Guest ME-P Bloggers Welcome

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By Ann Miller; RN, MHA

[Executive Director]Lighthouse

Perhaps you have a great idea for a short article to promote the integration of personal financial planning and medical practice management, including expert posts, humorous stories or interesting news; but don’t want to maintain a blog? We have more than 50 topic channels to consider.

 

Contact me at MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com and be a guest blogger! 

Conclusion

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Are Today’s Doctors Desperate?

Emotions Rise with Healthcare Reform

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]dem2

Managed care is a prospective payment method where medical care is delivered regardless of the quantity or frequency of service, for a fixed payment, in the aggregate. It is not traditional fee-for-service medicine or the individual personal care of the past, but is essentially utilitarian in nature and collective in intent. Will new-age healthcare reform be even more draconian?

Unhappy Physicians

There are many reasons why doctors are professionally and financially unhappy, some might even say desperate, because of managed care; not to mention the specter of healthcare reform from the Obama administration. For example:

  • A staggering medical student loan debt burden of $100,000-250,000 is not unusual for new practitioners. The federal Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) program reported that for the Year 2000, it squeezed significant repayment settlements from its Top 5 list of deadbeat doctor debtors. This included a $303,000 settlement from a New York dentist, $186,000 from a Florida osteopath, $158,000 from a New Jersey podiatrist, $128,000 from a Virginia podiatrist, and $120,000 from a Virginia dentist. The agency also excluded 303 practitioners from Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs and had their cases referred for nonpayment of debt.
  • Because of the flagging economy, medical school applications nationwide have risen. “Previously, there were a lot of different opportunities out there for young bright people”; according to Rachel Pentin-Maki; RN, MHA”; not so today. In fact, Physicians Practice Digest recently stated, “Medicine is fast becoming a job in which you work like a slave, eke out a middle class existence, and have patients, malpractice insurers, and payers questioning your motives.” Remarkably, the Cornell University School of Continuing Education has designed a program to give prospective medical school students a real-world peek, both good and bad.

The Ripple Effects of Managed Care and Reform

“Many people who are currently making a great effort and investment to become doctors may be heading for a role and a way of life that are fundamentally different from what they expect and desire,” according to Stephen Scheidt, MD, director of the $1,000 Cornell fee program; why?

  • Fewer fee-for-service patients and more discounted patients.
  • More paperwork and scrutiny of decisions with lost independence and morale.
  • Reputation equivalency (i.e., all doctors in the plan must be good), or commoditization (i.e., a doctor is a doctor is a doctor).
  • The provider is at risk for (a) utilization and acuity, (b) actuarial accuracy, (c) cost of delivering medical care, and (d) adverse patient selection.
  • Practice costs are increasing beyond the core rate of inflation.
  • Medicare reimbursements are continually cut.

Mad Obama

Early Opinions

Richard Corlin MD, opined back in 2002 that “these are circumstances that cannot continue because we are going to see medical groups disappearing.” Furthermore, he stated, “This is an emergency that lawmakers have to address.” Such cuts also stand to hurt physicians with private payers since commercial insurers often tie their reimbursement schedules to Medicare’s resources. “That’s the ripple effect here,” says Anders Gilberg, the Washington lobbyist for the Medical Group Management Associations (MGMA).

Assessment

And so, some desperate doctors are pursing these sources of relief, among many others:

  • A growing number of doctors are abandoning traditional medicine to start “boutique” practices that are restricted to patients who pay an annual retainer of $1,500 and up for preferred services and special attention. Franchises for the model are also available.
  • Regardless of location, the profession of medicine is no longer ego-enhancing or satisfying; some MDs retire early or leave the profession all together. Few recommend it, as a career anymore.

Assessment

To compound the situation, it is well known that doctors are notoriously poor investors and do not attend to their own personal financial well being, as they expertly minister to their patients’ physical illnesses.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Tell us what you think? Are you a desperate doctor? 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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References:

  1. www.managedcaremagazine.com/archives/9809/9809/.qna_dickey.shtml
  2. www.hrsa.dhhs.gov/news-pa/heal.htm
  3. www.bhpr.hrsa.gov/dsa/sfag/health-professions/bk1prt4.htm
  4. Pamela L. Moore, “Can We All Just Get Along: Bridging the Generation Gap, Physicians Practice Digest (May/June 2001).

 

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

 

Tightening Payment Rules for Non-Physicians

Understanding the Medicare “Incident To” Rules

By Staff ReportersGator

Under the “incident to” rules, Medicare Part B pays for some services that are billed by physicians, but performed by non-physicians. And, the Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS] and Office of Inspector General [OIG] says that some of these services might be used improperly.

