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    As a former Dean and appointed University Professor and Endowed Department Chair, Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA was a NYSE broker and investment banker for a decade who was respected for his unique perspectives, balanced contrarian thinking and measured judgment to influence key decision makers in strategic education, health economics, finance, investing and public policy management.

    Dr. Marcinko is originally from Loyola University MD, Temple University in Philadelphia and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in PA; as well as Oglethorpe University and Emory University in Georgia, the Atlanta Hospital & Medical Center; Kellogg-Keller Graduate School of Business and Management in Chicago, and the Aachen City University Hospital, Koln-Germany. He became one of the most innovative global thought leaders in medical business entrepreneurship today by leveraging and adding value with strategies to grow revenues and EBITDA while reducing non-essential expenditures and improving dated operational in-efficiencies.

    Professor David Marcinko was a board certified surgical fellow, hospital medical staff President, public and population health advocate, and Chief Executive & Education Officer with more than 425 published papers; 5,150 op-ed pieces and over 135+ domestic / international presentations to his credit; including the top ten [10] biggest drug, DME and pharmaceutical companies and financial services firms in the nation. He is also a best-selling Amazon author with 30 published academic text books in four languages [National Institute of Health, Library of Congress and Library of Medicine].

    Dr. David E. Marcinko is past Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious “Journal of Health Care Finance”, and a former Certified Financial Planner® who was named “Health Economist of the Year” in 2010. He is a Federal and State court approved expert witness featured in hundreds of peer reviewed medical, business, economics trade journals and publications [AMA, ADA, APMA, AAOS, Physicians Practice, Investment Advisor, Physician’s Money Digest and MD News] etc.

    Later, Dr. Marcinko was a vital and recruited BOD  member of several innovative companies like Physicians Nexus, First Global Financial Advisors and the Physician Services Group Inc; as well as mentor and coach for Deloitte-Touche and other start-up firms in Silicon Valley, CA.

    As a state licensed life, P&C and health insurance agent; and dual SEC registered investment advisor and representative, Marcinko was Founding Dean of the fiduciary and niche focused CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER® chartered professional designation education program; as well as Chief Editor of the three print format HEALTH DICTIONARY SERIES® and online Wiki Project.

    Dr. David E. Marcinko’s professional memberships included: ASHE, AHIMA, ACHE, ACME, ACPE, MGMA, FMMA, FPA and HIMSS. He was a MSFT Beta tester, Google Scholar, “H” Index favorite and one of LinkedIn’s “Top Cited Voices”.

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Feds Propose Educational Website on ePHRs

Site Aimed at Consumers

[By Staff Reporters]

Conference RoomAs reported by Mary Mosquera on May 22 2009, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) just proposed developing a Web site for consumers. The site is to contain facts about electronic-personal health record systems and their privacy policies. It aims to help consumers and patients make informed decisions.

http://govhealthit.com/articles/2009/05/22/feds-propose-phr-website.aspx?s=GHIT_260509

Assessment

The Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS] Agency information collection request, for a 30-days public comment period, is also located here.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-12023.htm

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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About Timely Medical Alternatives

Understanding Canadian Health System Alternatives

By Staff Reporters

ObamaIn 2003, Timely Medical Alternatives Inc. was formed to help Canadians, on long medical waiting lists, to take personal responsibility for their own medical care and “Leave the queue” [the national healthcare system waiting-list].

Urgent Need

According to their website, the need for private medical services is thriving in Canada. The mission of Timely Medical Alternatives [TMA] is to accommodate Canadian’s needs for private medical services by providing them with options, referrals to hospitals, clinics and diagnostic imaging facilities.

Link: http://www.timelymedical.ca

Assessment

Timely Medical Alternatives, a PPO, says it is able to expedite most types of private medical services from diagnostics to virtually all types of surgery, including procedures not available within the Canadian healthcare system. Wait times for clients are measured in days rather than in months or years.

Link: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Sicko Alternative

The movie documentary Sicko was directed by Michael Moore in 2007. It compared the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories

Link: www.michaelmoore.com

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Please compare and contrast TMA to “Sicko”, our current domestic health system, and the Obama administration’s vision of national healthcare for the US; and opine .Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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ME-P Now on Technorati Finance and Wikio Health

What is Technorati Authority and Wikio for Blogs?

By Staff Reporters

Pensive WomanOn Friday May 4th, 2007, Technorati.com was updated to include the Technorati Authority for blogs and listed on their Blog page and in search results. This update changed the earlier references of “N blogs link here” and “X links from Y blogs” with the single Technorati Authority number. On the blog page, it also shows the Technorati Rank.

Technorati Authority

Technnorati Authority [TA] is the number of blogs linking to a website, like this ME-P, in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority we have. It is important to note that Technorati measures the number of blogs, rather than the number of links. So, if a blog links to the ME-P many times, it still only counts as +1 toward our authority. Of course, new links mean the +1 will last another 180 days.

Technorati Calculations

Technorati Rank is calculated based on how far we are from the top. The blog with the highest Technorati Authority is the #1 ranked blog. The smaller our Technorati Rank, the closer we are to the top. Since at the lower end of the scale many blogs will have the same Technorati Authority, they will share the same Technorati Rank.

Technorati Rankings

The Technorati Top 100 shows the most popular 100 blogs based on Technorati Authority. The #1 ranked blog is the blog forum with the most other distinct blogs linking to it in the last 6 months. If our blog’s rank is, say 305,316, this indicates that there are 305,315 blog ranks separating our blog from the #1 position.

Help Increase our ME-P Rankings

The best way to increase our ME-P Technorati Authority is to write and submit cogent posts and fascinating comments that are interesting to other like-minded ME-P bloggers; so they’ll link to us. Why? Swagger, and free-labor journalistic entrepreneurship, of course. Linking to source material when you blog is also a great way to engage in conversation and help others find what you find interesting. Finally, since we want to let readers see our Technorati Authority on this blog, we have just installed the TA [and Wikio] widgets for all our ME-P readers and subscribers [June 2009]

Link: http://www.wikio.com/subscribe?url=http%3A%2F%2Ffeeds.feedburner.com%2FHealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos.

Assessment

Remember, authority is determined by the number of unique blogs indexed by Technorati that have linked to us in the past 180 days. Thus, as links from blogs age out of this window and new links are added, our ME-P authority may rise, fall, or stay the same over time. Also, if the same blog links to us many times in the past 180 days, it only counts once towards our authority though it does renew the age of link. Additionally, the link must appear in our blog reactions to be applied to our authority. If the links are not in our blog reactions, please check to see if the blogs and/or your post with the links are in Technorati. If they are not, then encourage blog owners to ping Technorati; or better yet to claim their blogs in Technorati (gives the blog higher priority). And so, blogs are submitted for review and then indexed by Technorati for their blogs and posts.

Raising ME-P Authority

Your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated to raise our Technorati Authority.

Conclusion

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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About the ASTER Pilot Project

Improving the Reporting of Adverse Events

By Staff Reporters

SkeletonAccording to its website, ‘ASTER’ stands for “ADE Spontaneous Triggered Event Reporting”. The ASTER study was conceived as a proof-of-concept project for a new model of gathering and reporting spontaneous adverse drug events (ADEs).

 

A Collaborative Project 

ASTER is a collaboration of the following organizations and individuals:

  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Dr. David Bates is sponsor, Dr. Jeffrey Linder is Lead Investigator)
  • Partners Healthcare – use of the Longitudinal Medical Record
  • CDISC (an international standards group)         
  • CRIX International (a public/private not-for-profit organization)
  • Pfizer Incorporated

Assessment

ASTER will implement automated ADE collection in an ambulatory clinic electronic health record (eHR). It employs a flexible standard for data collection known as “Retrieve Form for Data” (RFD) from CDISC and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), and will use CRIX International to host the application. The application allows direct downloading of data from the EHR and will forward the report to the FDA in the proper formats for electronic reporting of individual case safety reports (ICSRs).

http://www.asterstudy.com

www.hhnmag.com/hhnmag_app/jsp/articledisplay.jsp?dcrpath=HHNMAG/Article/data/05MAY2009/0905HHN_Inbox_Medication&domain=HHNMAG

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts, post and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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Sponsors Welcomed

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Global Health CIO Congratulations

Medical Technologists That Stand Out in the Crowd

By Staff Reporters Congratulations

The May 25, 2009 issue of InformationWeek listed the top Fifty Global Chief Information Officers [CIOs] from around the world and profiled them by the strategic contributions made to their respective companies.

 

 

Healthcare IT Leaders

Curiously, we noted these health care, medical and pharmaceutical related CIOs on the report:

  • Chen Jinxiong – Fuzhou General Hospital
  • Jody Davids – Cardinal Health
  • Dan Drawbaugh – University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Feng Taichuan – Xian-Janssen Pharmaceutical
  • Michael Heim – Eli Lilly
  • Daniel Lebeau – GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals

Assessment

Full profiles may be accessed at: www.informationweek.com/globalcio50

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Feel free to congratulate these folks for a job well done, and review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

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Sponsors Welcomed

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Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

On the Patient Friendly Google Health Initiative

Join Our Mailing List

Data Integrity and Health 2.0 Accuracy Concerns Linger

google3

[By Staff Reporters]

According to its’ website, and mission statement, Google Health aims to put patients in charge of their digital health information. It’s safe, secure, and free.

Triple Play of Benefits

Google Health purports to:

  • Organize health information all in one place.
  • Gather medical records from doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies.
  • Share information securely with family members doctors and caregivers, etc.

Google says members are always in control of how data is used. It will not sell information. Members decide what to share, and what to keep private.

Link: privacy policy

Blogsite

Google health was launched in the spring of 2008. Since then, it even maintains its own blog-site, which stated on 3/4/09.

 “We continue to learn a tremendous amount since launching Google Health in the spring of 2008. We’re listening to feedback from users every day about their needs, and one issue we hear regularly is that people want help coordinating their care and the care of loved ones. They want the ability to share their medical records and personal health information with trusted family members, friends, and doctors in their care network”

Link: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/google-health-helping-you-better.html

Good thing too!

A Cautionary Tale

However, privacy advocates worry about the vast amount of data that Google is redacting. Growing consumer market clout means the early-adopter patient who cares about digital records, and eHRs, may have fewer choices in the future. And, for medical professionals, what does this say about CCHIT, Allscripts and the Military, etc; or, the emerging Wal-Mart eMR initiative for doctors?

Assessment

For example, when one now [in]famous patient named Dave deBronkart – a tech-savvy kidney cancer survivor – tried to transfer his medical records from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to Google Health, he was stunned at what he found.

Read this Link: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/04/13/electronic_health_records_raise_doubt

Is MSN’s Health Vault any better?

Channel Surfing the ME-P

Have you visited our other topic channels? Established to facilitate idea exchange and link our community together, the value of these topics is dependent upon your input. Please take a minute to visit. And, to prevent that annoying spam, we ask that you register. It is fast, free and secure.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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Hospital Loses Twenty-Five Million Dollar Investment

Investment Losses Cited

By Staff Reportersho-journal8 

www.HealthcareFinancials.com

According to Brian Bandell, of the South Florida Business Journal on May 20 2009, Baptist Health South Florida [BHSF] could not climb out of the red in the fiscal second quarter that ended March 31, 2009. Its investment losses wiped out operating income, according to a report the nonprofit issued to its bondholders.

Investment Losses Nix Operating Income

The Miami-based health care provider lost $24.8 million on operating revenue of $530.2 million in its second quarter. That’s improved from a loss of $26.8 million on operating revenues of $470.2 million in the same quarter of 2008.

