* In another example of the increasing influence of doctors on hospital governance, an uprising by the medical staff at 345-bed Owensboro (Ky.) Mercy Health System has triggered the resignation of the board chairman, leading directly to his replacement by a physician.
Chairman David Hocker resigned during a five-hour private meeting earlier this month in the wake of a no-confidence vote on Oct. 16, when 73 of 115 physicians called for his ouster. His resignation paved the way for the appointment of surgeon Michael Scherm, M.D., to take over as chairman. Physicians at the hospital have complained about the number of outside consultants and a general lack of trust between doctors and board members.
"One of my responsibilities will be to relate physicians' concerns and problems to the board members," 49-year-old Scherm says. "I think I can help the board understand a little bit more about those problems and concerns. We do have some disgruntled physicians."
* As some 2 million organizations across the country prepare to comply with new electronic standards for transmitting medical claims data, they have a new leader to guide the effort. Once a chief information officer for HCFA (now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), Jared Adair has been appointed to head up the CMS' enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
Adair, 51, is director of the CMS' office of operations management, where she works on a range of issues from ethnic health disparities to HIPAA compliance and healthcare-data management. In her new role Adair will, among other things, coordinate enforcement of the HIPAA electronic standards rule that took effect in October.
"Enforcement activities right now will be complaint-driven, and our focus will be on getting people compliant," Adair says.