Suggestions to CMS

The agency recommends the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] perform the following:

  • Revise the “incident to” rule to require that physicians who bill Medicare, but don’t perform the services themselves, ensure that the services are provided by a licensed physician, or a non-physician with the necessary training, certification or licensure.
  • Require that physicians who use non-physician services identify this with a service code modifier on bills.
  • Take appropriate action to detect when physicians bill for “incident to” services that are not covered under the rule.

Assessment

In the current healthcare reform environment, Medicare services by non-physicians are coming under increased scrutiny. And, the OIG is finding that the “incident to” rule is allowing medical care to be provided by non-physicians who may lack the necessary qualifications. This may be a healthcare financial, insurance and quality breach. So, don’t let this trap “bite” you.

Source: HHS Office of Inspector General (www.oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-09-06-00430.pdf)

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Has anyone been bitten by the ‘incident to” rules? Tell us what you think. 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 

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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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On PHI Security Breaches

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New HHS Regulations

[By Staff Reporters]

Effective September 23, 2009, new regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) will require covered entities to notify affected individuals and HHS following the discovery of a breach of patient information. These regulations are more expansive than other notification laws that may already exist. Under these new regulations, covered entities must analyze every privacy and/or security incident to determine whether a notification requirement exists and then satisfy detailed notice requirements.

Breach Defined 

According to Garfunkel, Wild and Travis PC, a “breach” may be defined as the unauthorized acquisition, access, use or disclosure of unsecured Protected Health Information (“PHI”) which compromises the security or privacy of the PHI. It is important to note that this definition of breach is broader than most state notification laws under which most covered entities have already been operating for a number of years. While state notification laws may only require notification when there is an unauthorized disclosure of social security numbers or other specific kinds of personal information, under these new Federal regulations, unauthorized access, acquisition, use or disclosure of any PHI, not just social security number, is a potential breach. Furthermore; unauthorized uses of PHI, not just access or disclosure, requires notification.

Assessment

For more info: http://www.gwtlaw.com

Conclusion

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Let’s Think about Vitality GlowCaps for a Moment

Lights, Ring Tones and E-mails – Oh My!

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief]

DEM Thinking

Vitality Inc, is a new firm that reports to address the billion-dollar adherence problem for pharmaceutical brands, retail pharmacies, and healthcare providers with a simple device — an Internet-connected pill cap.

What it Is

Vitality GlowCaps illuminate, play a melody, and even ring a home phone so patients don’t forget to take their pills. They can send weekly emails to remote caregivers, create accountability with doctors through an adherence report, and automatically refill prescriptions. Vitality reports to improve medication adherence, health, and peace of mind.

Video: http://rxvitality.com/glowcaps.html

Name Droppers

According to its website, Vitality is currently working with researchers at Harvard Medical School and the Center for Connected Health on a study to measure the impact of the GlowCaps CONNECT system.

Vitality is the only company with a product designed to tackle the combination of factors that conspire to cause non-adherent behavior.

Overkill

Our society is now at the point of paying obese patients to diet and exercise [they don’t seem to recognize the benefit], paying public school children to study [they don’t seem to recognize the benefit], and now using internet enabled technology to help patients remember to take their own medication [they don’t seem to … yada, yada, yada].

A Reasonable Query?

But, may one reasonably ask; is this admittedly “very cool” technology overkill? THINK: RFID tags for wrong extremity surgery; when common sense and a magic marker might do just as well? Sure, there may be some modicum of benefit here for elderly patients and select other reasons. But, does the marginal cost outweigh the marginal benefit? Or, is this technology really a solution in search of an exaggerated “problem” that just may involve slack personal responsibility? And, most importantly, who will pay for it?  

Assessment

Vitality Inc, leverages deep expertise in customer research, wireless consumer electronics, web services and behavioral psychology. Vitality’s patent pending solution is said offer each patient the optimal mix of intervention, feedback, reminders, accountability, education and incentives to improve their ongoing medication adherence. But, does it really improve health, and at what cost? Can’t we solve the “problem” of pill non-compliance cheaper and easier?

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Tell us what you think. Any early adopters out there, and ready to opine? Or, give em’ a click and tell us what you think! http://rxvitality.com 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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Nathaniel Potter MD and Touring with Dr. Marcinko [Part VI]

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About Nathaniel Potter, MD

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™
[Publisher-in-Chief]
Dateline: Baltimore MarylandNathaniel Potter MD

While in Washington DC on the second portion of our recent ME-P book “signing and opining” tour, I had the good fortune to visit the gravesite of the noted physician Nathaniel Potter, MD. Dr. Potter was born in Carolina county Maryland in 1770 and died in Baltimore on 2 January, 1843. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1796, and settled in Baltimore, where he practiced medicine until his death. In 1807, he associated with Dr. John B. Davidge in founding the University of Maryland, School of Medicine where he ultimately served as professor and dean. He died penniless.

