News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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In China, More Irate Patients Violently Attack Doctors over Wrong Diagnoses and Poor Healthcare

Violence by patients against physicians in China is a reminder to pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals about the importance of gaining patient trust in local medical laboratory test providers too

Medical errors, inaccurate diagnoses, and poor clinical care by clinicians in China are believed to be the primary reasons why a growing number of Chinese patients are physically attacking their doctors. Hospitals in China are beefing up security to protect physicians from what are often violent attacks.

This trend is a reminder to pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals in the United States and other developed nations of how essential it is maintain patients’ complete confidence and trust in their caregivers. That trust is anchored in accurate medical laboratory testing, precise diagnosis, and high-quality clinical care that is appropriate to a patient’s disease or health problem.

More Chinese Patients Turn Violent on Physicians and Caregivers

What makes this trend particularly noteworthy is that Chinese people are often viewed as patient and obedient. Now, however, when it comes to their healthcare, a growing number of Chinese patients are not patently compliant or meek. Over the last decade, disgruntled patients or family members have turned the nation’s hospitals into scary places for doctors and nurses to work. That’s because violent attacks on caregivers are increasing at an alarming rate.

China’s 1,000 top hospitals have seen a rise in “disputes escalating into violence, as well as random attacks,” stated Sun Haibo, Department Chief at China’s Ministry of Public Security’s Public Security Management Bureau in Bejing, in a recent report published by Bloomberg Businessweek. (more…)

Boutique Medicine Venture Generates Marketing Intelligence for Procter & Gamble

Consumer products giant acquires 100% ownership of concierge medicine company

Clinical laboratories and pathology groups may soon be serving physician practices owned by Procter & Gamble (P&G) (NYSE:PG). That’s because the consumer products giant now owns 100% of MDVIP, a nationwide concierge practice of 350 doctors in 28 states.

The deal is noteworthy because it further expands Procter & Gamble’s presence in healthcare. In 2006, P&G invested $325 million in a joint venture with Inverness Medical (NYSE:IMA). The joint venture announced its intention to develop and market diagnostic test kits for use by consumers that can be sold in retail outlets. At the time, The Dark Report wrote that, “P&G’s interest in consumer self testing is based on its belief that consumer demand for health services and healthcare products will soar in the coming decades.”  (See The Dark Report, June 4, 2007, “ Inverness Buys Biosite, Has New Venture with P&G” )


Ranking the Nation’s 20 Largest Doctor Groups Reveals Surprises

Nine of the 10 largest medical groups are located on the East and West coasts

When it comes to the list of the 20 largest physicians groups in the United States, Kaiser Permanente is at the top. With 7,000 physicians, Permanente Medical Group in Northern California is the nation’s largest. Number two is Southern California Permanente Medical Group, based in Pasadena, California. At number 20 is the University of Indiana School of Medicine with 1,481 physicians.

This list was prepared by the Medical Group Management Association  (MGMA) and published in Modern Healthcare . One interesting fact is that all but one of the 10 largest medical practices are located on the east or west coast. Overall, six of the top 20 medical groups are located in the Midwest, one in Texas, and the rest in coastal cities.

There are 51, 280 physicians practicing in the nation’s 20 largest medical groups. This represents about 6.4% of the 800,000 physicians licensed in the United States – P. Kirk

20 Largest Medical Groups:  

1. Permanente Medical Group 7,000 Oakland
2. Southern California Permanente Medical Group 6,400 Pasadena
3. Bellevue Hospital Center 4,000 New York
4. University of Medicine & Dentistry of Newark 2,816 Newark
5. Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva Univ. 2,775 New York
6. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center 2,700 Pittsburgh
7. Johns Hopkins University 2,694 Baltimore
8. Columbia University Medical Center 2,189 New York
9. David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA 2,000 Los Angeles
10. Mayo Clinic 1,995 Rochester
11. University of Washington Medicine 1,830 Seattle
12. Northeastern Ohio Univ. Colleges of Med & Pharmacy 1,800 Rootstown
13. University of Michigan Health System 1,746 Ann Arbor
14. Massachusetts General Hospital 1,746 Boston
15. University of Pennsylvania Medicine 1,700 Philadelphia
16. Baylor College of Medicine 1,607 Houston
17. University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago 1,604 Chicago
18. Northwestern Memorial Hospital 1,600 Chicago
19. Winthrop University Hospital 1,525 Mineola
20. Indiana University School of Medicine 1,481 Indianapolis
Total all physicians from all groups: 51,208  
Source: MGMA, Englewood, Colorado    

Related Information:

Largest medical group practices

Is Integration in Large Medical Groups Associated With Quality? (PDF)

Benefits of and Barriers to Large Medical Group Practice in the United States (PDF)

New Guidelines for Working Medical Residents Would Add $1.6 Billion Annually

Goal is to improve patient safety and health outcomes, but who is going to pay?

Pathologists are aware of the ongoing debate about the overwork of medical residents, who traditionally worked 100 or more hours per week. Medical experts regularly point out how overworking medical residents may result in fatigue-related adverse events that negatively affect patient safety. These adverse events cost teaching hospitals money in additional care and/or malpractice claims. Now comes a new report published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) which determined that it remains more profitable to continue this practice than to hire extra help.

The study, Cost Implications of Reduced Work Hours and Workloads for Resident Physicians, was conducted by researchers from UCLA and the RAND Corp, a nonprofit research facility in Los Angeles. The study was initiated in response to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to limit medical resident work hours.

UnitedHealth Offers Medicare 15 Ways to Save $540 Billion, While Improving Care Quality

List of recommendations based on UnitedHealth’s extensive database and experience

Every sector of the healthcare industry is offering both Congress and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) advice on how to reform the system to improve quality of care, while reducing costs. Too often, the search for ways to save money that can be redirected to covering uninsured is a game of taking money from one existing health service and shifting it to another.

Recently UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) stepped into this debate over how to save money. In important ways, it is better positioned to provide this advice than most other entities. For example, UnitedHealth Group is the nation’s largest insurer in terms of revenue. UNH funds and organizes care for 70 million Americans. It arranges $115 billion in health care services provided by 5,000 hospitals and 650,000 physicians nationwide. Because of this, UNH’s Center for Modernization and Reform has collected more data on clinical services provided and resulting healthcare outcomes than anyone else.