Link: http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/stories/2009/05/18/daily47.html

Assessment

Perhaps the BHSF CFO and CEO should read Tab 8, Chapter 3 on: Hospital Endowment Fund Management, by J. Wayne Firebaugh, Jr; CPA, CFP® CMP™ in Healthcare Organizations [Financial Management Strategies]?

T.O.C. Link: toc_ho[1]

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts, post and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated; especially from hospital CEOs and major health institutional CFOs and CIOs, etc. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

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About Fiduciary Benchmarks, Inc

Independent Custom Benchmark Groups

By Staff Reportersfp-book1

Department of Labor [DOL] regulations under ERISA, and specifically pending section 408(b)(2), requires that retirement plan sponsors obtain fee disclosures for their plans and that all fees be “reasonable” for services provided.

Fiduciary Benchmarks, Inc. [FBi] was launched to support plan sponsors, advisors, consultants, record-keepers and other plan service providers in addressing this obligation. Fiduciary Benchmarks helps document a thorough and objective process and well-informed decisions. This is an increasingly important topic for hospitals, healthcare systems, CXOs, CFOs, sponsoring medical entities and many modern physician-executives.

Background

Fiduciary Benchmarks, Inc was founded in October 2007 with the express purpose of providing pension and retirement plan benchmarking services. The genesis of the firm was recognition by FBi principals that the marketplace did not have an efficient and affordable way to help plan sponsors meet their fiduciary obligation to determine if plan fees are reasonable.

Progressing Past Current Approaches

Existing marketplace approaches to assessing fee reasonableness (including the use of simple averages books, issuing RFIs, participating in a mock RFPs or actually taking a plan to market) were falling short in terms of validity and/or the time, effort and disruption involved. These gaps continue today.

FBi Modern Approaches

FBi spent more than a year sharing their methodology and reports with the marketplace. They solicited and considered feedback from record-keepers and TPAs, advisors, consultants, independent auditors and ERISA attorneys. As a result, products are claimed to be well vetted and improved.

Link: http://www.fiduciarybenchmarks.com

Fiduciary Report [The Duty to Use Outside Sources]

“Fiduciaries are not expected to be experts. They may reasonably rely on the assistance of others in performing required investigation of and data gathering process. One of the key issues in determining whether reliance on the expert is reasonable is whether the expert is independent and unbiased.”

-Fred Reish

Assessment

In order to remain independent and conflict free, FBi does not perform any traditional investment consulting, plan monitoring and/or record-keeper search work. FBi offers benchmarking services, where desired, by plan sponsors, directly. Fiduciary Benchmarks, Inc. is a completely independent company.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated; especially from FAs, wealth managers, CPAs, CFAs and CMPs™? Experienced customer opinions are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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FINANCE: Financial Planning for Physicians and Advisors
INSURANCE: Risk Management and Insurance Strategies for Physicians and Advisors

 

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Beware the Faux Medical Journals

When is a “Journal” … not a Journal?

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

Publisher-in-Chiefdem23

Allow me to begin this post by making the unusual disclosure that I was the Editor-in-Chief of a print guide in healthcare finance and economics [aka periodical or journal].

Formally, the title was: Healthcare Organizations [Financial Management Strategies]. At 2 volumes, and more than 1,200 pages, it was quite a job to update it quarterly. And, with more than two dozen contributing authors, it was a labor of love indeed. Alas … no more!

ho-journal9

Varying Levels of Credibility

Now, we doctors know that medical journals are not all alike. There are different levels of “credibility.” Some are peer-reviewed, others not. Some are trade magazines. Frankly, some “real” journals are better, and more respected than others. Some entrenched journals are in decline, while other emerging journals are leading-edge in the health 2.0 space. Still others, like the formerly esteemed Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA], have been accused of outright censorship.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/04/02/is-jama-censoring-physician-dissent/

Adventures

Of course, doctors also know that pharmaceutical companies routinely offer us reprints of articles from medical journals that are favorable to their products. But, news of a Merck-sponsored publication for doctors in Australia has come to light in a personal injury lawsuit over Vioxx. It raised more than a few eyebrows in international medical publishing circles. It may have even crossed the line of journalistic, not to mention medical, ethics.

Read: Merck Paid for Medical ‘Journal’ Without Disclosure; by Natasha Singer, May 13, 2009.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/business/14vioxxside.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1242313549-xaAEwW4MCd7pJh9OdgWdUQ

Mis-Adverntures

Tracy Staton wrote more about these mis-adventures in a story, dated May 14, 2009, in FiercePharma.

Analysis and Apology

Analysis in the Pipeline: http://seekingalpha.com/article/136942-merck-and-elsevier-cross-the-line-in-joint-medical-journal?source=yahoo

Libology Mea Culpa: http://www.libology.com/blog/tag/excerpta-medica

Assessment

Perhaps; Merck ought to read our Medical-Executive Post on health journalists?

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/battered-health-journalists

Or, our Medical-Executive Post on medical experts, reporters and journalists?

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/healthcare-experts-versus-health-journalists

Conclusion

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Economic Facts your Dentist Doesn’t Want You to Know

Some Office Visit Schedules Linked to Insurance Payment

By D. Kellus Pruitt; DDS

 http://thebulletin.us/articles/2009/05/21/herb_denenberg/doc4a15404e56e5f308210565.txt

pruitt

Here is the link to an article written by Herb Denenberg titled: “Some Facts Your Dentist Doesn’t Want You to Know”.  In it, he shared with his readers some information about dentistry that is hard to find. I submitted the following comment.

Dear Herb Denenberg,

Yours was a great article, and as a dentist with 27 years in a comfortable practice and 32 years in an expensive marriage, I find your cost-saving points oh so painfully accurate. Nevertheless, I must honestly agree that not only can some patients safely go a year or more between check-ups (ouch!), but many don’t need bitewing x-rays every year either (Good thing neither my patients nor my wife read the stuff I write).

Of BiteWing X-Rays

Readers who are hopefully from places other than the east side of Fort Worth can easily understand that the more treatment and x-rays I recommend, the more money I make. I must honestly add that my devoted and trusting dental patients, like most Fort Worth dentists’ patients, are reliably willing to accept my recommendations for these kinds of procedures without questioning the need. Let me put it this way: Annual bitewings are an easy $56 sale, mostly because fee-for-service insurance pays for them at 100% anyway. (If an angry dentist should ask who told you that, it wasn’t me). That is why it should not be taken lightly my approval of the advice about dentistry published in the book “1,001 Things They Won’t Tell You.” And; they won’t, sometimes.

Ethics and EBD

True to ethics I learned at the University of Texas dental school, in San Antonio (UTHSC), in the last six months, my hygienists and I have been determining which patients are safe to go a year and a half without routine bitewing x-rays. They are commonly taken every year simply because it has always been that way, and that interval was adopted as the minimum time most insurers allow. As readers can see, not a hint of Evidence-Based Dentistry [EBD] was involved in that determination. It was just a 1950’s guess.

Extended Prophylactic Schedules 

This week we found four candidates in our practice for extended schedules. Our honesty will save these patients (their insurance companies) money by eliminating unnecessary care. And I really, really hate saving insurance companies money, on principle alone.

In My DefenseGnome

In my defense of continuing to maintain a large number of my patients on 6 month prophys and 12 month x-rays – and with the hope of restraining local dentists from throwing rocks through my windows – let me say up front that most people still need the old-school schedule in order to prevent disease. And, a few of the more fragile cases need x-rays and cleanings even more often than insurance allows.

Assessment 

My patients and I are fortunate that I can freely charge the prices I deem necessary in order to put my patients’ interests above my wife’s. Let’s face it. Ethics are invisible to dental patients and they are not free. Ethics are a precious courtesy that dentists who accept managed care insurance find themselves forced to eliminate because contracts prevent them from raising fees as the market demands. Managed care dentistry is dentistry by the lowest bidder with no quality control. I only wish that someone would have pointed out that chunk of information in the book. Now, I’d better have my wife go ahead and start my car in the morning when she grabs the paper.

Conclusion

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College for Financial Planning Credibility

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Confusing Nomenclature? 

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

dem2Recently, John H. Robinson – a Honolulu based independent and dual-registered financial advisor who holds a degree in economics from Williams College and who has written and published numerous professional papers – essentially challenged the credibility of the College for Financial Planning.

“Dr. [Somnath] Basu [PhD] is quite correct in pointing out that the College for Financial Planning is not academically accredited and there are no admissions standards other than a nominal three year industry experience standard (three years as a clerk in a brokerage firm will qualify). Mr. [Kevin] Keller [CEO-CFP BoS] defends the curriculum by stating that, “Topics include economic concepts such as supply and demand, fiscal and monetary policy, time-value of money concepts…” The mere fact that that no prior college level academic experience in finance is required is testament to the fact that the coursework is largely 101 level materials.

To illustrate this point by example, economics represents one small chapter of the Investments section of the CFP curriculum. In contrast, econometrics and statistics alone was a semester long 300 level course in my undergraduate economics studies. This is not to suggest that the CFP program does not provide adequate training and preparation for a career in financial planning, but to assert that the CFP designation trumps a graduate or even undergraduate degree in finance or economics is difficult to defend. This was my counterpoint to Mr. [Dan] Moisand’s bellicose labeling of non-CFP certificants as “faux planners”.

Source: http://www.fa-mag.com/online-extras/4037-revisiting-cfp-credentialing.html

Moreover, he stated that:

In fairness, some of Dr. Basu’s ideals on the educational standards for financial planning certification seem a bit extreme as well. For instance, I can’t imagine subjecting doctors, attorneys, or even business school professors to periodic recertification exams.”

Source: http://www.fa-mag.com/online-extras/4037-revisiting-cfp-credentialing.html

The Big Question

And so, the big question for financial advisors and Certified Financial Planners®: Is the College for Financial Planning, a college at all? Is it accredited and more importantly, who accredits it? If not; why not? And, was the name “college” purposely selected to obfuscate?

Moreover, and of more importance to our physician readers, FAs and ME-P subscribers: Do doctors, attorneys or business school professors need to periodically recertify themselves by examinations?

IOW: Is Mr. Robinson correct or not – in fact or meaning – on one or both accounts? How about Dan Moisand? Am I, or Mr. Robinson, a “faux” planner?

Assessment

A paper co-authored by Mr. Robinson, entitled, “Reality Check: The implications of sustainable withdrawal analysis on real world portfolios” was awarded the CFP Board of Standards’ 2008 Outstanding Paper Award. He does not hold the CFP® designation.

Disclosure

Among many other “hats”, I am a former licensed insurance agent, certified financial planner, board certified surgeon, visiting B-school professor, and current academic provost for the CMP™ online program in health economics and medical practice management for fiduciary consultants. Our goal is to “raise the bar” for all colleagues in this space.

Update 2013:

Recent:

Conclusion

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Understanding Periodic or New Employee Practice Compliance Audits

Perform and Improve as Needed

By Patricia Trites MPA, CHBC; with Staff Reporters 

www.HealthcareFinancials.comho-journal12

There are several types of compliance audits that a medical practice, clinic or healthcare organization might need to perform. The starting point, discussed elsewhere on this ME-P, is to obtain a baseline audit. The next step is periodic audits or reviews that are performed after information is obtained from the baseline audit.

