Some healthcare conferences try to spice up their offerings by bringing in a famous, or maybe only semifamous, name from entertainment or politics. So, Modern Physician offers this quick quiz. Match the name of the guest star with the organization that has invited said star to its soiree:
1. Sexpert Dr. Ruth Westheimer
2. Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D.
3. Deposed Sen. Lauch Faircloth (R-N.C.)
4. Sarcastic magicians Penn & Teller
A. American Academy of Family Physicians
B. Health Information and Management Systems Society
C. National Managed Health Care Congress
D. Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
Who's on first? It seems fitting that a company that tries to make sense of the ever-changing world of integrated healthcare is going through a metamorphosis of its own.
The Integrated Healthcare Symposium, which for six years sponsored the annual Symposium on Integrated Healthcare in Aspen, Colo., has splintered into two competing companies. Co-directors Jerry Pogue and John Cochrane are now heading up Integrated Healthcare 2000 and Integrated Healthcare Strategies Institute, respectively.
Pogue, president of a healthcare strategic planning and consulting firm, is sponsoring a March symposium in Vail, Colo. Cochrane, a former executive vice president for UniMed America, a division of UniHealth America, has a meeting scheduled for May in Texas.
The pair will continue to publish the monthly Integrated Healthcare Report together.
Confused yet? Then check out the first session at Pogue's symposium, titled "Integrated Healthcare: Where Did It Go Wrong and How to Fix It," or maybe the session at Cochrane's symposium titled "In Search of Healthcare's New Framework."
PPMs: The book. MedPartners' Ex-Chief Operating Officer William Dexheimer still believes in physician practice management companies -- no surprise since he runs one dedicated to plastic and dental surgery.
However, in his book Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors: Turmoil in the PPM Industry (Starrhill Press) he does give his thoughts on why the PPM industry went sour.
He doesn't exactly lambaste MedPartners, which employed him from 1993 to 1997, but he doesn't spare it, either.
Among the problems he cites are the incorrect assumption that doctors are bad businesspeople, underestimation of how hard it is to handle risk contracting and failure to build trust.
Dexheimer left MedPartners before its Oct. 29, 1997, announcement that it would merge with PhyCor, a deal he didn't like. However, he says PhyCor is the industry's best hope for a strong, multispecialty PPM.
Dexheimer also says he didn't like MedPartners straying from its PPM roots into pharmacy-benefit management with its 1996 purchase of Caremark International, and he predicted MedPartners might sell the unit. But before his book was published in January, MedPartners announced it would keep Caremark and sell the PPM. Oops.
In the briar Patch. Moviegoers love Patch Adams, with the exception of those in Pocahontas County, W.Va., where the real-life Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams, M.D., wants to open the Gesundheit! Institute, a free hospital.
After 27 years of effort resulting in little more than an unfinished tower, a small house and a wood shop, residents of the area deep in the Appalachian Mountains view Adams as a charlatan at worst and a goof at best. In 1993, the Gesundheit! board collapsed, in part because some members believed the hospital would never be built under Adams' stewardship.
"I think the original cause was a grand one," Hillsboro (W.Va.) Mayor Eric Domboski told the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette. "But the present one reeks."
Adams, who lives in Arlington, Va., has said he hopes the movie will help him raise the $50 million he needs to start a 40-bed free hospital. Universal studios donated $500,000.
In the case of Adams, the Gesundheit! neighbors aren't following the words of Hillsboro native Pearl S. Buck, who 60 years ago wrote: "I feel no other need for faith than faith in human beings."