THINK Potter’s field!

About Green Mount Cemetery

Green Mount Cemetery is located in Baltimore, MD. Established in 1839, it is noted for the large number of historical figures that have been interred in its grounds as well as a large number of prominent Baltimore-area families. It retained the name Green Mount when the land was purchased from the heirs of Baltimore merchant Robert Oliver. Green Mount is also a treasury of precious works of art, including striking works by major sculptors like William Rinehart and Hans Schuler. The cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Assessment

In as much as Dr. Potter was a well know figure to me, I was most pleased at the impromptu visit to his grave. You see, although I attended Temple University because of my future specialty, my first medical school choice would have been at University of Maryland if post-graduate education opportunities had been different at the time. And, I passed the medical school, and the imposing Greek themed Davidge Hall Dome, daily for four years as I rode the number 8 public transportation bus to my undergraduate studies at nearby Loyola University, in Townson Maryland. Of course, the fact that Potter was educated at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the first in the nation, did not elude me when I worked in its ER as a young medical student in Philadelphia, back in-the-day. University of Maryland was the fifth such medical school in the country.

About Off Road with Dr. Marcinko

These sporadic off-road segments will continue through-out my summer promotional tour. Attendance at several formal and informal engagements increased since the early summer. The previously noted sales spike for our texts, handbooks and dictionaries; as well as interest in our online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org  program.

Part V: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-v/

Conclusion

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About HealthDataRights.org

Mitigating the Unintended Consequences of HIPAA

By Staff ReportersWaiting for Medical Records

Many patients and pundits opine how today’s HIPAA regulations [written in the relative paper based stone age] say that while doctors must provide a copy of your records, they can take a month to do so. And, if they want, they can say that’s not enough and take another month. However, when a patient needs medical care; that time-line is not acceptable.

Enter a Website and Start a Movement

According to the website www.HealthDataRights.org, in an era when technology allows personal health information to be more easily stored, updated, accessed and exchanged, the following rights should be self-evident and inalienable. We the people:

  • Have the right to our own health data.
  • Have the right to know the source of each health data element.
  • Have the right to take possession of a complete copy of our individual health data, without delay, at minimal or no cost; if data exist in computable form, they must be made available in that form.
  • Have the right to share our health data with others as we see fit.

Assessment

These principles express basic human rights as well as essential elements of health care that is participatory, Health 2.0 appropriate and in the interests of each patient. No law or policy should abridge these rights.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Visit the site, join the movement by signing their petition, and tell us what you think. 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 

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Henry Louis Gehrig, eMRs and Healthcare Reform

What’s the “Iron Horse” Got to Do with Health IT?

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]Jacobetti VA

According to UPI reports from Charlestown, WVa on August 24 2009, at least 1,200 veterans across the country were mistakenly told by the Veterans Administration [VA] that they suffered from a fatal neurological disorder.

Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32541579/ns/health-health_care/

Panicked Veterans

One of the leaders of a Gulf War veterans group is reported to have said that panicked veterans from the states of Alabama, Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming contacted the group about the error. Denise Nichols, the vice president of the National Gulf War Resource Center, reportedly blamed a “coding error” for the mistake. In medicine, we call this a “false positive.”

About Henry Louis “Lou” Gehrig

Henry Louis “Lou” Gehrig (June 19, 1903 – June 2, 1941), born Ludwig Heinrich Gehrig, was an American baseball player in the 1920s and 1930s; chiefly remembered for his prowess as a hitter, the longevity of his consecutive games played record and the pathos of his tearful farewell from baseball at age 36, when he was stricken with a fatal disease. Of course, Gehrig was known as the “The Iron Horse” for his durability. Yet, the irony is that Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis [ALS], or Lou Gehrig’s disease [sometimes also called Maladie de Charcot] is progressive and fatal. Lou died in 1941 after developing the illness. Will the same death-spiral happen to eHRs and Obama care?

Link: http://www.lougehrig.com

Assessment

Having rotated through the VA system as a young medical student back-in-the-day, I have never been a fan. It smacked of socialized medicine and government plutocracy, and was never a leading-edge example of domestic healthcare, in my informed opinion. Recent HIPAA administrative, security, IT and clinical medical errors are well known. So, to blame the mix-up on an insurance billing and “coding error” seems somewhat disingenuous. Especially now, at a time when eMRs and the Obama Administration’s healthcare reform itself is being vigorously debated by the citizenry. I mean, are there no human checks and balances? Would there be any human intervention if a public healthcare policy was adopted?