Periodic Audits

Periodic audits are performed on an on-going basis. Depending on the volume of billing, these may occur weekly for a large multi-specialty ambulatory clinic to quarterly for a small medical practice. These periodic audits can be random or scheduled. Sometimes in the process of seeing how things run, a surprise review can be informative to staff and practitioners.

New Employee Audits

New employees require regular training and reviews until there is confidence in their capabilities. Background checks are often helpful to find out whether there are any potential conflicts. In hospitals, health plan offices, surgery centers, and other regulated facilities, background checks are a normal part of the credentialing process. This process typically includes Medicare violations, which would show up on the National Practitioner Data Bank report. However, independent medical practices do not have access to this type of information and may have to rely on other organizations to obtain the information. The OIG and the General Services Administration both maintain a database of excluded persons and entities that can be accessed through the Internet. As part of the organization’s initial and periodic audits, queries of these two databases should be performed for all employees and independent contractors (like locum tenens physicians). Failure to do so can put the practice at risk of large civil money penalties ($10,000 for each occurrence) and liability for refunds of all claims the excluded individual had part in providing or billing.

Assessment

Additional audits can be performed whenever new employees are added, or if there are complaints or issues that arise in the course of business; prn.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated? What interesting, informative or strange tidbits have you uncovered in your auditing processes?

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Medical Inventory Supplies and Management

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Understanding Traditional D.M.E. and Turn-Over Rates

[By Staff Reporters]

Healthcare inventory represents tangible medical items used in the delivery of healthcare services, or for patient use and resale, or durable medical equipment [DME]. A certain quantity of safety stock should always be available. Inventory ranges from normal administrative office supplies to highly specialized chemicals and reagents used in the clinical laboratory.

Capital Supplies

Inventory should be distinguished from capital supplies, such as major equipment, instruments, and other items that are not used up faster than inventory or related inventory wastes.

Understanding Inventory Turnover

Historically, asset utilization ratios provided information on how effectively the enterprise used its inventory assets to produce revenues, or deplete its cash. For example, the inventory turnover ratio (ITR) determines the total volume of inventory turnover (change) during a pre-determined accounting period (month or quarter). It is defined as cost of inventory purchased for the period, divided by average inventory (AI) at cost.

Supply Chain Management

Dunn and Bradstreet, the supply chain management and consulting company; does not provide exact comparatives for private healthcare ITR. Nonetheless, ITR is useful as an internal performance indicator of inventory turnover speed and cash flow enhancement. Currently however, for public hospitals, 60 – 75 days is estimated to be the average time for inventory turnover.

Assessment

The main problem with traditional ITR, similar analyses such as AI, and the usual inventory costing methods (e.g., last-in first-out, first-in first-out, specific identification, average costs), and even just-in-time inventory costing, is that they do not embrace supply chain inventory management models. This occurs because sources of profit or loss are not recognized in the traditional inventory cost accounting equation:

Cost of goods sold = beginning inventory + net purchases – ending inventory. 

Conclusion

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Military Electronic Dental Records [eDRs]

US Defense Department Leads the Way

By Staff Reporters

MilitaryAccording to Peter Bauxbaum on May 13, 2009, the Defense Health Information Management System [DHIMS] is in the process of deploying AHLTA [Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application] Dental; a module eDR included with the new AHLTA 3.3 release.

It is the U.S. military’s first integrated dental and medical electronic health record.

Link: http://govhealthit.com/articles/2009/05/13/dod-electronic-dental-record.aspx?s=GHIT_190509

Assessment

And so, when will eHRs for osteopaths [eOsteoRs], podiatrists [ePodRs] and optometrists [eOptRs] become available? Is this an occasion when the military is an early HIT adopter?

Conclusion

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Doctor’s and Tax Deductions

Physicians Can Take More Tax Deductions

By Staff Reportersfp-book2

Now that tax season is over, it’s time for physician practices to start saving receipts and filing tax records again.

The Report

According to the May 04, 2009 report of Chelsey Ledue, Associate Editor of Healthcare Finance News; there are more than 400 possible deductions that medical practices can take, although most physicians only know of a few common ones.

Link: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Assessment

In reality, “most docs are taking somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 deductions”, according to one industry expert.

Link: http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/physicians-can-take-more-tax-deductions

Conclusion

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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Primer for Physicians

Free ARRA Webinar Series

By Staff Reporters

Resident LaptopAre you ready to maximize American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) opportunities in your medical practice?

The Webinar Series

This webinar series is designed to support physician practices as they prepare for a new health care environment. As new information becomes available, experts and health care leaders representing diverse sectors will review key components of ARRA and offer insights on the impact to the physician community.

Topic: Stimulus 101: Basics of the Health Information Technology Provisions

When: Thursday, May 21, 12:00 PM CST

Presenters:

  • Glen Tullman, Chief Executive Officer – Allscripts
  • Margaret Garikes, Director of Federal Affairs – AMA

Assessment

Plus, hear from practices using eHR systems and how they made the transition.

Registration: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/schedule/display.do?udc=1ip8sqjax7frw

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post, and webinar series, are appreciated; especially from seminar participants. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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More On Attempted ME-Post Censorship

Return to Ethridge’s Hill

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDSpruitt

For those who have stayed up late, here is a sneak preview of some upcoming action – hopefully attracting the best PR people BCBS of New Mexico can field – Becky Kenny and Ross Blackstone. 

ModernHealthcare.com – The Strong Arm? – NOT

You may or may not recall that about two months ago, Martin Ethridgehill, who once worked for BCBSNM, posted a comment on ModernHealthcare.com that was later removed as ordered by Becky Kenny – a PR specialist who represents the interests of BCBSNM. So what did Becky’s recently laid-off colleague say that justified field censorship? The title says it all:  “Don’t Rush eHRs Without Addressing Medical ID Theft.”  It attracted my attention before it attracted BCBSNM’s. They move slower than I do.

Blue Cross – Blue Shield 

Apparently, even though leaders of BCBS think caution might be prudent in paying Texas physicians for health care, the organization is not necessarily in favor of delaying the adoption of eHRs … or something like that. Maybe Jon Stewart will explain it some day for us on Comedy Central.

ME-P … Marcinko Does Not Fold 

And who is this Ross Blackstone? He’s a manly piece of PR. He tried to persuade Dr. David E. Marcinko, publisher of the ME-P, to remove my comment which is not a copy of Ethridgehill’s statement, but is a report on his statement. Blackstone learned that Marcinko doesn’t fold as easily as the publisher of ModernHealthcare.com folded to Becky Kenny’s demand. I bet she got nasty with them.

The Blackstone Video 

So who is Ross Blackstone? I’m trying to get away from posting links because they are so tedious. But you just have to watch “Ross Blackstone Reporter Resume” video on YouTube. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuHBnNiYvcU

Assessment

“First they ignore you, then they attack you, and then you win”

-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Health Care Costs and the Domestic Budget

The Real Budget Defecit

[By Staff Reporters]

money1The Obama Administration has made comprehensive health insurance, and health care, reform a priority.

The goal is to transform the domestic health-care system so that it improves efficiencies, increases value and provides care for all citizens.

Current Situation

Recently, two important facts that all ME-P readers know, were re-confirmed:

  • Health-care costs are the key to the nation’s economic future.
  • The medical community agrees that great efficiencies are possible in how it is practiced.

Variations

It is well known that health-care costs vary across significant regions of the country, as well as hospitals and doctors within a region – even for patients with a same/similar diagnosis. This must end, according to the Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget [OMB]. Director Peter R. Orszag explained in a WSJ interview below, that practice variation is unnecessary and wasteful, and that evidence-based-medical practices and comparative-effectiveness-research is a good idea for all healthcare stakeholders.

The Baucus-Grassley Policy Options for Expanding Healthcare Coverage report is also included for your review and commentary.

Two New Reports

Wall Street Journal on May 15, 2009.

1. Link http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124234365947221489.html

2. Link: http://finance.senate.gov/press/Bpress/2009press/prb051109.pdf

Assessment

Once accomplished, it is hope that the nation will be on a sustainable fiscal path that builds a new foundation for our economy for generations to come.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Health Information Technology Security and Encryption

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Understanding the Risks of eMRs and Internet Connectivity

[By Carol S. Miller; RN, MBA]Sun Micro

E-mails, PDA data, and Internet connectivity, unless encrypted, can be read by anyone.  Therefore, if these items are not encrypted, physicians should be careful of what they say and how they say it, especially when discussing any patient information with other providers, vendors, or managed care organizations. In addition, just because you deleted e-mail from the system does not mean that you have deleted it from the server or from the computers that maintain copies of your server’s data.  HIPAA regulations set forth the criteria in electronically transferring patient related data via the Internet.

Secure and Encrypt Messages and Health Information

If you want secure messages, an encryption program should be used. If the message is intercepted the text will be scrambled to anyone other than your intended recipient.  Most physicians feel encryption is too time consuming; however, programs such as Pretty Good Privacy at www.pgp.com provides an easy and nearly seamless integration into e-mail and operating systems, encrypting the sensitive files but still allowing ease of communication.  PCP software developed by MIT and endorsed by HIPAA, uses privacy and strong authentication.  Only the intended recipient can read the data.  If files were intercepted, they would be completely unreadable.  Other software programs are available in the marketplace that will work using a private key – similar to a password.  Tell the program the name of the file you want to encrypt and the private key, and the program uses a mathematical algorithm to encrypt the file.  For reference material on various encryption and security software programs, search the web under “encryption” or go to one of the following sites:  www.zixit.com, www.cisco.com, www.aspencrypt.com, or www.verisgn.com.  

Assessment

In addition to encryption, the office needs a good anti-virus program that is designed to detect and prevent viruses, such as Norton Anti Virus at www.symantec.com and McAfee VirusScan at www.mcafee.com 

Conclusion

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Predicting the Next Domestic Economic Implosion

Emerging Financial Doomsday Scenarios

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

Publisher-in-Chief

dem23

Recently, I was pondering the extreme instability that we are facing in this country today, in the two professional sectors in which I work, live and enjoy: [1] health economics and finance; and [2] medicine and medical practice management. In other words; from healthcare and Wall Street reform, to the housing mess and rising unemployment rates; these are challenging and at least, changing times. 

 The Question 

And so, any cogent thinker may reasonably ask: where will the next domestic financial blow-up be? And, what economic doomsday scenario do you predict; and how will it affect the healthcare industrial complex?

The Choices

  • Commercial mortgage debt foreclosures because they have lagged the home mortgage fiasco, but may be deeper, wider and larger than ever imagined.   
  • Life insurance and annuity companies since these entities have watched their investment portfolios sink and their variable annuity business models implode. Moreover, annuity benefits are being cut, premiums are rising and transparency is increasing.
  • Health insurance and healthcare reform since the country can not afford the Obama Administration’s current deficit spending and medical initiatives that will spark long term inflation.
  • Wall Street, the SEC, FINRA, Financial Planner’s Board of Standards, broker-dealers, etc., as the public demands increased competency, fiduciary accountability and transparency in their dealings within a client-focused culture. 

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Assessment

Of course, our astute ME-P readers may have other ideas that are certainly welcomed; especially from our informed CPA, CFA, CMP™ and FA readers. Physicians, CEOs, CFOs, nurses, politicians, economists and all ME-P readers and subscribers may opine, as well. 

 

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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On Medical and Other Patient-Centric Specialty Homes

New Guidelines Released

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

dem23According to Chris Silva, AMA News on May, 12 2009, new medical home guidelines have just been released.

