Monthly Archives: February 2014

Washington legislature wants to mandate a statewide Healthcare Procedures Cost Database

We all know the cost discrepancies for the ‘same’ procedure can be so significantly different that you start to wonder if it really is the same procedure!

Washington state wants to create a database listing hundreds of medical procedures, what they cost at clinics and hospitals statewide, and information about the quality of the medical providers. One proposal goes a step further and wants to publish the insurance companies lower “allowed” rate, vs. the providers’ higher “billed” rate.

Washington State Hospital Association, Washington State Medical Association, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business all testified in support of creating the database. Not surprisingly, Regence and Premera officials spoke against it.

The Affordable Care Act may have been the impetus, but I believe this would have eventually occurred anyway. And it should occur. We’re a consumer society. We know some meals, cars, hotels and clothes cost more than others, and we’re ok with that. I’d blame it on the internet or on the Millennials before Obamacare or your favorite republocratic party.

Read more:

Nursing shortages are more severe out west

The U.S. has an average of 874 Nurses per 100K people. All 13 of the western states are below that level (15, if you include Texas and Oklahoma). Considering the massive rural territory in those states it’s easy to see why RN shortages are more acute in the west.

Spread the word to the new grad RNs to look west, and don’t discount the Critical Access Hospitals and Community Health Centers!

1. District of Columbia — 1,728
2. South Dakota — 1,349
3. Massachusetts — 1,321
4. North Dakota — 1,310
5. Rhode Island — 1,174
6. Delaware — 1,159
7. Missouri — 1,125
8. Maine — 1,115
9. Iowa — 1,085
10. Ohio — 1,081
11. Minnesota — 1,060
12. New Hampshire — 1,051
13. Nebraska — 1,040
14. Pennsylvania — 1,026
14. Kentucky — 1,026
16. Vermont — 1,017
17. Connecticut — 1,014
18. Mississippi — 995
19. Wisconsin — 988
20. West Virginia — 985
21. Kansas — 981
22. Illinois — 962
23. Tennessee — 946
24. North Carolina — 945
24. Alabama — 945
26. Indiana — 938
27. South Carolina — 911
28. Michigan — 908
29. New York — 905
30. Louisiana — 893
31. New Jersey — 886
32. Montana — 872
33. Florida — 865
34. Maryland — 851
35. Wyoming — 845
36. Colorado — 831
37. Arkansas — 802
38. Oregon — 800
39. Washington — 798
40. Virginia — 768
41. Alaska — 755
42. Oklahoma — 746
43. Hawaii — 743
44. New Mexico — 740
45. Idaho — 736
46. Texas — 720
47. Arizona — 690
48. Utah — 678
49. Georgia — 665
50. California — 664
51. Nevada — 605

Read more: Which States Have the Most Registered Nurses?

Why are you asking for references?

Interviewing is an emotionally charged event – and especially since 2008. Think about it from the candidate’s perspective.  There’s an implied message when you ask for references. But the message can be different based on the candidate’s personality (fox terrier, or golden retriever) and stress levels (out of work, or my spouse is a millionaire).

First of all, when do you ask for references? This tells a lot about why you want them. As a headhunter I wanted the references up front because they were more leads (pursued delicately, of course)! Do you tell the applicant to bring them to the interview at the end of a phone screen? Do they email them after the first onsite (or video) interview?

Here are some of the perspectives I’ve seen in recruiters when they ask for references.

  1. The Bureaucrat, who’s working down a list and checking all the boxes.
  2. The Mirage, who thinks giving a false sense of hope is building a positive corporate image.
  3. The Efficient, who is interested enough to want them in case they choose to go to the next step.
  4. The Closer, who wants to finalize a hire decision.

The key is to remove the implied message in a way that the candidate can’t misinterpret (aka, a reasonable person won’t misinterpret), since clarity is always the best way to build a positive corporate image.

I found giving the candidate a task with a specific timeframe was the most effective approach. They were to ensure the references have my name, and the candidate’s written permission for a personal reference related to their relationship at work. This is an excellent test in and of itself. The timeframe would be a 2-3 day window. And this is equally applicable when using a product like SkillSurvey or checking the references manually.

Telemedicine is here to stay and morphing before our eyes!

Study: National telemedicine service expands healthcare access.

A study of adult users of a national telemedicine service found that it appears  to be expanding access to patients who are not connected to other providers. Its  users were younger, more affluent, had no established healthcare relationships  and were less likely to have a follow-up visit, according to research published at Health Affairs.

Read more: Study: National telemedicine service expands healthcare access – FierceHealthIT