Of course, we have written about military medicine previously on this Medical Executive-Post, and devoted an entire channel to it. And, I do realize that more than fifty percent of us receive similar governmental care in some form, or another [Medicare, Medicaid, CHIPS, the Indian and Prison Healthcare Systems, etc].

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/category/military-medicine/

Nevertheless, shall we give a new moniker to this mistake? How about “Lou Gehrig’s coding error”, and document it in our www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Is it even fair to relate this “isolated incident” to the current healthcare reform debate, the eMR conundrum and/or similar discussions on health Information Technology [IT]? Tell us what you think. 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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Superannuation Demographics for Financial Advisors

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www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

“Live Long and Prosper”

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

By Thomas A. Muldowney; MSFS, CLU, CFP®, CMP™

By Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CMP™Senior Citizens

The words of Mr. Spock!

Recently, during my promotional speaking tour for the summer of 2009, I had the occasion to visit a few nursing and related homes for the elderly, sick, infirmed and aged. This harkened warm thoughts back to my time at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA as a young medical student. So, as a health economist and former certified financial planner, I recruited some folks and did some research on the domestic aging population to refresh my understanding of the facts and figures; especially in light of the current healthcare reform political debates [DEM].

Just the Facts  

According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, there were almost 49 million people in the United States who were over age 60 in 2001. There are approximately 4 million people over the age of 85 living in the US and there are over 60,000 people older than age 100 estimated as of July 1st 2004. For every100 middle aged persons in the United States there are at present about 114 persons over the age of 65. This statistic will change as we move forward through time. In the year 2025, there will be about 253 people over age 65 for every 100 middle-aged people.

Enter the Baby Boomers

Beginning on January 1, 2006 at midnight and every 12 seconds thereafter for fifteen years, a baby boomer will have a birthday and cross over the age threshold of age 60. In the next 30 years, the 60+ age group will more than double, becoming 25% of the total population, and will have to be supported by a proportionately smaller workforce. Research published in June 2005 by AARP (based on data from 2002) estimates that: ‘‘In 2002, roughly $140 billion was spent on nursing home and home health care, with 24% of these costs being paid out of pocket” (O’Brien and Elias, 2004).

Aging Boomers

As the baby boom generation ages, the care needs will expand precipitously. Add to this, scientific and technological improvements in healthcare. These very same people will need more expensive healthcare and more expensive custodial care, and they will need it for an even longer period of time. Who will pay for this expanded need is not so clear. What is clear is that it will take money and lots of it to make these payments.

Money Preservation Variables

There are only three variables associated with the accumulation or preservation of money: ‘‘time, money and rate of return.’’ Time is reduced to the following two questions ‘‘How long until I will need my money?’’ and ‘‘How long will I live?’’ an uncertainty to be sure. Rate of return is either a function of the financial markets or the successful maintenance of a Long Term Care Insurance [LTCI] plan. Because of the volatility in the financial markets, the ‘‘money’’ question is equally as uncertain. In order to accumulate sufficient assets; an aging physician must ’tradeoff’ many other alternatives such as ’lifestyle.’

Assessment

What is certain is this—financial planning is important. More important is the implementation.

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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BCBS-TX Reverses NPI Policy

Victory at Last

[By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS]pruitt

Every now and then, I enjoy little victories. My war with BCBS-TX started when they began declining to pay their clients’ claims if they originated in my office. Since I’m not a HIPAA-covered entity, I didn’t volunteer for an arbitrary National Provider Identification number.

The behemoth insurance company not only successfully drove away some of my long term patients, but their clever policy blocked my access to their pool of clients who were led to believe their dental insurance was good everywhere – until my office manager had to tell them otherwise. BCBSTX is a sleazy company simply because it lies to its clients as policy. 

Successful Claims

In the last two weeks, my office manager has successfully filed a couple of claims and it appears that unless payment is blocked in the next day or so, BCBSTX no longer requires Texas dentists to have NPI numbers.

Asessment

That’s nice, but I want more. I want the state CHIP program to drop its NPI requirement as well. Why limit access to dental care to the poor because of a number that only helps insurers. I’m just getting started, Texas.

Conclusion

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More on Doctors and Personal Net Worth

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Determinations Using Rules-of-Thumb

[By Staff Reporters]fp-book1

Once the value of all personal assets and liabilities is known, physician net worth can be determined with the following formula: Net worth – assets minus liabilities. Obviously, higher is better.