Physician Input

Four physician organizations have developed new guidelines for medical home projects to ensure consistency and help define how a patient-centered home model should look. The 16 guidelines include recommendations on who should collaborate on the projects, how they should choose practices to participate, what type of support should be provided to practices, how practices should be reimbursed, and what each project should do to analyze and report results.

Link: http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/05/11/gvse0512.htm

Assessment

Physician groups hope clarity and consistency will lead to broader acceptance of the programs. But, what about mental health homes or dental homes; how about podiatry or optometric homes, etc? What about patient mobility?

Is this concept even viable given our increasingly mobile society? Or, is this philosophy fixed in the last century; especially in light of the Obama Administration’s HIT, and eHR initiatives? Was the fluid health 2.0 culture even considered? What are we missing?

Conclusion

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Physician [Fee] Schedule Augmentation

Organizing and Analyzing Financial Data

[By Christy Clodwick; MHA]

biz-book1After all medical practice management data has been gathered, organize it onto a spreadsheet or chart.  This analysis report will help to determine the codes and/or health plans that should be targeted for process improvement.

Focus … Focus … Focus

The focus should be on the highest volume and dollar value codes. Does this mean patients with unusual conditions or low dollar value codes are not treated? Hopefully it will not; but it will push this process forward and the practice will see the greatest benefit from these categories. When you review the report and find that a fee is being paid at a much lower rate, this would be indicative of a necessary negotiation with the payer for an increase for that procedure. Most health plans are committed to preventing disease. Maybe, but they are still actually aimed at treating diseases; not preventing them. If this is true of many payers then they should be willing to provide the incentives for those services to be carried out. You will find that some payers’ fee schedules are very much out of line with a percentage of Medicare payments, therefore the practice administrator should focus on those payers and bring evidence of the inadequacies to their attention.

The Specialists

Specialists are, for the most part, paid at a higher rate than primary care physicians not usually for the same service! And, with GPs as gatekeepers, the specialty doc incomes may have actually decreased in some instances, while the GPs may have increased. There was a time when Medicare had two conversion factors, and this was the result. This inequity could also be used as a tool for better reimbursement rates.

Finalizing the Fee and Revenue Analysis

When the final preparations of the fee analysis have been completed, it is time to react to the results of the findings. There are several options to choose from when it has been determined that a health plans fee schedule is not in tune with the practice’s financial growth. The practice should act on these results as soon as they are discovered, to avoid the loss of any more revenue.

No longer Accepting Health Plans

During the analysis phase, you may determine that a health plan’s payment levels are extremely low. You will have to determine whether the plan is worth negotiating or the practice administrator should consider dropping out of the plan altogether at the end of the contract period. It will have to be carefully determined by the local market. If the practice is in a highly competitive market, this process should not be considered as first choice. However, if the market is very slim, the health care purchaser will be responsible for complaining to the health insurance plan provider that there is simply not enough physician coverage for their employees for the area. This could be a very effective way to force a negotiation with the health care company. If this were the case, the area would have less managed care and more MC/MD.

Not Accepting New Patients from Low Paying Health Plans

One option would be to not accept any more patients from the health plan that is reimbursing the practice with low rates. Although this may initially lower your patient count, over time the practice will benefit from new patients with health plans that have a better reimbursement policy. Include snapshot of what the final analysis or report should look like and the details of what it should include. This can be used in any specialty to assist in putting together the individual practice analysis to achieve the same results. But is it noble or ethical? What about any willing provider laws?

dhimc-book1The Future for Health Care Reimbursement

The health care purchasers who pay most of the bills, such as employers and the government, will soon be challenging the annual increase and the overall cost of health care. The cost increases of the hospital and pharmacy sectors of healthcare are far higher than that of the physician. However, the pressure for cost containment is being felt across the board. This will eventually depress future reimbursement for all healthcare providers.  In the future it will be hard for practices to keep up with the demands of labor, malpractice and supply cost increase. All medical providers need to plan for this future paradigm. To offset this trend, physicians will need to get the most out of the work that they are doing today as well as look to new revenue generating procedures for their practice that will be cheaper and more convenient to the patient.

Process Improvement

The biggest benefits will come from continually improving the process of the daily operations of the practice, as well as ensuring accurate diagnostic coding. This will enable a practice to keep up with charge capturing through the explanation of benefits (EOB) when the charge has been processed and paid by the health insurance provider. When this process identifies that there is room for negotiation, the provider should proceed for a better reimbursement rate. If the provider is in a dominant market, the payers will be more likely to issue sweeping fee increases and so can you give me an example of this ever happening? By completing a Practice Fee Analysis, any practice should be able to use this tool to demonstrate the inequities and negotiate a better reimbursement rate for the practice.

Assessment

The first step in the negotiation process would be to contact a representative of the health insurance company that is in question. If you can produce compelling evidence to the representative, the negotiation process should be the next meeting. These folks may be fired if they do what you suggest, too frequently. Continually updating the practice fee schedule will help the practice stay on top of the contracts that it practices under. Practices that present a well-documented argument may (almost never) be rewarded with positive payer response. Again, proper planning will make for great future performance in any health care practice.

Conclusion

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On HIT Cost Savings

Real or Imagined SolutionsUS Capitol

According to David M. Cutler, of the Center for American Progress Fund [CAPF] on May 11, 2009, health care will be the major challenge to the federal budget in coming decades. Rising health costs will account for nearly all of the expected increase in government spending relative to gross domestic product [GDP].

Healthcare Costs and GDP

Health care currently accounts for 16 percent of domestic GDP, and that share is forecast to nearly double in the next quarter century. Spending money on health care is not bad, but wasting money is very bad.

Link: http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/2009/05/health_modernization.htmlHIT

HIT to the Rescue

But, $600 billion might be saved over the next ten years, and $9 trillion saved over the next 25 years, if HIT initiatives are used; says the CAPF.

Assessment

Estimates suggest that a third or more of medical spending—perhaps $700 billion per year—is not known to be worth the cost. Wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on inefficient health care is a luxury the country cannot afford.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Business Property and Liability Insurance Coverage for MDs

General Commercial Property Insurance for Physicians

By Gary A Cook; MSFS, CLU, ChFC, RHU, CFP® CMP™ (Hon)

insurance-book8

One category of property and casualty coverage is commercial or business coverage.  Commercial Insurance protects against those perils and losses that a medical practitioner routinely faces in their practice of healthcare. These exposures are both wide and varied and include aspects that may never affect most practitioners, such as the explosion of boilers, or aviation mishaps, or ship’s hulls failing. However, many risk exposures should be considered.  This post will outline the covered property, covered perils, and a little known area titled Loss Settlement.

Covered Property

  • Buildings
  • Business personal property of the policyowner (which, remember, may be the practice)
  • Property and equipment used in the business
  • Personal property of others in the care and custody of the policyowner.

Covered Perils

This topic defies clear summarization because it usually defines the exposures unique to the healthcare practice. The risks of loss for a radiology practice are different from those of an obstetrician / gynecology office. Within numerous policy forms, “named perils” are identified in addition to the “all-risks” form that generally cover common perils such as crime or fire. In addition, just like with the individual Homeowners policies, endorsements can be obtained to cover unique and specific risks, such as earthquakes in California and hurricanes in Florida.

Loss Settlement

This special provision of commercial policies provides for the settle of losses on a cash value basis.  Most policies are subject to a deductible amount, although “Full loss replacement value” coverage is usually available. Typically, the deductible is 20 percent of the covered value, with the insurance company only covering the balance. As with personal lines of coverage, the amount of the deductible effects the premium charged.

www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

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Commercial General Liability Insurance

Commercial general liability (CGL) provides coverage for a wide variety of risks that a medical/healthcare facility may face.  In brief, these exposures will include (there are others in a general liability policy that may be “endorsed out” for the particular practice):

 

  • Premises liability – injuries on the property owned or occupied by the policy-owner
  • Business operations liability – losses caused by business activities of employees
  • Contractual liability – litigation arising from oral or written contracts assumed by the organization.

Unfortunately, for the medical practitioner, as with many property and liability contracts, liabilities that occur “from the rendering or failure to render professional services” are standard exclusions from this section of liability coverage.

BOP

Often, insurance companies offer “packaged” programs or, Businessowners Policy (BOP) especially for small to medium medical practices.  These policies include “all–risks” coverages for the property and limited liability. Most BOP programs include such coverages as:

  • Debris removal  
  • Fire department service charges
  • Pollutant cleanup and removal                
  • Water damage.

Most importantly, BOP contracts will cover:

  • Loss of Business Income (it is difficult to run the practice if half of it was destroyed by water damage from the fire in the office upstairs);
  • Extra Expense Coverage (the cost of renting substitute property while the covered property is being repaired); and
  • Payroll Expense (the need to retain specialists or key employees while the property is being rehabilitated).

Although the latter is limited in amounts and period of coverage, it is valuable coverage, especially for professional practices.

biz-book3

Assessment

Finally, the Businessowners Policy will cover losses due to crime (such as, forgery and alteration). As with Commercial Liability coverage, professional liability is excluded from Businessowner policies. 

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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About HealthCareTownHall.com

The Great eHR Debates

By Staff Writers

US CapitolMilliman hosts this blog to encourage an informed dialogue about healthcare reform. Healthcare is complicated, and there is no single, silver-bullet answer to the question of “How do we best improve the current system?”  But thoughtful discussions will help move reform in the right direction and mend the fractured system.

Assessment

A shout-out of thanks, for this link, goes to Jeremy Engdahl Johnson of Healthcare Town Hall.

Link: http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

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Securing Medical Professional Liability Insurance Coverage

Tips for Doctors Looking for Malpractice Insurance

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

dem2The following are buying tips for healthcare professionals who are shopping for medical professional liability insurance coverage:

** Shop well in advance of your renewal or expiration date. Your agent should have all of the necessary information to the insurer at least six to eight weeks before your coverage expires.  See below for more tips and  the type of information your agent will need.

** If you do not know an agent who can place your coverage, the Bureau of Insurance has a list of agencies that are licensed and appointed with at least one of the insurers on the Bureau’s list of “Insurers Writing New Business for Physicians and Surgeons.”

  • Contact one or two agents and be sure to ask each agent which insurer will be contacted for a quote. Ask the agent if an application will also be submitted to a surplus lines broker.  If so, ask for the name of the surplus lines broker and ask which surplus lines insurers will be contacted.  Provide this information to the other agent to avoid multiple applications being submitted to one insurer from different agents.  If the application is being submitted to a surplus lines broker, be sure to ask the agent for information on the coverage provided and specifically request information on exclusions.
  • If the agent recommends coverage through an unlicensed company (such as a surplus lines insurer or a risk retention group), be aware that, in the case of insolvency, the insured will not have coverage through the [State] Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association.  However, if the healthcare professional has had several claims or an open claim, they may only be able to obtain coverage through a company not licensed in their state.
  • Ask the agent for information on the financial rating of the company and if the surplus lines insurer has its own guaranty fund.  Also, if shopping, the medical professional should feel free to check with the Insurance Bureau of their respective state to see if the company and agent are licensed or authorized to do business.
  • The agent should fully understand the healthcare professional’s business.  If incorporated, ask the agent what coverage is needed to protect the corporation as well as any individual doctors.
  • Ask the agent about the availability of “tail coverage” or if the new insurer will provide coverage for “prior acts.”  If coverage is offered with two insurers, ask the agent what each insurer charges for “tail coverage.”  This information may help in deciding which insurer has the most competitive price.
  • Complete the application for coverage in its entirety.  Don’t omit any information and be sure to provide as much detail as possible, especially about prior claims.  Many insurance companies want 10 years of information.  They may also request information about any risk management practices and procedures.
  • Discuss deductible options with your agent.  These may help lower your premium.
  • Find out if the insurance company offers any risk management or loss prevention programs.  Such programs may lower the premium and help reduce exposure to losses.

insurance-book

Assessment

The author has been an expert medical witness in both state and federal court. He is a former licensed insurance agent and certified financial planner, advisor and consultant.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Have you ever considered a more modern liability coverage method, such as an RRG, etc?

