HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - May 22, 2009 | In Healthcare, You Don't Always Get What You Pay For View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
In Healthcare, You Don't Always Get What You Pay For
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

A recent study found that there's no link between high-cost care and high-quality care. Previous studies have shown no link between spending and quality at the regional level, so those results are not particularly surprising. But what is surprising is that the study confirmed that in some cases, patients at the household-name hospitals received worse care than they might have at their local community hospital.
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  May 22, 2009

 
Editor's Picks
Study: Trimming Residents' Hours Would Cost Teaching Hospitals $1.6 Billion Annually
My colleague John Commins says a new study from the RAND Corporation and UCLA School of Medicine shows that America's teaching hospitals would have to spend $1.6 billion each year to cover the costs of replacement workers if reduced medical resident work hours are adopted. The study comes after the Institute of Medicine recommended reducing to 16 hours the maximum time that residents can work without time for sleep. The study didn't dispute the IOM claim that doing so would reduce medical errors, but instead focused on the cost issue. Without additional funding, each major teaching hospital would have to pony up about $3.2 million annually on average if the recommendations are adopted. [Read More]
Republicans offer competing healthcare plan
Looks like the hand-holding and figurative Kum-ba-yah singing is over between the parties as it relates to healthcare. Republicans launched their own healthcare reform plan, which centers on giving citizens tax credits to pay for health insurance. The Democrats' plan is pretty much a polar opposite. President Obama and many Democrats want to create a new public insurance plan to help cover the uninsured and create competition for private insurers. Up to now, many pundits and commentators have remarked about how civil the debate has been. Now that we're on the eve of introducing legislation, however, the fight has escalated. Let the bomb-throwing begin. [Read More]
Sebelius: New Fraud Prevention Team to Turn Up Heat
My colleague Ben Amirault reports that Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have debuted The Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), which will consist of senior Department of Justice and HHS employees who are tasked with ferreting out Medicare and Medicaid fraud that's estimated to cost up to $60 billion a year—or 3% of the government's annual healthcare expenditure. It's about time. [Read More]
Are HSAs Ready to Battle a Public Plan?
Commentary here from my colleague Les Masterson brings up a relic from the recent past: HSAs. Now that a public health plan is getting all the pub in Washington, health savings accounts have lost traction. Insurers are trying to change that through a couple of studies that show HSAs aren't just a tool for the wealthy to shelter income from taxes. The studies are compelling, and mirror results from the health plan portion of our own HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2009. The timing of their release isn't an accident, says Les. Private health plans are rightfully viewing portions of healthcare reform as a direct assault on their business. HSAs could be an effective tool to compete against an eventual government health plan, he argues. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Comparative Effectiveness is Limited in Other Countries
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - May 20, 2009
Poll: Sizeable Minority of Americans Would Consider Medical Tourism
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - May 20, 2009
Doctor survey: Patients skimping on healthcare
Minneapolis Star Tribune - May 20, 2009
Brigham and Women's plans medical center
Boston Globe - May 20, 2009
Tax proposals draw critics in talks on financing health insurance
New York Times - May 21, 2009
13 Hospitals Fined for Mishaps, Never Events
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - May 20, 2009
Baptist Health South Florida loses $25 million as investments struggle
South Florida Business Journal - May 21, 2009
Illinois legislation would establish network of specialist stroke centers
Chicago Tribune - May 20, 2009

Webcasts/Audio Conferences
HIPAA Changes: New Compliance Strategies for New Marketing Models (June 17)
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Fox Chase Cancer Center Case Study: Digital Signage Positively Impacts Care, Vericom.
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Cash for Computers

HealthLeaders May 2009
With an 11-figure incentive to invest in information technology and electronic medical records, healthcare executives need to determine if this offer from Uncle Sam is the kind of help that they are prepared to accept. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Simpler Surgeries, Complex Market

Technological advances have impact beyond the OR, affecting market trends and hospital-physician alignment. [Read More]
View from the Top

Revisiting Clinical Protocols: Aligning a Healthy Bottom Line with Clinical Effectiveness: In today's economy, hospital executives are realizing that the variables they can control are quickly being dwarfed by the size of the problems they cannot control. This is a good time for executives to revisit clinical protocols as a way to position their hospitals in the face of a chaotic marketplace, says contributor Bryan F. Smith. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Joint Ventures Far From Dead: Karen Gledhill, a partner with the Charlotte, NC law firm of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, and chair of its healthcare practice group, says joint venture deals hospitals are striking with their physicians are still a popular choice, even in these dark economic times. [Listen Now]
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