 15-16 at The Palmer House in Chicago. If you and your organization have an outstanding teamwork story to share, go to the Top Leadership Teams site to learn more about the six categories, download an entry form, and submit your entry. The deadline to submit is April 30. [Learn More]
Executives on the Move
BOCA RATON, FL: Schutte named president of Cejka Search
Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. has appointed Lori Schutte president of its Cejka Search subsidiary effective this month. Schutte has served as vice president of client services of Cejka Search since 2004. She succeeds Carol Westfall who previously announced her retirement in September 2008. [Read More]

FRANKLIN, TN: MacKenzie named Passport Health Communications CEO
Healthcare revenue cycle management firm Passport Health Communications, Inc. has named Scott MacKenzie, previously with McKesson Corporation, to succeed Jim Lackey as CEO. Lackey will remain chairman of the board of directors. MacKenzie since 2005 was president of RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions, now part of McKesson. Prior to joining McKesson, MacKenzie spent six years in various executive capacities with Cerner, most recently as vice president and general manager. [Read More]

SPOKANE, WA: Providence MC president retiring
Mike Wilson is retiring from Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Providence Holy Family Hospital after a 27-year career. Wilson, 58, president of Sacred Heart and Holy Family, will continue to advise Providence's local leadership for several months as they work through a recession that will cut services and jobs. [Read More]

CHICAGO: Van Gorder named Chairman-elect of ACHE
Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health, San Diego, has been elected chairman-elect of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He took office at the Council of Regents meeting during the ACHE's 52nd Congress on Healthcare Leadership in Chicago last month. As chairman-elect, he will serve the first part of a three-year term in ACHE's consecutive chairmanship offices: chairman-elect, chairman, and immediate past chairman. Van Gorder previously served as an ACHE Governor since 2006. He has been president and CEO of Scripps Health since 2000. [Read More]

ATLANTA: Spearman named CRO at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University's Woodruff Health Sciences Center have appointed Paul W. Spearman, MD, chief research officer for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and as vice chair of Research in the Department of Pediatrics, Emory School of Medicine. Spearman, who was selected following a nationwide search of candidates, has been division director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Emory since November 2005, when he joined Emory from Vanderbilt University's Department of Pediatrics. [Read More]

SACRAMENTO, CA: CAHP elects new board chair
The California Association of Health Plans announced that Howard Kahn, CEO of LA Care Health Plan, the nation's largest public health plan, will serve as the chair of the CAHP Board of Directors until the end of 2010. Kahn was elected by CAHP's membership for a term that officially began Jan. 1, though he assumed the chair's seat for the first time at CAHP's first Board of Directors meeting of 2009 on March 18. [Read More]

From HealthLeaders Magazine
SOS: Public Hospitals


On the brink even during good economic times, many public hospitals are operating in technical insolvency amid a painful recession. But they can take heart from following the example of two that have managed well. [Read More]
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Max Reiboldt, CEO of The Coker Group, offers insights on the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2009, discussing physician recruitment and retention trends. [Listen Now]
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