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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Product Details  Product Details

Negotiating Physician Fee Schedules

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Better Data for Improved Fixed Compensation

[By Christy Clodwick; MHA]

biz-book1It is known that most health plans operate with fixed fee schedules. While these fee schedules have little or nothing to do with RBRVS, and most are based on a percentage of what Medicare pays, the question is: “are they tied to levels that are more than 3 or 4 years old?”  Physicians who have no negotiating tools or a plan in place, and who question the methodology that the payers are using, are (too casual-left) with a ‘take it or leave it’ response from the health insurance provider.

Gathering the Data

A good solid foundation of data is necessary to negotiate better reimbursement rates successfully. The practice administrator or accountant (not 1 in 100 accountants can actually do this) should have this information readily available, especially if the office has an automated billing system.

Steps to Preparing a Fee Analysis

First and foremost, the medical management team in charge of this project will need to determine the most commonly used CPT® codes for the practice.  The bulk of primary care or family practice physician fees should be derived from the revenue of the office visit, hospital and preventive medicine codes. This in turn may limit the number of codes for the study. The frequency of each CPT code should be listed over a 12 month period.  If applicable, laboratory fees should also be included to see if there are fluctuating reimbursement schemes for these services. The codes on the list should account for at least 75% of the total practice charges.

Determining Top Payers and Reimbursement by Payer

It is known that Medicare and Medicaid use established fee schedules and do not negotiate, therefore the focus should be on the other major payers that make up the bulk of the reimbursement. In this process, make sure that the payers in the report are the practice’s top payers. The practice administrator will also need to determine the reimbursement for each code that is sent to the various payers’ list in the report. The administrator or team leader (the average GP has 3-4 employees, so I don’t think there would be a team leader, here). For this project we can use the Explanation of Benefits EOB that is received from each payer that has been selected for the report.  When including this data, make sure the allowed amount, not the paid amount, is referenced. After this information has been gathered, each payer’s reimbursement rate will need to be calculated as a percentage of Medicare’s reimbursement rate. Medicare’s current rates for any geographical area can be found through the “Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Look-up” tool at:

Link: https://questions.cms.hhs.gov/cgi-bin/cmshhs.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php?p_sid=1reSKuxj

This site also provides a reference to Relative Value Unit, (RVU) that Medicare assigns to each code.

RVU Conversion Factors

It is important for the practice administrator or manager to understand the RVU conversion factors and how they work, simply because most payers are in the beginning stages of using this method. To calculate a payment for service you multiply a particular CPT Code by the Medicare conversion factor for that code. For an example we will use the code 99214 – office visit. The Relative Value Unit for that Code is 2.2. The Medicare conversion factor for the same code is $37.34.  The calculation would result in a rate of $82.15.  Geographical adjustments must be taken into account when performing these calculations. The next step in this process would be to review the fees for each code listed in the report. Calculate each fee as a percentage of Medicare’s rates. You will find different statistics for each payer.

dhimc-book1

Apply the Rules and Process

Follow these basic rules when applying this new process:

First, if the charges are being reimbursed at 100%, the fee may be too low. At this point, raising the fee for that code would be acceptable (Usually not the case). Next, If several fees are in this category, the practice should just set all its fees to a percentage of Medicare reimbursement across the board, such as 125 percent (many managed care plans pay at less than MC, i.e., 80% MC). Finally, a tiered fee schedule would be applicable if the payers seem to pay more for certain procedures or diagnostic studies. That would set evaluation and management codes at 125 percent of Medicare reimbursement while charging 150 of Medicare reimbursement for other procedures and diagnostic tests.

Assessment

The medical practice administrator should make sure that, no matter which fee schedule is best suited for the practice, it is updated annually to prevent loss of any increases that may occur per payer.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Setting Up a Medical Practice Web Site

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Establishing Healthcare Presence on the Internet

[By Carol S. Miller; RN, MBA]

Carol S. MillerMany physician practices are interested in creating their own Web sites to provide information about their practice to patients, the community, peers and other individuals; market their practice specialty; provide ease of access to medical inquiries or scheduling appointments; and provide links to other health-related sites. 

There are “easy-step” programs available in the marketplace, such as the IBM home page.  Web sites, like www.webdeveloper.com can assist your practice with a tutorial and step-by-step process in creating and developing an initial site. 

Templates

Many programs include already established page templates. As part of the process, the Web site can be connected to an online service provider; however, many practices have considered using a Web-hosting company, such as www.hostdepot.com.   With this process, the practice will create its own domain name, the name given to a host computer on the Internet.  With this name in place, it will be easier for your patients to remember, easier to provide linkages to other sites, and you won’t have to change your Web site’s URL (Uniform Resource Locator or Web address) each time you move your Web site.

Starting Point

A good place to start is www.budgetweb.com or www.e-businessexpress.com.   Other reference sites are www.microsoft.com/frontpage, www.register.com to register and renew domain names, and www.verizon.net.  As an example of cost for Verizon, there is a set up fee of $50-$100 for setting up the web site, a monthly service fee from $30-$100 depends on the options selected and web design fees vary by page or hours and from several hundred dollars to over $1000.

Assessment

If the medical practice is interested in developing a more sophisticated end product, it is recommended that a Web-page designer work with the practice to design a Web site conducive to your expectations.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Improving Financial Viability of Medical Practices

Medical Practice Financial Management

By Christy Clodwick; MHA

biz-book1

To combat the climate of barriers and frustrations in medical practice today, physician executives and administrators need to create innovative ways to change and improve medical providers’ outlook in the health care marketplace.

Many Barriers

The barriers—federal anti-trust laws, lack of state or federal regulatory action, marketplace resistance and tremendous cost pressures—are being confronted throughout the healthcare sector and are being felt by medical practices of all sizes, including hospital organizations, medical organizations as well as independent solo practitioners. Although there are tremendous financial pressures in operating a healthcare practice, the demand for healthcare is on the rise. To remain viable in today’s healthcare market place, strategic planning is needed at all levels of every practice’s processes.

Disenchanted Doctors

It is increasingly acknowledged that physicians in today’s health care market are becoming disenchanted with the reimbursement compensation from managed care. This also affects the outlook that they have on the medical profession as a whole. It is important to point out that there are ways to put processes in place to combat or, at the very least, survive all the changes taking place. Strategies can be put in place to offset the high demand for quality care and the discouragement and outrage that physicians are feeling about reimbursement. Physicians did not learn the business side of medicine in medical school, although many physicians today are choosing to diversify their careers by going back to school to get an MBA, or even just further business knowledge, to stay abreast of the changes. Selecting an outside source to assist a practice with the needs of business growth planning can be difficult, if the physician or practice administrator does not know what the needs really are. The best option would be to ask for a recommendation from a colleague who has hired consultants to assist in his or her practice, or to call on the local hospital administrator for assistance in locating an appropriate consultancy firm or management company.

The Planning Process and Process Improvements

The planning process of any business operation should always include management systems that clarify the business strategy and the metrics that most reflect success with that strategy. They should provide the framework to prioritize resources for projects that will improve the metrics, and leverage leaders who will manage the efforts for rapid, sustainable, and improved business results. This plan should also include improvement of processes that are already in place.  In essence, this should be a corporate wide approach to process improvements and management of the processes to control the outcome of the progress of these changes.

Driving Success for Plan Development and Implementation

During the plan development stage, all aspects of operations have to be included in the plan in order to ensure a successful outcome. The plan for a healthcare practice should include time management, cost containment, third party reimbursement (to include annual contract(s) review as many practices have 100-200 contracts), insurance coding and compliance, accounting, business management, capitation economics, marketing and business development, medical advertising, and especially important is the health information management system. Plan development, in short, should focus on:

  • Understanding and managing patient demands and requirements (this is clinical material).
  • Aligning key business processes to achieve those requirements.
  • Using rigorous data analysis to minimize variations in those processes, i.e. fee analysis, revenue analysis, and time management.
  • Driving rapid and sustainable improvement of business processes.

Future Health Economic Policy

With all the changes that have occurred in healthcare, it is safe to assume it will be a struggle to come up with a perfect plan that will sustain all future changes in such a volatile healthcare market.  Practice reimbursement would be a good place to start since this is the lifeblood of any healthcare provider. Income from fees has not nominally increased for more than a decade. The introduction of the Resource Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS), as well as the adoption of a national fee schedule by Medicare, has virtually eliminated a practice’s ability to generate more income from insurance plans by increasing what the practice charges for its services.

www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

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Conclusion

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Physician Use of the Internet

The Slow Evolution of a Healthcare Tool

[By Carol S. Miller; RN, MBA]biz-book15

The Internet is a constantly evolving service that continues to grow at an exponential rate, especially in physician practices. Primarily, the Internet is used as a means to electronically and expeditiously transfer data via e-mail as well as obtain information from a variety of sites.  Initially, in the physician’s office, the primary use was e-mail communications with peers, hospitals and others. Next providers linked to hospitals and managed care organizations to obtain more direct connectivity for clinical information and benefit coverage. Today physicians are finding other beneficial avenues to expand their utilization of the Internet. Several examples include:

 

  • Direct e-mail inquiries from the patient to the physician.
  • Patient educational newsletters and links to other healthcare educational web sites.
  • Continuing medical education (CME).
  • Chat room consultations, conferences or presentations with other providers.
  • Nurse to patient e-mail connectivity.
  • Immediate data on lab results with alerts for abnormal high or low values.
  • CPOEs (Computerized Purchase Order Entry Systems).
  • Radiology images.
  • EMR (Electronic Medical Records).
  • Monitoring of patients blood sugars or EKGs via the Internet.
  • Appointment scheduling on-line by patients.
  • Patient appointment reminders via the Internet.
  • Secure physician portals such as Medicity, located at www.medicity.com, which allows access to pertinent and prioritized data from a wide range of sources and vendors to include, labs, imaging centers, hospitals, payers and others.
  • HIPAA compliant Application Service Providers (ASP) for dictation, recording, routing and speech recognition and transcription services, such as Speech Machines at http://www.speechmachines.com.

Access Management

Besides the value to the patient and the physician, the physician can utilize his or her Internet connection with software firms such as NextGen to automate the registration, scheduling, eligibility verification, billing and “clean” claims processing via innovative Web-base solutions in real-time scenarios. All the physician’s office needs is a PC, a standard Internet browser, and a connection to the Internet to take advantage of this service.

Assessment

snow-highway1These resources and more, via the Internet super highway, enable physicians to have quicker and easier access to clinical information and improve productivity. Furthermore, these tools will quickly assist providers with accurate and timely medical decision making, thus improving patient care and outcomes.

Conclusion

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***

Non-Traditional Property and Liability Insurance Coverage for Doctors

Review of Other Insurance Forms for Medical Providers

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

Publisher-in-Chief

dem23Obviously, not all forms of P and L insurance coverage can be described in detail on this post. However, the healthcare professional or medical practitioner should consider these other forms of commercial property and liability coverage.

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

The officers and directors of large practices, or healthcare facilities can be held personally accountable, and thus liable, for breaches of their duties by a number of parties.

