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Paul M. Ellwood, JR., M.D., in First Person

In retirement, Dr. Paul M. Ellwood, Jr. still wrestles with the big issues that have fascinated him for much of his career – what is the best way to organize the health care delivery system?  What are the most effective models for group practices and managed care plans?  How can consumers make informed decisions about choosing health care providers based on quality? 

On September 17, 2010, Tony Kovner, professor at the Wagner School at New York University, interviewed Dr. Ellwood at his Bondurant, WY, home. In these video selections from the interview, Dr. Ellwood talks candidly about the HMO movement, formation of The Jackson Hole Group, and his views of the way that national health policy was shaped in various administrations. 

 The edited transcript of the entire oral history is available at no charge on the Center web site. 

Posted by the American Hospital Association Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org.

Projected growth in nurse workforce

In a reversal of previous predictions, a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs found significant growth in the number of young people entering nursing during the past decade. The number of young registered nurses (ages 23 to 26) peaked at more than 190,000 full-time equivalents in 1979 but, by 2002, had dropped to a low of 102,000. With growth rates not seen since the 1970s, the number of young RNs has increased by 62 percent since 2002. The authors conclude that there is likely to be continued growth of the nurse workforce at a rate more rapid during the next two decades than previously anticipated.

Source: Auerbach, D. I., Buerhaus, P. L., and Staiger, D. O. Registered nurse supply grows faster than projected amid surge In new entrants ages 23–26. Health Affairs. 30(12):2286-2292, Dec. 2011. http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/30/12/2286.abstract#aff-3

Posted by American Hospital Association Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org.

Updated data on physician supply and medical education

The Association of American Medical Colleges has released an updated report on current physician supply, medical school enrollment, and graduate medical education. The 2011 State Physician Workforce Data Book, an update of the 2009 edition, presents data in four sections:

  • Physician Supply. Active physicians in each state, including physician-to-population ratios, percent female, age distribution, and type of medical education.
  • Medical and Osteopathic School Enrollment. Information on enrollment for both medical and osteopathic schools, as well as data on in-state matriculation.
  • Graduate Medical Education. Data on physicians in residency and fellowship posi­tions in each state, including physician-to-population ratios, degree type, and location of medical school. 
  • In-State Retention. Data on states’ retention of the physicians they educate in medi­cal or osteopathic schools and train in graduate medical education programs.

Source: 2011 State Physician Workforce Data Book. Washington, DC: Association of American Medical Colleges, Nov. 2011. https://www.aamc.org/download/263512/data/statedata2011.pdf

Posted by AHA  Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org.

Charging for OR time

How do hospitals charge for operating room (OR) time? According to a recent article in OR Manager, there is no standard approach. Five OR business managers describe the elements of their charging structures, including time charges, setup charges, levels of resource consumption (staff, equipment, instruments, and supplies), specialty-based charges, and flat-rate or bundled charges.

Source: Patterson, P. How surgery departments charge for OR time. OR Manager. 27(11):19-23, Nov. 2011. http://www.ormanager.com

Posted by the AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org.

Succeeding with succession at the top

Over the past decade, hospital CEO turnover has ranged between 14 and 18 percent per year. According to a study by the American College of Healthcare Executives, the median tenure for a hospital CEO is 3.6 years. Transitions in leadership can be the result of either expected departures, such as retirement, or unexpected departures, such as resignations or sudden terminations. Having an adequate succession plan is key to ensuring a smooth leadership transition. The following resources provide interesting insights on hospital CEO succession planning.


Posted by the American Hospital Association Resource Center, rc@aha.org, (312) 422-2050.

AHA releases new hospital database

The American Hospital Association has just released its FY 2010 Annual Survey Database. A comprehensive source of information on hospital operations, the database can be used for hospital and health system analysis, market research and development, and strategic planning.  It includes more than 1,000 fields of data on hospital utilization, staffing, services, expenses, and community involvement. New fields of data in FY 2010 are:

  • Physicians with shared responsibility for risk
  • Privileged physicians by relationship type
  • Number of hospitalists and intensivists
  • Advance practice registered nurses
  • Rural Health Clinic facilities
  • Staffing vacancies
  • Supply expenses

To view the survey questionnaire, click here. For the complete file layout, click here. For more information about the database, call the AHA Resource Center at (312) 422-2050.

Posted by the American Hospital Association Resource Center, rc@aha.org, (312) 422-2050.

Winning workplaces

Modern Healthcare recently published its 2011 Best Places to Work in Healthcare. Based on surveys of 327 health care organizations and companies that participated in the program, this list of the top 100  represents those who consistently received high scores for key workplace measures, including overall employee enasgement; work environment; role satisfaction; relationships with supervisors; corporate culture; leadership and planning; pay and benefits; and training and development.

Hospitals in the top 20 of the list are diverse in size and location:

  • Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Sarasota, FL
  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake, Southlake, TX
  • The Women’s Hospital, Newburgh, IN
  • Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City, Union City, TN
  • Wamego City Hospital, Wamego, KS
  • Lovelace Women’s Hospital, Albuquerque, NM
  • Jacksonville Medical Center, Jacksonville, AL
  • Black River Memorial Hospital, Black River Falls, WI
  • Kootenai Health, Coeur d’Alene, ID

Seven hospitals and health systems have appeared on the top 100 list for all four years of the program:

  • Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables, FL
  • Holy Name Medical Center, Teaneck, NJ
  • Palmetto Health, Columbia, SC
  • Poudre Valley Health System, Fort Collins, CO
  • Saint Frances Medical Center, Cape Girardeau, MO
  • Valley Medical Center, Renton, WA
  • Woman’s Hospital, Baton Rouge, LA

Source: Modern Healthcare Best Places to Work. Oct. 24, 2011. http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20111019/INFO/310199975

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org.