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SGR's Days Are Numbered; Drug Shortage Persists
HealthLeaders Media
The biggest news story affecting physicians recently was the long-awaited announcement that a bipartisan deal has been reached to repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate formula. Once Congress figures out how to pay for it, the doc fix will done. While that story rightly got most of the media spotlight, other developments affecting physicians should not go unnoticed.
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AMA Seeks to Stop ICD-10, Cites Soaring Costs
HealthLeaders Media
The American Medical Association on Wednesday released a study it sponsored showing that projected physicians' implementation costs for the federally mandated ICD-10 medical coding set will be as much as three times higher than initial estimates. Couple with the release of the study, AMA President Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, released a copy of the letter she sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking her to "strongly" reconsider the ICD-10 mandate, which takes effect Oct. 1.
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An $150 Billion End to 'Doc Fixes?'
The Hill
Congress is tangling with doctors, hospitals and seniors organizations as it seeks to push through a long-sought change to Medicare that carries a $150 billion price tag. Doctors cheered recently when committees in the House and Senate released a framework for a permanent "doc fix" that would repeal a flawed payment formula under Medicare that Congress has routinely patched since the late 1990's.
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Online Doctor Reviews Not Commonly Researched by Patients
CBS
If you're researching your next doctor, you might be tempted to search their names online to see what other patients said about them. However, a new study suggests you might be in the minority. Doctor ratings are less popular than other online consumer reviews of products like toasters, cars and movies.
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Congress Poised to Change Medicare Payment Policy — What Does That Mean for Patients and Doctors?
Kaiser Health News
After years of legislative wrangling and last-minute patches, expectations are high among physician groups, lawmakers and Medicare beneficiaries that Congress could act this year to permanently replace the current Medicare physician payment formula. While committees in both chambers have approved their own "doc fix" proposals, the approaches have yet to be reconciled, and none have identified how they would pay for a repeal.
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California Healthcare Workers Seek to Limit Hospital Pricing
Becker's Hospital Review
California healthcare workers have launched a statewide signature-gathering campaign to put legislation limiting hospital charges on the ballot this November. The initiative, titled the Fair Healthcare Pricing Act of 2014, would prohibit hospitals from setting prices more than 25 percent higher than the actual cost of care, according to a news release. SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West needs to gather and submit approximately 505,000 signatures from registered California voters by mid-April to get the proposal on the ballot.
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Healthcare Organizations Under Siege From Cyberattacks
HealthLeaders Media
Add this to the list of things to freak you out: Healthcare organizations of all kinds are being routinely attacked and compromised by increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. A new study set to be officially released recently found that networks and Internet-connected devices in places such as hospitals, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are under siege and in many cases have been infiltrated without their knowledge.
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For Small Health Systems, Big Decisions Can Mean Life or Death
HealthLeaders Media
Mike Phelps is not shy about adapting to a rapidly changing healthcare business model under which healthcare organizations' success — or lack thereof — is less a function of their ability to attract referrals and patients and more a function of their ability to deliver better outcomes and, critically, better value. Despite his willingness to change, he knows that as the chief operating officer for Ridgeview Medical Center and Ridgeview Clinics in Waconia, Minn.—a relatively small organization with an 85-staffed-bed hospital, several clinics, and about 1,700 employees—the strategic shifting required to adapt to a new measurement regime in healthcare is inherently more risky for him and for leaders of other small or standalone systems than for those with bigger war chests.
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Apprehensive, Many Doctors Shift to Jobs With Salaries
The New York Times
American physicians, worried about changes in the healthcare market, are streaming into salaried jobs with hospitals. Though the shift from private practice has been most pronounced in primary care, specialists are following. Last year, 64 percent of job offers filled through Merritt Hawkins, one of the nation's leading physician placement firms, involved hospital employment, compared with only 11 percent in 2004.
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WSAUA Insights
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Lee Escobedo, Content Editor, 469.420.2663  
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