13 Legal Issues for Hospitals and Health Systems in 2011

1) Lawsuits against the mandate to buy health insurance.

Since Congress is unlikely to repeal healthcare reform in the face of President Obama’s veto, any repeal in the next two years would have to come through the courts, and that prospect is becoming more likely. A federal judge in Florida became the first to reject the whole law, rather than just its highly unpopular mandate to buy insurance. He concluded the law is not “severable,” meaning if one part is removed, the rest would have to go, too. That’s a legal concept, but it is also an apt description of the interlocking nature of the law’s provisions. Keeping the popular protection for people with pre-existing conditions, for example, requires that everyone have insurance. Without such a mandate, people would have no reason to buy coverage until they got sick.

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Physician Integration: Hospital Medical Leaders Share Challenges, Strategies

Healthcare leaders are finding that physician integration will be critical for achieving the increased efficiencies and coordination necessary for meeting healthcare reform standards and for producing savings. Although integral to the formation of accountable care organizations, hospitals are pursuing physician integration regardless of plans to create an ACO because of the changing landscape in healthcare. While these changes are just beginning, several chief medical officers and medical affairs executives share challenges and strategies to establish a successfully integrated system.

A common challenge noted among leaders is the lack of specific information regarding ACOs and other models for physician integration. Sharing knowledge and educating others is thus key to beginning to align physicians with a health system. Kersey Winfree, MD, CMO of Oklahoma City-based SSM Health Care of Oklahoma, says education is needed at both the basic level — what integration means — and at a higher level, addressing the implications of integration and other changes in healthcare delivery

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9 Leading Hospital CEOs Share Advice for Fellow Hospital Leaders

“Leadership is always about promoting change. Be transformative, look to the future and be a leading change agent. As healthcare leaders, we should take the position as a leader should: that we have to transform the delivery system. We have to do things very differently than we did in the past, and that has to come directly from the CEO.” To transform the system, Mr. Dowling says leaders cannot be limited by previous practices or philosophies. “Forget some of the past. Forget the way it was. Break new ground; be optimistic, upbeat and positive.” Helping to build a new healthcare system demands leaders take risks, Mr. Dowling says. “Take some bold steps and take some risks. You can’t be so nervous about failure.” Mr. Dowling says the future offers many opportunities for leaders to make positive changes in the healthcare system. “The next ten years are going to be very exciting. It’s a good time to be in healthcare — take advantage of it. It’s not a time to be pessimistic at all.”

Alexander J. Hatala, FACHE, President and CEO, Lourdes Health System, Camden, N.J.

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Bring out the best in your staff

Sometimes a manager can flat out forget that there is no department, without a team. While a manager or some other type of superior might be the star of the show, the show can’t move forward, or survive without the ensemble cast, or at the very least, a supporting cast working together as a team.

The fact is that the wise manager knows that when they are able to bring out the best in their employees, then everybody wins! But the unwise manager is afraid of anyone shining brighter than them, so they will keep the light and the talents of their employees hidden, or even stifled. This is a shame, because while the unwise and insecure manager is keeping the spotlight on themselves, all they are highlighting is poor management skills.

Here are some examples of an unwise manager

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5 Changes That Can Increase a Hospital’s Value

A growing trend in healthcare is for hospitals and health systems to sell, partner or merge to form larger, more integrated organizations. These transactions offer several benefits to all parties involved, including improved efficiencies, cost savings and streamlined services. Hospitals that are selling can optimize the outcomes of the sale by learning how to increase

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