Relying on Retirement Plan advisers

Health care employers are relying more on retirement plan providers to administer their plans, a survey of nearly 200 health care plan sponsors found. They also are looking to plan providers for support in employees' efforts to save and invest wisely for retirement. Retirement Plan Trends in Today's Healthcare Market—2010 was conducted by Diversified Investment Advisors Inc. and the American Hospital Association to provide benchmarking information and to help set strategic direction for retirement programs. In 2010, 79 percent of plan sponsors reported having an adviser, up three percentage points from 2009. Eighty-one percent of respondents said their advisers provide investment monitoring, 67 percent assist with investment selection, 54 percent help develop the investment policy statement, and 30 percent act as a plan fiduciary. Forty-eight percent of plan sponsors are turning to their current accountants to conduct their plan audit. However, 13 percent will rely on their plan provider to arrange for an auditor, and 19 percent will hire a new auditor, 10 percentage points higher than a year ago. Visit www.aha-solutions.org.

On-Call Pay Keeps Climbing

More than half of hospitals responding to a survey by Sullivan, Cotter and Associates Inc. said on-call pay expenditures went up in 2010. For trauma centers, expenditures climbed from a median of $1.2 million in 2007 to $2.4 million in 2010. For nontrauma centers, median expenditures climbed from $433,849 in 2007 to $798,000 in 2010. Ninety-five percent of respondents provide on-call pay to at least some of their nonemployed physicians; 65 percent provide pay to at least some employed physicians, though 27 percent of those said call pay was factored into salaries. Visit www.sullivancotter.com.

TeamSTEPPs Guide; Limits on Residents' Shifts

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Department of Defense have released a guide to help master trainers of their TeamSTEPPS program. TeamSTEPPS teaches physicians, nurses, pharmacists, technicians and other hospital staff to understand each other's roles and come together in collaborative ways to improve quality and safety. Visit http://teamstepps.ahrq.gov. ... A survey of 500 directors of residency programs in surgery, internal medicine and pediatrics and reported in the March issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings finds that limiting residents' shifts to 16 hours could interrupt continuity of care; threaten their competency in such key areas as medical knowledge, communication skills and professionalism; and do little to reduce fatigue. The 16-hour shifts are to begin in July under rules OK'd by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.