Commercial Automobile / Vehicle Insurance

As the name suggests, this coverage provides protection for any commercial vehicles owned and operated by the healthcare corporation. If the practice or facility owns automobiles or other vehicles that are used in the “usual and customary” business activities, this coverage is required.  The policy-owner should be aware of the nine classifications of automobiles insured to ensure that coverage is appropriate.

Commercial Umbrella Liability Insurance

This coverage is very similar to the umbrella coverage that falls under the personal coverage area. Again, risks above the limits established by the underlying commercial liability coverage trigger the umbrella policy. The word of caution for this coverage is “Read the Provisions Carefully” as there is little standardization among insurance companies. Make sure the umbrella policy covers what you want it to cover, with the right limits of benefits and “trigger” points, with proper exclusions, and proper endorsements (if being used specifically for a medical practice.)

Employee Benefits Liability Insurance

Virtually each medical practice or healthcare facility has employee non-cash benefits in addition to their payroll. These benefits usually include group insurance and some form of retirement plan (a 401(k), for example). Nevertheless, each of these benefit packages expose the employer to liabilities under state and federal statutes. Employee Benefits Liability Insurance covers an employer, or if so stipulated by some policies, the employees who act on behalf of the employer, against liability claims involving alleged errors or omissions, or improper advice or administration of the employee fringe benefit plans.  For example, an employer may be liable for not enrolling an employee on a timely manner resulting in no medical coverage. Frequent litigation also arises out of violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974.  Since 1974, the provisions and reach of this Act has become massive and errors can occur.insurance-book3

Disclaimer: The author is a former licensed insurance agent and certified financial planner and advisor.

Conclusion

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ADSL – DSL Primer for Physicians

Asynchronous Data Subscriber Line versus Digital Subscriber Loop

By Carol S. Miller; RN, MBAbiz-book20

Asynchronous Data Subscriber Lines

ADSL is a very fast digital line provided by the telephone company. If available in your area, the ADSL provides fast connections, but generally not as fast as cable. There are various choices, beginning around 256 kbps (about five to six times the speed of a fast modem) going up to 7 Mbps.  Prices begin around $60 per month (including Internet service). There is also a set-up charge and a card needs to be inserted in your computer.

Digital Subscriber Lines

DSL is a high-speed direct line that can be 20-100 times faster in communication over the modem, depending on the type selected. Prices for the DSL begin at approximately $30-$40 per month and that includes Internet access. In addition, there is a set-up charge and a network card will need to be installed into the computer. Office workstations can usually share DSL circuits over their existing local area network (LAN).

Internet Connection

To connect with the Internet, as a rule of thumb, the faster the better; therefore, the office should have at least 56 kbps.  DSL normally runs over the same line as a basic telephone voice circuit and provides Internet access from speeds of 384 kbps all the way up to 1.54 mbps (megabits per second). The advantage of this configuration is you not only have high-speed access to the Internet, your telephone is still free to make and receive calls at the same time.

Integrated Services Digital Network   

A digital telephone line that allows voice and data to be transmitted on the same line in a digital format – instead of analog – and at a relatively high speed, usually around 64 to 128 kbps.  When reviewing this service, make sure the ISP has an ISDN connection. If not, you will be charge more by both the telephone company and the ISP. Prices for the ISDN average around $300 plus, with an extra fee to install the telephone line and a monthly service charge of $25 to $100 plus to maintain.

Wireless Network (WiFi – 802.11b)

The biggest change to happen to computers in the last ten years has undoubtedly been the Internet. Close on its heels in importance may just be the adoption of the wireless network access.  Wireless Fidelity, or Wi-Fi, is now cost effective and available at the computer store.  It is no longer necessary to re-wire buildings with Category 5 wire to provide LAN connectivity and resource sharing to multiple computers. Wi-Fi, or IEE standard 802.11b, enables small offices to connect up to four computers to a single network for less than the cost of a single computer.  This means the days of multiple analog lines to offer Internet access to every computer, or a printer on every desktop, are going away. Now a single cable modem or DSL line and a centralized printer can service four users. This can save a small business hundreds of dollars a year.

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Limited Connectivity

For limited connectivity, computer stores are stocked with wireless vendor products that are cost effective, easy to install, and very robust that will push even the most cautious computer user to take the leap to wireless computing.  Not only does it make the initial cost to install a network cheaper than it has ever been before, it eliminates the cost to remodel or move computers within a building since instead of requiring data wiring at each proposed desktop all you need now is an electrical outlet to power the PC itself. 

Satellite

This is a more modern device. In the past, satellite connections were at 400K bps or fourteen times faster than the average modem.  As an example, a 2MB file would be downloaded in 30-40 seconds.  Benefits of the satellite connection are:  The connection is always on; it is reliable; there is a secure connection; office can have multiple e-mail addresses; the web space is free; and there is tech support coverage nationwide.  Costs include around $300 for the equipment, $150 plus to install the equipment, and around $30 to $50 per month for service.  Web site reference is satcast.com (DirecWay Satellite Dish).

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated? Who can update the above post for modernity?

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Understanding Automobile Insurance

A Review for Physicians

By Gary A Cook; MSFS, CLU, ChFC, RHU, CFP® CMP™ (Hon)

insurance-book7

Like the Home Owners policy, automobile insurance comes in a package (commonly called a Personal Auto Policy, or PAP) containing declarations, forms and endorsements.

These are: Liability Coverage, Medical Payments coverage, Uninsured Motorist coverage, and Coverage for Damage to your auto.

Important Elements

The important elements of automobile coverage are:

  • The vehicle or vehicles is covered, whether owned or leased
  • The insured – the covered driver
  • What is covered?
  • What are the limits of coverage – for both property and liability?

Exclusions

What are the exclusions – for example, the business use of a vehicle may not be covered under the personal policy? Other coverage for example includes a friend driving your car, or, coverage driving a rental vehicle. The medical payments coverage outlines the limits of liability for medical services needed as the result of an accident.

PULP

The final area of common personal coverages is the Personal Umbrella Liability Policy. To say that our society has become very litigious may be a gross understatement. The umbrella liability policy transfers the risk of losing substantial assets or future personal income to pay legal obligations resulting from an adverse judgment. The umbrella policy originated to provide risk protection against catastrophic legal claims or judgments. Typically, coverage limits begin at $1 million with upper limits of $10 million, and some unique situations, more. The term “umbrella” arises from the contract language that reflects that the individual carries the appropriate underlying basic coverages (homeowners or automobile) and that this coverage is triggered after the limits of the base contracts are exhausted.

Provided Coverage

An important element of this policy is that coverage provides for protection for the named insured, spouse, and family members living in the household.  This coverage should be very important to those households with teenage drivers.  Organizations may also obtain the protection of an umbrella policy, with certain limitations and exclusions. Unfortunately, “failure to render proper professional services” is very frequently a common exclusion, though some insurance companies will cover this loss exposure with an increased premium.

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Other Policies

Other common policies available include: Watercraft and Airplane coverage, Title Insurance, Flood Insurance (offered by very few private insurance companies), Renters Insurance (which covers the contents), and Condominium protection (like homeowners, but has language for common wall risks).

Personal Legal Expense Protection

Finally, there is the issue of the taxation of premiums and claim payments. Premiums for personal property and casualty coverage are not deductible. Therefore, only under unusual circumstances will any benefits received from the coverage be considered taxable income.

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Assessment

However, the benefit payments may be considered capital gain if they happen to exceed the insured’s basis in the property. Uninsured losses are generally deductible under the current Internal Revenue Code.

As usual, specific questions concerning the taxation of premiums or benefits should be directed to your professional advisors.

Conclusion

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Application Service Provider Primer for Physicians

Understanding ASPs

By Carol S. Miller; RN, MBAbiz-book19

An Application Service Provider (ASP) enables healthcare organizations to run complex software programs or applications on remote servers that can be accessed from numerous sites and by numerous devices. By installing and maintaining central, instead of on-site services, ASPs reduce the complexity, time, resources, hardware requirements, technical support, cost of installing and distributing upgraded software (done by ASP at its host site), and cost involved in application management.  In addition, ASPs provide the physician a means of low cost entry to new applications in a very short timeframe. Upgrades are quickly deployed and healthcare organizations or medical offices can experience affordable and secure business critical applications.  Most ASP services are billed on a per use basis or monthly annual fee. An example of an ASP is NextGen, an Internet based enterprise and a real-time practice management system that includes an electronic medical record, appointment scheduling, connectivity with hand-held solutions and patient indexes.

Reverse ASPs in Healthcare

Healthblocks (www.healthblocks.com) coined the term “reverse ASP” to signify that as an ASP, it provides unique solutions through the Healthblocks eSite, tailored to the situations and circumstances that face healthcare organizations and care givers on a daily basis.  More formally, a reverse ASP deploys through portals, hosts and manages access to medical applications that offices, in a single, seamless manner, can view a patient’s clinical information.  The applications are delivered over networks on a subscription basis and the reverse ASP remotely manages the packaged application over a network. The following benefits are achieved in this model:

 

  • Hardware/software located on recipient’s facility can connect disparate facilities
  • User names/passwords are located on-site with extensive integration with legacy systems
  • Existing clinical data remains on-site without danger of lost data
  • Connectivity to ASP solutions is not dependent upon an ISP

Assessment

A reverse ASP model provides physicians, nurses, allied healthcare providers and related personnel with rapid access to confidential clinical patient information. It can also benefit and help extend the reach and usefulness of third-party e-health solutions in a cost-effective manner.

www.HealthDictionarySeries.comdhimc-book27

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated? Who can update the above for modernity?

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Physician Property, Casualty and Liability Protection

Essentials of Risk Management

By Gary A Cook; MSFS, CLU, ChFC, RHU, CFP® CMP™ (Hon)

Medical professionals may not be familiar with the unique differences between the terms – property, casualty and liability.  Property insurance is coverage for the loss of, or damage to, real and personal property caused by fire, theft, explosion, riot, vandalism and a host of other risks.  Casualty and liability are generally interchangeable terms for the coverage of legal liability due to injury to others or damage to their property.

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Personal Liability Coverage

One of the most common of all personal liability coverages is the Homeowner’s policy. This is not one policy, but several policy declarations (what is insured – the location), forms, endorsements, and “floaters,” which protect the structure of the home against loss, as well as the personal property (contents) to various degrees. Risks for homeowners need not be consistent across the country and the rates generally reflect the differences. For example, homes in the Midwest need protection from tornados, while homes along the East, West and Southern coasts need coverage for hurricanes and flood risks. 

Policy Form

The Home Owners Policy Form contains five categories of coverage for property:

  • The dwelling
  • Other structures
  • Personal property
  • Loss of use
  • Additional coverages, such as debris removal, trees, shrubs, and plants, or now, electronic theft (credit card, checking account theft).

The Contract

The contract contains three areas of Liability Coverage:

  • Personal liability
  • Medical payments to others
  • Miscellaneous liability benefits.

The Endorsements

Endorsements are an important aspect of the Homeowners coverage because they permit the customization of the coverage to the unique requirements of the individual. Two examples:

We noted that the West coast does not have tornados, however, they do have earthquakes and therefore, an endorsement can be added which will transfer the risk for earthquakes – or even volcanic eruptions. If the individual doctor has a home business, the business property can be protected against such perils as loss of business records due to fire or water damage. There is, however, no coverage for liability for providing poor professional services.