And, although eschewed in the past, rule-of-thumb determinations are making a comeback because of the recent financial implosion and stock market meltdown.

Benchmarks

In The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas H. Stanley, Ph.D., and William H. Danko gave the following benchmark for net worth accumulation. Although conservative for physicians of a past generation, it may again be more applicable in the future because of the current managed care environment and political turmoil.

Here is the guide: Multiple your age by your annual pre-tax income from all sources, except inheritances; and then divide by ten.

Example

As an HMO pediatrician, Dr. Curtis earned $60,000 last year. So, if she is 35, her net worth should be at least $210,000. How do you get to that point? In a word, consume less and save more. Stanley and Danko found that the typical millionaire set aside 15 percent of earned income annually and has enough invested to survive 10 years, at current income levels if he stopped working. If Dr. Curtis lost her job tomorrow, how long could she pay herself the same salary?

More:

Assessment 

In one non-medical but stark example of inattentiveness to net-worth, John McAfee, the entrepreneur who founded the antivirus software company that bears his name, is now worth about $4 million, down from a peak of more than $100 million, according to the New York Times.

Conclusion

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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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Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)

What is a Zero-Based Budget?

A Most Cruel – but Needed – Endeavor

[By Staff Reporters]fp-book2

A zero-based budget means you start with the absolute essential expenses and then add-back expenses from there until you run out of money. This is an extremely effective, yet rigorous, exercise for most doctors and medical professionals; and can be used personally or at the office.

Triage and Prioritize

Your first personal financial item should be retirement plan contributions, then your mortgage and other debt payments, and then other required fixed expenses. From the office perspective, the first budget item should be salary expenses for both you and your staff. Operating assets and other big ticket items come next, followed by the more significant items on your net income statement. Some doctors even review their P&L statements quarterly, line by line, in an effort to reduce expenses. Then, you add discretionary personal or business expenses that you have some control over.

More Month than Money

Now, do you run out of money before you reach the end of the month, quarter, or year? Then you better cut back on entertainment at home or that fancy new, but unproven piece of office or medical equipment. This sounds Draconian until you remind yourself that your choice is either (1) entertainment now but no money later or; (2) living a simpler lifestyle now as you invest so you’re able to enjoy yourself at retirement.

Assessment

When you were a young doctor, budgeting may have seemed a task needed far into the future; but at midlife, you are staring retirement right in the face.

Conclusion

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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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Off-Road Touring with Dr. Marcinko [Part V]

About the Ship USNS COMFORT
By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™
[Publisher-in-Chief]
Dateline: August 4, 2009USNS Comfort Canton, Maryland

The official Navy ship USNS COMFORT [“Medical Treatment Facility”] has the primary mission to provide a mobile, flexible and rapidly responsive capability for acute medical and surgical care in support of amphibious task forces. These forces include the Marine Corps, Army and Air Force elements, forward deployed Navy elements of the fleet, and activities located in areas where hostilities may be imminent. Operations are governed by the principles of the “Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Wounded, Sick, and Shipwrecked Members of the Armed Forces at Sea”, as of August 12, 1949.

Mission

As a secondary mission of the ship COMFORT is providing a full hospital service asset for use by other government agencies involved in the support of relief and humanitarian operations worldwide. These mission statements are accountable to both the Reduced Operating Status (ROS) and Full Operating Status (FOS) military personnel staffed at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda Maryland until the ship is activated. However, the ROS personnel’s immediate and number one priority is to fully activate the ship to a FOS Echelon III Medical Treatment Facility within a prescribed 5-day time frame.

Functions

In meeting these missions, the ROS personnel perform the following functions:

  • Serve as the nucleus of the critical core required to execute activations;
  • Develop, test, and maintain systems and procedures to support activation process;
  • Orient and train FOS augmenting staff;
  • Monitor/assess the medical treatment facility’s overall ability to fully activate/perform mission.

Leaders

The ship is commanded by CAPT James J. Ware DDS, with Executive Officer Captain Larnerd, and Master Chief Lohner. The home base is Baltimore, Maryland.  Upon arrival at the dock, the ME-P and I planned to meet onboard with Master David Lieberman. But, an interview was cancelled due to a last minute scheduling conflict. However, we were placed in the competent hands of our civilian tour guide, Shaun B. of Virginia. He noted 70 civilian and 700 military personnel.US Comfort

Assessment

Shaun B, informed me that despite advanced age, my application for a four month tour would be gladly reviewed. And, it is under serious future consideration as my nurse sister is a recent Bronze Star Award winner from a Combat Army Surgical Hospital [CASH] unit stationed in Iraq. I also did my trauma surgery training in Martin Army Hospital, at Fort Benning Georgia, back-in-the-day.

