Thursday, July 19, 2007

There are no Wednesdays in summer

I received a comment asking why I have not been making posts in my Wednesday is for Students series. The simple answer is that I have not been receiving many questions from students. Maybe they are taking a summer break. Or maybe they are reading other blogs. Or maybe there are no questions left to ask. So, the plan is to try to start that up again in the fall -- if there is enough interest.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The US healthcare insurance industry does not look out for its customers (ie the American people) first. How come some business entrepreneur has not seized the opportunity to become the "Southwest Airlines" of this industry?

Matt said...

I'm currently an MBA / MHA student, and work full time at a Louisiana hospital as a decision analyst in the Decision Support & Performance Improvement department. I've always worked in hospitals, even doing minimum wage student work. I spent a summer with the IT guys at one charity hospital, a year in an HR department filing papers and answering phones, and I've been the sole revenue cycle person at a small 15 bed psych hospital. Now I do productivity and opportunity analysis.

Once I get my Masters completed I want to start looking for opportunities to jump into a management role. That is where my questions and fears come into play. How do you take that first step? Is there some transitional type job I should consider? I fear, because of my non clinical background, I will be at a disadvantage in the industry. I've even seriously contemplated even going back for more education for a clinical background.

What is your take on that sort of situation?

Paul Levy said...

Dear anon,

Very hard to do that for a broad variety of services, I think. The closest thing to that, in terms of market segmentation, is the creation of storefront clinics at Walmart and CVS.

Matt, great question. I may have to restart my Wendesday column sooner than I thought!

Matt said...

I've honestly started typing many questions, but always find some reason not to post. So many seemed so geared to Louisiana. I have to remember how differently other states tend to do things, couple that with the fact that I've never worked in a teaching facility. My view and questions can sometimes seem limited in scope.

Then again maybe things aren't so different, but when you work at a hospital 30 minutes from New Orleans you tend to feel like "Our current problems aren't like anyone elses'"

Paul Levy said...

Local issues often reflect national trends or concerns, Matt, so please don't hesitate!

John Norris said...

I'm taking summer school and we've have discussions that are similar to several of your threads. THX!

On measures suitable for P4P-

What sort of internal measures does an institution use to judge how its clinicians are doing? Do they include outcomes? I'm thinking that similar information may properly capture an individual's quality.


I assume such measures would have to be robust enough to withstand possible termination and reimbursement suits. If certain clinical activities are outsourced, I would assume that such measures written into the contract would also be explicit and valid.

(I'm not asking if such information be publically available)

Back to studying....

Matt said...

In reply to John Norris

Hey John, I work in a quality department basically. I created physician "report cards" for Medicare's Core Measures. Every 6 months we send out that report and another report that shows comparative Cost, Length of Stay, and complication rate of their patients compared to that of other similar patients, it also shows their compliance with CMS's core measures.

We get a good response from doctors. In fact I sent my second run out last week and already physicians are contacting us and setting up meetings to see how they can improve.

John Norris said...

Matt-

Thanks for the answer. Seems like a good way to go. Nice to know the physicians are interested too.

Interesting to see Paul's post for today (July 20)

Yigal said...

Hi Paul,

I love your blog, thanks for keeping it so up to date.

I'm a research fellow in neurobiology at Children's Hospital, and for a long time I have been impressed by the strength of the medical community in Boston. My question is: How can Boston support so many hospitals? Not only are there many, but some are among the biggest in the country. Is a significant proportion of the patients non-local?