Nashville Archives

State Associations Focus on Goals, Challenges for 2007
The Tennessee Medical Association (TMA), Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) and Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA) have set their collective sights on the challenges and goals of the coming year. Working independently on issues specific to their membership and collaboratively on agenda items that impact the broader healthcare industry, the state's provider organizations hope to be an instrument for change as they work with key government staff and legislative leadership on a state and federal basis.

Nashvilleans' Spirit Reflects True Volunteer State
After Tom Moore recovered from a major heart attack several years ago, he knew exactly what he had to do. He signed up to volunteer at Baptist Hospital, where, he said, doctors and nurses not only saved his life, but also delivered his two children and three grandchildren. "I felt like it was my time to give back," said the 71-year-old, who, as one of Baptist's hospital ambassadors, escorts patients and family members to their destinations within the hospital. "I get a blessing out of it. It's a ministry."

Annual Meeting Draws Record Crowd
The Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) annual meeting drew a record number of attendees this year. More than 1,000 members, compared to about 950 last year, attended the 68th annual meeting held Oct. 25-27 at the Nashville Convention Center and Renaissance Nashville Hotel. "These things run in cycles, so it's hard to tell (why there were more attendees this year), but it indicates that hospitals are feeling that this is a good place to send employees to get continuing education," said THA president Craig Becker.

Can Disease Management Programs Save the System?
More than just a healthcare buzzword, disease management is thought by many to be a significant part of the solution to the nation's overburdened health system. Intuitively, it makes sense. Spend a relatively small amount of money on the front end to manage chronic conditions so that patients avoid complications and hospitalizations that are much more costly on the back end. Elevate prevention to a reimbursable endeavor and avoid some diseases altogether.

Vanderbilt DNA Databank To Further Genetic Research
The next time you have blood drawn at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, you'll have the chance to participate in what may someday be groundbreaking medical research. That's because blood left over from routine clinical testing is retained anonymously in a new DNA databank for researchers to use.

Free Clinics Prompt Better Health for Rutherford County Employees
Remember when there were company doctors or nurses on site to take care of employees? That trend just may be returning — and Rutherford County government is a model. "About three years ago, one of the consultants we were using in Rutherford County suggested that we consider an onsite medical program

Dr. Joseph B. DeLozier, III, FACS
Nashville-based cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Joe DeLozier truly loves what he does. He loves the diversity of procedures … the mix of science and art … but most of all, he loves the way positive outcomes change his patients' lives. Physicians, he explained, are attracted to different specialties for a variety of reasons.

The OIG's 2007 Work Plan Impact on Medicare Providers
Each year, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services outlines its 12-month plan of action to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal healthcare programs. The Work Plan, which covers a range of federal health programming, targets items that are considered vulnerable to fraud and abuse, thus signaling potential areas of investigation.

MGMA Responds to Medicare Payment Proposal
In a 20-page letter sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in October, Dr. William F. Jessee, FACMPE, president and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), outlined the myriad of concerns the organization has with the proposed 2007 Medicare physician fee schedule. In his correspondence, Jessee noted, "We appreciate the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' outreach to the provider community and their willingness to participate in constructive dialogue to improve the Medicare program."

Letters to Congress
Time is running out for action. Anyone can visit the MGMA Web site ( to obtain more information or a sample letter to Congress that can be personalized to a specific practice. From the home page, scroll down to "Popular Topics" and click on the link to "tell Congress it is time to fix Medicare reimbursement." Similarly, the AMA site ( features another option to reach legislators.

E.coli Outbreak Prompts Renewed Focus on Disease Surveillance and Reporting Procedures
With the recent outbreak of E.coli, physicians are reminded once again about the importance of disease surveillance and reporting. Without it, the outbreak would never have been uncovered and more sickness and possible death might have resulted. As soon as E.coli was suspected, Dr. Tim Jones, deputy state epidemiologist with the Tennessee Department of Health, immediately issued a warning to Tennesseans not to eat fresh spinach or fresh spinach products.

Is Your I-9 System in Order?
With illegal immigration a hot-button issue during the November midterm elections, chances are high that a new Congress will tighten immigration laws next year — and increase employer responsibilities to ensure its employees are legal. Michael S. Mizell, a partner with the Nashville law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, is an immigration law expert whose clients include hospitals and other healthcare-related employers in Tennessee and across the country.