The Floaters

Finally, the Homeowners policy may contain “floaters” (named because the articles covered are moveable, thus “float around.”). The use of floaters can be very beneficial for coverage of unique or expensive electronic equipment and most commonly, jewelry. The other common personal coverage is Automobile Insurance. Forty-two states have compulsory insurance laws that require insurance on automobiles before it is registered. Various states have unique laws pertaining to:

  • Financial Responsibility, or proof of responsibility, by carrying insurance, a cash deposit, bond or security for future liability effective after an accident, which is the major criticism of these laws. 
  • Unsatisfied Judgment Funds that compensate individuals who are unable to collect from a judgment resulting from an automobile accident.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage is required in most states as mandated by state insurance regulators.  In essence, the insured’s own insurance company acts as the insurance company for the uninsured motorist.
  • No-fault Automobile Insurance stems from the problems associated with today’s tort law.  These policy forms, however, vary dramatically by state and a full discussion is not possible here.  Information and advice from a professional insurance agent is always recommended.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Product Details

Long-Term Care Insurance

A Review for Doctors and Advisors

By Gary A. Cook; MSFS, CLU, ChFC, LUTC, RHU, CFP®, CMP™ (Hon)

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Long-term care (LTC) insurance is considered one of the newest forms of personal coverage insurance.  LTC insurance is designed to transfer the financial risk associated with the inability to care for oneself because of a prolonged illness, disability, or the effects of old age.  In particular, it is designed to insure against the financial cost of an extended stay in a nursing home, assisted living facility, Adult Day Care Center, hospice or home health care.  It has been estimated that two out of every five Americans now over the age of 65 will spend time in a nursing home.  As life expectancy increases, so does the potential need for LTC. One unfortunate consequence of being the “new kid on the block” is the lack of actuarial data specifically collected for this style of policy.  This results in policy premiums being underpriced to sustain the claims currently being experienced.  During the first half of 2003, at least three insurance companies stopped writing these policies because of their losses.  Those insurers remaining in this market are expected to increase premiums quickly.  Unless these policies can be profitable for the company, their future will be an uncertain one.

Medicare

Any discussion of LTC must begin with an understanding of what Medicare is designed to cover.  Currently, the only nursing home care that Medicare covers is skilled nursing care and it must be provided in a Medicare-certified skilled nursing facility.  Custodial care is not covered. Most LTC policies have been designed with these types of coverage, or the lack thereof, in mind. To qualify for Medicare Skilled Nursing Care, an individual must meet the following conditions: 

  • Be hospitalized for at least three days within the 30 days preceding the nursing home admission;
  • Be admitted for the same medical condition which required the hospitalization; and
  • The skilled nursing home care must be deemed rehabilitative.

Once these requirements are met, Medicare will pay 100 percent of the costs for the first 20 days.  Medicare covers days 21 to 100 along with a daily co-payment, which is indexed annually.  After the initial 100 days, there is no additional Medicare coverage. Medicare Home Health Services cover part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, medical supplies and some rehabilitative equipment.  These are generally paid for in full and do not require a hospital stay prior to home health service coverage.

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Critical LTC Policy Features

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Health Insurance Association of America, there are seven features that should always be included in a good long LTC policy: 

  • Guaranteed renewable (as long as premiums are paid, the policy cannot be canceled).
  • Covers all levels of nursing care (skilled, intermediate and custodial care).
  • Premiums remain level (individual premiums cannot be raised due to health or age, but can be raised only if all other LTC policies as a group are increased).
  • Benefits never reduced.
  • Offers inflation protection.
  • Full coverage for Alzheimer’s Disease (earlier contracts tried to eliminate this coverage).
  • Waiver of premium (during a claim period, further premium payments will not be required).

In addition, there are another seven features considered to be worthwhile and are included in the better LTC policies: 

  • Home health care benefits
  • Adult day care and hospice care
  • Assisted living facility care
  • No prior hospital stay required
  • Optional elimination periods
  • Premium discounts when both spouses are covered
  • Medicare approval not a prerequisite for coverage.

ADLs

Most LTC policies provide benefits for covered insured’s with a cognitive impairment or the inability to perform a specified number of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). These ADLs generally include those listed below and the inability to perform two of six is generally sufficient to file a claim:

1. Bathing:  Washing oneself in either a tub or shower, or by sponge bath, and includes the task the getting into and out of the tub or shower without hands-on assistance of another person.

2. Dressing:  Putting on or taking off all necessary and appropriate items of clothing and/or any necessary braces or artificial limbs without hands-on assistance of another person.

3. Toileting:  Getting to and from the toilet, getting on and off the toilet, and performing associated personal hygiene without hands-on assistance of another person.

4. Transferring:  Moving in and out of a bed, chair or wheelchair without hands-on assistance of another person.

5. Eating:  The ability to get nourishment into the body without hands-on assistance of another person once it has been prepared and made available.       

6. Continence:  The ability to voluntarily maintain control of bowel and/or bladder function, or in the event of incontinence, the ability to maintain a reasonable level of personal hygiene without hands-on assistance of another person.

Other Issues

Another issue concerning ADLs is whether the covered insured requires “hands-on” assistance or merely needs someone to “stand-by” in the event of difficulty.  Obviously, LTC policies that read the latter are considered more liberal.

fp-book1

Long-Term Care Taxation

Some LTC policies have been designed to meet the required provisions of the Kassenbaum-Kennedy health reform bill, passed in 1996, and subsequently are “Tax Qualified Policies”.  Insured’s who own policies meeting the requirements are permitted to tax deduct some of the policy’s premium, based on age, income and the amount of total itemized medical expenses.  The major benefit of the tax-qualified LTC policy is that the benefit, when received, is not considered taxable income.  There are several initiatives in Congress, however, which would expand and simplify these deductibility rules. 

Assessment

Regardless, the medical professional or financial advisor [FA] should investigate the opportunity afforded them through their current form of business, or client use, for any purchase of a LTC policy. And, small businesses may be permitted to deduct LTC premiums on a discriminatory basis.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. What have we missed, and who might wish to update this post?

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

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ISP Primer for Physicians

Understanding Basic Access and Connectivity

By Carol S. Miller; RN, MBAbiz-book18

To connect with an Internet service, the medical office will need a computer, modem, telephone line and software.  The modem, either external via a connection or internal via a built-in or slot card, takes the digital signals from your computer and converts them to analog signals that your phone line uses.  As a rule of thumb, the faster the better; therefore, the office should have at least a 56 bps or use a DSL line.

Accessing the Internet

To access the Internet, the office must obtain an Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as America Online (AOL), Earthlink, ATT Worldnet, Microsoft Network Premiere (MSN), Hot Link, or others.  The cost varies on the plan selected but usually averages in the range of $10 to $25 per month.  In selecting an ISP, several guidelines need to be considered:

 

  • The major online services often make it very easy to connect to the Internet, but may be more expensive;
  • Many low-priced ISPs may have customer service that matches their prices;
  • In selecting the ISP, make sure the provider has a toll-free or local support telephone line;
  • For a nationwide directory list of ISP providers, go to the Internet site of www.isp.com.

Besides the POTS (plain old telephone service), the physician may wish to have a faster connection to the Internet.  Several options are available.

Cable Modems

Cable connection is very fast, providing a lot of bandwidth (the amount of information that can be sent through a particular communication channel).  As an example, in the time it takes to transfer a half page across a 56K connection, the cable connection can transfer over 25 pages.  As is suggested by the name, the local cable TV provider or community antennae TV (CATV) deliver this service.

www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

dhimc-book26

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated? Who can update the above for modernity?

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/rip-retail-financial-services-industry/

Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Essential Insights on Successful Physician Budgeting

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Avoiding Common Cash Flow Budget Mistakes

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™]

[By Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CMP™]

[Publisher-in-Chief and Managing Editor]dave-and-hope4

Although some doctors might view a budget as unnecessarily restrictive, sticking to a spending plan can be a useful tool in enhancing the wealth of a practice. We emphasize the keys to smart budgeting and how to track spending and savings in these tough economic times.

Money and Happiness

There is an aphorism that suggests, “Money cannot buy happiness.” Well, this may be true enough but there is also a corollary that states, “Having a little sure reduces the unhappiness.” Unfortunately, today there is more than a little financial unhappiness in all medical specialties; not just the specialty of podiatry – where this article first appeared as a free-lance writing project. The challenges range from the commoditization of medicine, aging demographics, Medicare reimbursement cutbacks and increased competition to floundering equity markets, the home mortgage crisis, the squeeze on credit and declines in the value of a practice. Few doctors seem immune to this “perfect storm” of economic woes.biz-book2

Most Doctors Financially Hurting Today

Far too many physicians, dentists and other medical providers are hurting and it is not limited to these above-average earning professionals. However, one can strive to reduce the pain by following some basic budgeting principles. By adhering to these principles, most physicians can eliminate the “too many days at the end of the month” syndrome and instead develop a foundation for building real wealth and security, even in difficult economic climates like we face today.

Three Budget Types

There are at least three major budget types. [1] A flexible budget is an expenditure cap that adjusts for changes in the volume of expense items. [2] A fixed budget does not. [3] Advancing to the next level of rigor, a zero-based budget starts with essential expenses and adds items until the money is gone. Regardless of type, budgets can be extremely effective if one uses them at home or the office in order to spot money troubles before they develop.

fp-book2

Assessment

For the purpose of wealth building, medical professionals may think of a budget as a quantitative expression of an action plan. It is an integral part of the overall cost-control process for the individual, his or her family unit or one’s medical practice.

Read the entire article: http://www.podiatrytoday.com/essential-insights-on-successful-budgeting

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Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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Selecting an Assisted-Living Facility

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Checklist for Financial Planners

[By Staff Reporters]

Thousands of boarding homes cater to the elderly. Their operators promise to provide at least a place to sleep and food to eat. Beyond that, the services and assistance offered will vary from facility to facility. This checklist will help the financial planner or his or her client find a facility that is appropriate in all respects to the client’s resources and needs. Unlike nursing homes, assisted-living facilities often operate without any scrutiny from public agencies. Furthermore, Medicaid often will not be a source of funds.

The Checklist

The items the financial planner and client should consider when selecting a facility are listed below.

      1.   Determine the client’s willingness to live in a group environment.

      2.   Avoid unlicensed facilities, particularly if Medicaid-provided services may be needed in the future.

      3.   Review the facility’s inspection report.

      4.   Review the facility’s service contract and house rules. Look for answers to the following questions:

            a.         Where will the resident live?

                        Are there any types of ownership rights?

                        What flexibility is there with respect to furnishings?

                        Will the same unit be available after a hospital stay?

            b.         What meals are included?

                        Will the facility provide appropriate meals and a special diet?

            c.         What form of transportation does the resident currently use?

                        What transportation is provided by the facility?

                        Can residents shop, dine, attend services or visit doctors?

            d.         What help does the facility provide during a medical emergency?

                        What type of staff training is provided or required? Is there 24-                        hour-a-day staffing?

            e.         What provisions are there for privacy? When are rooms cleaned and when can staff access the rooms?

            f.          What is the basic cost and what are the costs for extras?

                        What is included in each?

                        What provisions for fee increases are there?

            g.         Can a resident see his or her own doctor?

                        Does the facility offer transportation for appointments?

            h.         Who’s in charge of administering and scheduling medication?

                        Can medication and other supplies be purchased at the facility?

            i.          What happens if the resident’s health begins to fail?

                        Does the facility provide additional services to help with ADLs?

            j.          What is the procedure for transfers from one unit to another?

