IDSA News - 10/01/2007  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Thinking Outside the Box
•  ART, Circumcision, STI Treatment as HIV Prevention
•  Global Surveillance, Vaccine Use Key to Controlling Seasonal Influenza
•  Bad Bugs on the Run
•  IDSA Advocacy Update
•  HIV PrEP: Should We or Shouldn’t We?
•  Keep Up with Drug Approvals, Recalls, Adverse Events
•  Lyme Disease: When Symptoms Don’t Improve
•  Alternative Approaches, Possible Vaccines Against MRSA Infections
•  New Hope for Viral Suppression in All HIV Patients
•  Resistant Staph: Use One Drug or a Combination?
•  Congratulations to the 2007 Society Award Recipients
•  Winners of the 2007 IDSA/SHEA Advancements in MRSA Awards
•  Congratulations to This Year’s 50 Outstanding Scholars!
•  IDSA Announces New Board Members
•  Welcome, New IDSA Members!
•  Electronic Tools for Infectious Diseases Practitioners
•  From the President
•  Public Reporting of HAIs May Have Unintended Consequences
•  Treatment Options for C. difficile
•  XDR TB: Where it Came From, Where We’re Going


Thinking Outside the Box

Alternative Sources of Income

Infectious disease physicians can boost their income without working longer hours or increasing the number of patients they see. That was the message from Patrick Joseph, MD, FIDSA, at a session during IDSA 2007 titled “Thinking Outside the Box: Alternative Sources of Income.”

While infectious diseases physicians have seen a substantial boost in their Medicare payments this year, the outlook for future years is much less certain. As it becomes more difficult to make ends meet by seeing patients, Dr. Joseph emphasized that activities besides patient care can boost income for infectious diseases physicians..  Most other sources of income are reimbursed at a greater rate than patient care, but negotiation is a key skill.  

In a survey of 88 California infectious diseases physicians conducted by Dr. Joseph, lecturing, infection control, and antibiotic utilization programs were listed as the top means of supplemental employment.  Lab work or directorships, pharmacy administration, and private industry consultation ranked the lowest.  He emphasized continuously searching for opportunities as a means to ensure continued success, adding that for each problem in a hospital there is an opportunity for employment. 

Revisions to the rules governing physicians’ referrals to institutions where they are already working, commonly referred to as Stark II, allow more freedom for ID physicians to negotiate compensation for infection control activities. Compensation arrangements can still be scrutinized by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Dr. Joseph cautioned, but there are ways to prove your worth, including keeping track of invoices and W-2s.