About Off Road with Dr. Marcinko

These sporadic off-road segments will continue through-out my 2009 summer promotional tour. Attendance at several formal and informal engagements increased since the early summer. The previously noted sales spike for our texts, handbooks and dictionaries www.HealthDictionarySeries.com continued and interest in our online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com program and premier quarterly guide: Healthcare Organizations [Journal of Financial Management Strategies] www.HealthcareFinancials.com remained high.

Part IV: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-iv/

Conclusion

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

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Healthcare Organizations

Understanding Deviations in Medical Billing

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Appreciating Normative Comparisons

[By Patricia A. Trites; MPA, CHBC, CPC, CHCC, CHCO ]

tritesDeviation in medical billing can be detected through utilization data that insurance companies produce on all providers that submit a claim for payment of services.

Insurance companies track utilization through a variety of parameters, including CPT codes, ICD-9-CM, or number of referrals. Different programs utilize certain benchmarks to trigger a review.

Example

For example, a physician who sees patients in the office from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., seven days a week and has the highest billing amounts in the region can be subjected to a review. This doctor’s activities would be scrutinized. The utilization review department would probably flag this doctor’s provider number and request more information on a sampling of his or her claims, based on the volume.

Utilization Review

Some utilization review activities may occur due to the type of services that a doctor may offer. For example, if a cardiologist should suddenly start billing for a large number of incision and drainages of abscesses, this might trigger a review, since that might not be a typical scope of service for this doctor in this locality. The same could be said for a pathologist, triggering a review due to the high volume of wound care or ulcer debridement.

Audit Trigger Thresholds Vary

Thresholds vary from locale to locale regarding what triggers an audit. There are consultants who have suggested querying the local carrier for provider specific information regarding utilization activity to compare against community performance. Some Carrier Advisory Committee (CAC) representatives have indicated that this may bring undesirable attention from the Medicare program and trigger an audit. Consult professional associations. and, if possible; local CAC representatives to obtain most current information in your area.

Conclusion

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My Favorite Health 2.0 Experience from McDonalds

Meet the Schwieterman’s

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™biz-book

Back in 2005, we published the second edition of our popular textbook: the Business of Medical Practice. And, we are now working on the third edition. At the time however, I was fortunate to have a colleague from the Microsoft Corporation pen our Foreword, now reprinted below for your review.

Link: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

 

What a Family Tradition!

My favorite story came from Dr. Thomas Schwieterman, a fourth-generation physician working in the same medical office his great grandfather established in 1896 in the town of Mariastein, Ohio. From those same historic environs, Schwieterman has used Microsoft Access to create his own physician assistant application.

The Schwieterman Family Physicians practice kept him so busy that he was wondering how he could keep up with his patient caseload. Schwieterman wanted a faster way to handle prescriptions, provide medical information, and record data for his patient records. He walked into a McDonald’s restaurant one day and had an idea.

The Epiphany

“I ordered a cheeseburger and fries and watched the person at the counter touch the screen of the cash register a few times, and realized the order was getting transferred back to the food preparation area, and that by the time I paid, my order was ready,” he said. “I thought to myself: ‘That’s what I need!’” He searched for commercially available solutions, but when he couldn’t find an exact match for his needs, and when he found prices steep for a small private practice, he decided to create his own – using Access. He also called upon a friend with a Master’s Degree in electrical engineering to help on the coding. His creation boosted his income by 20 percent – “Which was important because we pay more than $60,000 a year for malpractice insurance even though our clinic has never been sued since it was founded 107 years ago.”

Assessment

What my friends at Microsoft especially like about this story is that when Dr. Schwieterman’s colleagues tried his program, liked it, and suggested he try to sell it, he put together a PowerPoint presentation – and landed a partnership agreement with a major healthcare supply and services corporation to market his ChartScribe solution.

Conclusion

So, the pressures facing physicians are great, but so are their resources. Information technology is one resource, this book is another, but the greatest of all is the innate curiosity and drive to discover and create that seems to be so much a part of those who are drawn to this noble profession.