                        Does the resident have any opportunity to express an opinion?

            k.         What’s required if a contract is terminated by facility or resident?

                        What is the provision with respect to refunded fees?

                        Is there a required minimum stay?

Assessment

What have we missed?

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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INSURANCE: Risk Management and Insurance Strategies for Physicians and Advisors

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Advisor’s Checklist for Physicians Seeking Insurance

Background, Education, and Certifications

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

Publisher-in-Chiefdem22

The following are sample questions and information gathered for Professional Liability Coverage

The Checklist

**Medical specialty information by percentage of practice.

**Information on medical education, including information on medical school, internship information, residency information, and fellowship information, if any.

**Information on medical experience, including information on military discharge (DD214), public health service, moonlighting, ‘locum tenens’, and private practice information. Have dates and locations available. Other information includes:

  • Information on completed continuing education hours in the past two years.
  • Publications, speeches, instruction, etc.
  • Information on medical licenses, including state, license number, expiration dates, and current status.
  • Information on board certifications.
  • The above information may be contained in a Curriculum Vita, if you have one.
  • On an “as applicable” basis:
  • Complete details including dates and outcomes of any board certification revocations or suspensions, license revocations or suspensions, alcohol or drug addictions and treatments, criminal or sexual misconduct charges, or Medicare or Medicaid charges.
  • Previous Insurance Information
  • Insurance history, including the name, policy number, whether the coverage form was occurrence or claims made, policy period, limits of liability, deductible amount, and prior acts date, for your current carrier, and your first, second, third, and fourth prior carrier, if applicable.
  • Information on any insurance company cancellations or non-renewals.
  • If your current policy is a claims-made policy, whether you are obtaining tail coverage from your current insurance company.
  • Copies of prior policies, if available.

Current Medical Practice Information

  • Information on supervision and employment of residents, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, nurse midwives and other physicians;
  • Information on networks or managed care organizations associated with (IPA, PHO, MSO, etc.), including group name, type of organization, and relationship;
  • Information on other contractual relationships other than PPOs, HMOs, IPA, etc;
  • Full information on all hospital privileges, including hospital name, location, and type of privilege.
  • Information on any suspension, denial, revocation, restriction, or other sanctioning of hospital privileges.

Classification and Specialty Identification

Full information on procedures performed, including details of surgeries, average number of patients seen weekly, specialty practice areas, etc.

Prior Claims History (if any)

For each claim, patient’s name; date of occurrence; insurance carrier; location of occurrence; date claim was reported; date claim was closed (if applicable); copies of subpoenas, pleadings, or judgments; amount reserved on your behalf; and amount paid on your behalf.  Provide as complete a description of the allegations as possible.

insurance-book2

Important Note

This checklist is provided as a guide to assist the Healthcare Professional in gathering the information that insurance companies typically request.  Discuss this checklist with your agent to identify additional information as needed.

Assessment

The author has been an expert medical witness in both state and federal court. He is also a former licensed insurance agent and certified financial planner.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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Reviewing Medical PDAs

Physician Use Growing Slowly

By Carol S. Miller; RN, MBAbiz-book10

Handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs), such as Palm Pilot M130, 500 or 515, Sony Clie, Visor Prism or Pro, Psion, RIM Blackberry, Zaurus, iPhone, Zune and other comparable PDA OS platforms, have revolutionized the communication world this past decade. PDAs and their future counterparts are becoming the catalyst for physicians to use information technology, are becoming the intro for physicians into the world of the electronic medical record software, and becoming the virtual office tool, enabling providers to communicate away from the desktop as well as away from his office practice. The reasons for increased utilization with physicians are portability, pocket-size, provides easy access to information at point of care and regardless of location, improves practice efficiency and workflow, improves drug related decisions and decreases adverse drug events.  

PDA Components

The common uses of PDAs by physician practices are:

 

  • Personal applications such as scheduling, telephone directories, dictionary, “to-do lists” and others
  • Drug databases
  • Clinic suite that ties into the hospital information system
  • Charge and procedure capture
  • Communications, from provider to provider, provider to hospital, provider to office, and vice versa

Palm Operating System

Palm OS still represents the standard in handheld computing, assisting individuals to manage and access information at any time, at any location.  Handhelds are easy to use.  Physicians are using the Palm OS and/or compatible PDAs to access their office schedules, receive downloads of clinical information on their patients, and enter clinical services and charges when performing services at remote locations.

PDA Selection

In selecting not only the PDA but also the software, the physician needs to answer the following questions:

 

  • What would you like to use the PDA for – clinical reference data, patient information, non-clinical applications, personal data, etc.?
  • What information do you need to know about the patient that the PDA can simplify?
  • What is the connection route between the hospital, managed care, or lab and your practice? In other words, how do you get access to the data?
  • What are your price considerations?
  • Do you need a color or black and white screen?
  • What is the system support and warranty?
  • How do you plan to connect to the office or hospital? 
  • Do you want to go wireless or obtain information via a telephone connection?
  • Do you plan to render care outside of your office practice, such as in the home, a clinic, hospital setting, etc?  If so, what would you like included on the PDA that would improve communication with the office and save time at point-of-service in documentation?

HIPAA

HIPAA regulations do not specifically address the specific term PDA, but the regulations do include guidelines for protecting patient information and transmission of this data that can impact the use of PDAs.  Physicians are utilizing handheld digital assistants whether they contain clinical information; or just resource data, may be or not are password protected, and may or may not be officially supported by hospitals or clinics.  Providers as they prepare for future applications and usage of PDAs involving patient information must understand the scope of the new HIPAA regulations as it impacts on patient data collected, stored or transmitted.  Any application involving patient identifiable data must be HIPAA compliant.  The key issues are how to protect the patient information stored on the device, i.e., if lost or stolen, and second how to protect patient information transmitted during a synchronization or wireless transaction.  Probably the most vulnerable aspect is the loss rate with recent studies indicating at least 30%.

Security

Most providers using PDAs for patient data utilize a user ID or password level of security. To maintain security, the provider should be required to re-enter their user ID or password every time they enter the application. Likewise, each PDA should have a “time out” feature, requiring a provider to re-enter his ID or password again. This feature will not prevent individuals with technical skills from accessing this information – the only mechanism is encryption.

Synchronization versus Wireless Applications

1. Synchronization transfers information from the enterprise database to the PDA, i.e., hospital lab or x-ray results, patient demographics, consultative notes, and others.  It is important that the hospital or hospital system authorize and approve the physician for using and transmitting this information and in turn, the provider authenticates and validates his agreement with the hospital before data is transmitted.  In addition for protection, an audit trail of who synchronized and what data was transmitted should be maintained by the hospital system.

2. Wireless providers have immediate real time access to patient data; however this process of transmission is more vulnerable than synchronization.  Wireless solutions can utilize a public or private network. HIPAA require encryption for the transmission of data over the public networks – Encryption is optional for others. Sharing data from a wireless over the Internet represents potential security issues; however, more and more technical firms and providers are using a wireless VPN that allows PDA users to connect securely from remote locations just as laptop users do today.

Other Issues

The other issues are who owns the PDA. If the provider does, he or she should be responsible for the security; however if the hospital does, the hospital should be responsible.  More current applications of Palm OS will include built-in modems for easier wireless communication, improved secure transactions, and ability of greater resolution for graphics, and other Web-based services. In addition, current and future applications will include refined voice dictation.  As an example, MDEverywhere’s package called Everynote allows the provider to digitally record notes and in turn links with MDEverywhere’s coded patient encounter.

The Blackberry

A very versatile product is the Blackberry.  It has web browsing capabilities, embedded wireless modem and can (1) write, send receive and respond to messages right from the unit, (2) access web information, (3) has nationwide coverage with no roaming fees, (4) has voice mail message capabilities, and (5) can be the size of a pager or PDA. The next feature with Blackberry will be its text messages to cell telephones.  New units start around $150-$300 with monthly service charges of $20-$50 depending on the plan.  The wireless Internet connection can be accomplished through Go.Web. 

Assessment

The typical cost for a PDA averages between $300 and $600 – depending on color or black and white – plus the cost of additional software and accessories.  For wireless connectivity, the physician will need to connect with a communication partner. Reference sites for PDAs are: www.handheldmed.com (for clinical, reviews, and news), www.pdamd.com (PDA resources), www.freewarepalm.com (free software programs), www.palmpilot.com, www.handspring.com.  The active shopper can refer to www.zdnet.com or www.palmblvd.com

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated? Who can update the above for modernity?

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

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Networks Basics for Medical Professionals

Defining WANs and LANs

By Carol S. Miller; RN, MBAbiz-book13

Depending on whether the practice is housed in one or multiple-office locations and there is a need to connect multiple computers, either a local area network (LAN) or wide are network (WAN) should be part of the package consideration.

The LAN

The LAN is a computer network that covers only a small area (often a single office or building).  The advantage of a LAN (besides connecting several computers to a network system) is the ability to configure one printer for multiple stations.  The same may be said for sharing administrative, clinical, financial and operational data in real-time manner to support smooth office function.

The WAN

The WAN provides the ability to link data on one network for multiple office site locations.

www.HealthDictionarySeries.comdhimc-book25

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated? Who can update this post for modernity?

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/rip-retail-financial-services-industry/

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Events-Planner: May 2009

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Events-Planner: MAY 2009

Staff Writers

“Keeping track of important health economics and financial industry meetings, conferences and summits”

Welcome to this issue of the Medical Executive-Post and our Events-Planner. It contains the latest information on conferences, news, and relevant resources in healthcare finance, economics, research and development, business management, pharmaceutical pricing, and physician/entity reimbursement!  Watch for a new Events-Planner each month.

First, a little about us! The Executive-Post is still a newcomer. But today, we have almost 15,000 visitors and readers each month from all over the country, in addition to our growing subscriber base. We have been a successful collaborative effort, thanks to your contributions.  As a result, we are adding new resources daily.  And, we hope the website continues to provide the best place to go for journals, books, conferences, educational resources, tools, and other things you need to establish the value your healthcare consulting and financial advisory intervention. And so, enjoy the Executive-Post and our monthly Events-Planner with our compliments. 

 

A Look Ahead this Month

 

May 1: Print Edition Healthcare Journalism: If you would like to “step-up-your-game” and be considered as a peer-reviewed contributor to the third print edition of: The Business of Medical Practice [Health 2.0 Profit Maximizing Techniques for Savvy Doctors]; contact Ann at: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com. There are several chapter topics still available. Now, the important dates:

May 3-5: Spring Professional Development Conference: IMCA, San Diego, CA.

May 3-6: NAAIM Uncommon Knowledge Conference, Denver, CO.

May 6-8: FINRA Annual Conference, Boston, MA.

May 8: North Central Regional Conference, Healthcare Compliance Association, Columbus, OH.

May 12: Executive Forum on Rewards to Improver Employee Health, Chicago, Illinois.

May 11-15: International Wealth-Tax Management Seminar: CFA Institute, Lucerne, Switzerland.

May 12-14: Advances in Asset Allocation: CFA Institute, New York, NY.

May 13: National Medicaid Conference, HCCA, LLC, Washington, DC. 

May 18-21: Leveraged Credit and Distressed Debt: CFA Institute, Charlottesville, VA.

May 19: Medicaid Rebates Conference, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

May 19-22: TD Ameritrade Conference and Elite Advisor Summit, Atlanta, GA.

May 27-29: Morningstar Investment Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

 

Please send in your meetings and dates for listing in the next issue of our Events-Planner.

MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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