Nashville Attorney Offers Nursing Homes Advice to Avoid Litigation
When a Texas jury in February awarded $160 million to the family of an 81-year-old nursing home resident beaten by his roommate, it was yet another legal wake-up call for the sleep-deprived long-term care industry. Yet Christy T. Crider, a Nashville attorney and shareholder with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, said "proactive and preventative" measures can sway juries and, in fact, can help avoid litigation altogether.

AAMA Conference Prepares Administrators For Healthcare Realities
The 49th annual conference of the American Academy of Medical Administrators (AAMA), which took place in early November in Atlanta, had for its theme, "Healthcare in the Fast Lane: The New Normal." Most attendees could relate to that title, as they comprised a wide variety of healthcare administrators and planners.

Compliance: Review and Update
Never be complacent about compliance. Fraud and abuse enforcement is very active. In the first half of fiscal year 2006, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported expected recoveries of approximately $1.02 billion. During this period, 1,540 individuals and entities were cited for fraud and abuse involving federal healthcare programs and/or their beneficiaries.
By Sara S. Lankford, CPA, and Lucy R. Carter, CPA

Wal-Mart Takes Aim at Lowering Drug Costs
The company that revolutionized retailing in America has set its sights on the generic drug market. And by all accounts, the marketing war triggered by Wal-Mart's $4 generic drug offer will have a lasting impact on pharmaceutical prices. Beginning in Tampa, Fla., Wal-Mart has begun selling a 30-day supply of select generic drugs for $4.

Expanding HIV Testing
As another World AIDS Day is observed on December 1, there are more than 1 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS. However, an estimated 25 percent of that group doesn't realize they are infected. Healthcare professionals agree screening is a vital part of prevention, behavior modification, treatment and outcomes.

CDC's New HIV Screening Recommendations
While clinicians and researchers have made dramatic strides in treating HIV and AIDS, progress in effecting an early diagnosis of the immunodeficiency virus or syndrome has not been as stellar. An estimated 250,000 to 310,000 people are living without knowledge of their infection in the United States.

Dr. iPodĀ®
MDs replaced by iPods? Not likely. At least not yet! But there's a lot to be learned from the success of a simple collection of electronics. The iPod is slowly creeping its way into healthcare. Patients can now download advice from some of the world's most renowned doctors.

Ames T. Ettien, MD, Joins Centennial Medical Center
James T. Ettien, MD, has established Centennial Surgical Associates at Centennial Medical CenterSM.

Centennial Selects New Administrator For Orthopaedics, Neurology And Spine
James R. White, Jr. has been named Administrator of Orthopaedics, Neurology and Spine Services at Centennial Medical CenterSM.

Saint Thomas Hospital Enhances Services At Center For Breast Health With Digital Mammography
The Center for Breast Health at Saint Thomas Hospital has recently added digital mammography capabilities to their diagnostic services.

New Physicians Join Middle Tennessee Medical Staff
Middle Tennessee Medical Center announces the addition of Scott R. Eller, MD and Susana Donaghey, MD, to the medical staff.

Vollman Receives Grant from NIH
Michael Vollman, PhD, RN, assistant professor of Nursing at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, was recently awarded a three-year Mentored Research Scientist Award (K01) by the National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Nursing Research.

Kaalberg and Wood Join Bass, Berry & Sims
Bass, Berry & Sims welcomes Aaron R. Kaalberg and Bradley H. Wood to its Nashville Downtown office.

Lonnie Younger Named Vice President Of Finance At Baptist Hospital
Lonnie D. Younger has joined Baptist Hospital as Vice President, Finance.

VUMC is First in Middle Tennessee to Earn Designation as Magnet Hospital
Vanderbilt University Medical Center has achieved designation as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

McKendree Village - Alzheimer's Memory Walk Team Wins Largest Team Award
For the second year in a row, McKendree Village has won the award for having the largest team to participate in the recent Memory Walk.

Saint Thomas Hospital Recognized As One Of Nation's 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals
Saint Thomas Hospital has again been honored as one of the Solucient 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals.

Vanderbilt Children's Hospital Medical Director Receives Prestigious Heart Award
Arnold W. Strauss, MD, has been named the 2006 recipient of the American Heart Association's Basic Science Research Award.