Ahmad Hashem; MD, PhD

Global Healthcare Productivity Manager

Microsoft’s Healthcare Industry Solutions Group

Microsoft Corporation

Redmond, Washington 

Conclusion

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Integration of Hospital Automatic Data Collection Technologies

Review of Automatic Data Collection Equipment

By David J. Piasecki, with
Hope Hetico; RN, MHA

While hardware costs of automatic data collection [ADC] equipment continue to come down for hospital and healthcare organizations, the cost of integration will often prove to be the project buster. Software and integration costs will often be several times the cost of the hardware, especially in smaller health system operations where only a few devices will be used. Integration of ADC technologies is also far from standardized.

www.HealthcareFinancials.comHO-JFMS-CD-ROM

Example:

For example, when implementing a system with portable terminals, one integrator may create a program on the terminals that will write directly to the file on the host system, another may create programs on a separate server to do this, another may write or modify a program on your host system and use terminal emulation software, and another may use a screen mapping tool to reformat an existing program to be used on the portable device. So, make sure to speak with several integrators to ensure the best solution. Also, make sure to participate heavily in equipment selection and program/process design (prompts, data input) to ensure a system that provides the highest levels of accuracy and productivity.

Real-Time Locator System 

A real-time locator system (RTLS) uses RFID technology that provides the objects they are attached to the ability to transmit their current location.  The system requires some type of RFID tag to be attached to each object that needs to be tracked, and RF transmitters/receivers located throughout the facility to determine the location and send information to a computerized tracking system. While it sounds like a great way to eliminate “lost” inventory, the systems are still too costly for most inventory-tracking operations and are more likely to be used to track more valuable assets.

Screen Mapping/Screen Scraping

This software provides the functionality to change the arrangement of data fields on a computer screen that accesses a mainframe computer program. Screen mapping is frequently used in combination with terminal-emulation software to “remap” data fields from a standard mainframe program to be used on the smaller screen of a portable hand-held device.

Speech-Based Technology

Speech-based technology, also known as voice technology is really composed of two technologies:  (1) voice directed, which converts computer data into audible commands, and (2) speech recognition, which allows user voice input to be converted into data.  Portable voice systems consist of a headset with a microphone and a wearable computer.

Terminal Emulation

Software used on desktop and portable computers is available that allows the computer to act like a terminal connected to a mainframe system. If you have a networked desktop PC and are accessing mainframe programs (green screen programs) you are using terminal emulation. Terminal emulation is also a common method used to connect portable computers (as in pharmacy bar-code ADC systems) to mainframe software.

Warehouse Management System

Computer software designed specifically for managing the movement and storage of materials throughout the healthcare system warehouse or chain of command generally controls the following three operations:  (1) put-away, (2) replenishment, and (3) picking.  The key to these systems is the logic to direct these operations to specific locations based on user-defined criteria.  Warehouse Management Systems (WMSs) are often set up to integrate with ADC systems. 

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Can you think of any other data integration technologies?  Tell us what you think. 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 Healthcare Reform Survey?

Off-Road Touring with Dr. Marcinko [Part V]

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

About Marquette, Michigan

As our ME-P readers are aware, Marquette Michigan has a population of 20,714, and is the UP’s largest community. In addition to being a population center, it serves as the regional center for education, health care, and outdoor recreation. This regional draw is particularly evident due to Northern Michigan University and Marquette General Hospital [MGH]. Naturally, during my recent tour there, I was able to visit both small and large medical practices, clinics and hospitals. Everywhere, the topic of conversation was the Obama Administration’s vision of domestic healthcare reform. And so, after unofficially asking local residents on their feelings in the matter, we are pleased to offer this survey to all readers and subscribers to our Medical-Executive Post.

Bell Medical

 

About Off Road with Dr. Marcinko

These sporadic off-road segments will continue through-out my 2009 summer promotional tour. On the one hand, formal attendance at several engagements was a bit sparse because of the death of several recent celebrities and entertainer types. On the other hand, local book stores and sponsors noted a spike in our CD and book sales, as well as interest in our online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com program and premier quarterly guide: Healthcare Organizations [Journal of Financial Management Strategies] www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Part IV: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-iv/ 

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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About Practice Fusion and Free eHRs

A Web Based Concept in the Clouds

By Staff ReportersOpen

Practice Fusion is a firm that reports to address the complexities and critical needs of today’s healthcare environment by providing a free, web-based electronic Health Record (eHR) application to physicians.

America’s Fastest Growing EHR community

Practice Fusion is also a fast growing electronic Health Record community. Founded in 2005, they are rapidly expanding and adding new users regularly. Over 18,000 physicians and practice managers in 50 states currently use Practice Fusion’s electronic Health Record.

Online and Free

Practice Fusion stands out in a marketplace dominated by complicated, expensive and often inefficient eHR services. Their user-friendly eHR is reported to be activated in less than five minutes, with no downtime or extensive training; eliminating the difficult conversion process that has become an industry-standard.

Secure and Reliable

The firm understands the mission-critical nature of their application. Practice Fusion’s electronic Health Record is developed for the highest levels of security and performance with world-class data centers equipped with best-in-class technology to securely house sensitive data.

Assessment

Although Practice Fusion is a young company, they are led by a well-established team of healthcare and technology veterans. Practice Fusion is directed by a group of investors and medical practitioners who believe in the power of electronic Health Records. Investors include Band of Angels, Salesforce.com and Felicis Ventures. So, give the site a click, and tell us what you think! www.PracticeFusion.com

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Comments from users and early adopters are especially 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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Kelly Mclendon RHIA censors D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS

Dateline: 8.15.09

pruitt

Dear Kelly Mclendon, Registered Health Information Administrator

You are beginning to make me feel insulted, and I will not have that. I just noticed that the last two comments I submitted to your Website, www.spacecoastmedicine.com, on August 9 and 10, are still “awaiting moderation.”

http://www.spacecoastmedicine.com/2009/08/electronic-records-for-all-patients-mandated-by-2014.html#comment-89 

(For clarity, the comments which scared Mr. Mclendon are copied below) 

Over five days have passed, and I want you, your readers and my readers to know that I spent a lot of time preparing those two pieces exclusively for you at your invitation for comments. You are as sincere as I am, aren’t you? 

When I’ve caught others in the squeeze you might be experiencing, several have pleaded that the censorship was an innocent oversight, and did the right thing immediately by posting everything I send them (include this comment, please). And then again, there are a few slow-learning, command-and-control types who think they cam still somehow control the content of their Websites. Like you, Kelly, an anonymous dentalblogs.com editor whom I call “Nancy” by default, also informed me that my comments were awaiting indefinite moderation. What a foolish, rookie mistake that proved to be. For example, if you google “dentalblogs.com,” my article “Dentalblogs.com hates D. Kellus Pruitt DDS” is their 4th hit. It seems to be very popular. 

How’s this for the title of a comment that should make it to your first page by Monday: “Kelly Mclendon RHIA censors D. Kellus Pruitt DDS”? Please, no phone calls. 

D. Kellus Pruitt; DDS 

Dateline 8.9.09 

I’m sure physicians’ businesses are no different than dentists’ when it comes to the liability of data breaches – especially considering the giddy, mindless momentum of HITECH-empowered HIPAA. If a computer is stolen in a burglary, compromised by a dishonest employee who sells IDs on the side, or otherwise hacked, and the dentist reports the tragedy according to the letter of the law, it inevitably means bankruptcy even before the feel-good fines are levied by HHS (HIPAA) and the FTC (Red Flags Rule) for not having required irrelevant documentation of administrative trivia in order. What were our lawmakers thinking? 

I guess the HIPAA blunder proves that when politicians, insurers and healthcare IT entrepreneurs get together in vendor clubs like CCHIT, the only government-approved eHR certification authority, they can mandate damn well any law that suits their needs. 

Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman, who is an influential friend of Barack Obama as well as a Trustee of CCHIT told Bloomberg.com reporter Alex Nussbaum in an interview almost a year ago that providers should make the financial commitment “to ensure that doctors have some skin in the game.” 

Glen Tullman is only one reason our nation’s healthcare IT industry stinks from the top down. 

D. Kellus Pruitt; DDS

Dateline: 8.10.09 

Thank you, Kelly Mclendon, for providing a rare venue to possibly clear up a few items of uncertainty about eHRs in dentistry. First of all, if a technological advancement such as eDRs does not pay for itself, even with government subsidies, who pays for it? That seems like a quick way to increase the costs of dental care – and for what? How do dental patients benefit from expensive HIT solutions when the telephone, fax machine and US Mail serve us fine? 

Digitalization of records offers no benefits to dental patients. Only stakeholders who would grab our patients’ money benefit from HIT. Everyone else loses. Trusting, naive dental patients lose the most. 

Electronic dental records are expensive hazards. If you can think of a lame reason for them, please let me hear it. You can bet I’ve crushed it before. I’ve been down this road with others many, many times. 

Within a week, the government will price computerization smooth out of dentistry. Over 90% of dentists have patient identities on their computers today. If HIPAA is enforced, with or without the Red Flags Rule, I predict that less than half of the nation’s dentists will be computerized a year from now. 

As for your argument that eHRs somehow provide up-to-date and otherwise superior medical histories for dental patients, think about this: If someone changes a paper medical history, it leaves a paper trail. If an insurance thief alters allergies on a digital record to suit his or her own needs, nobody in the emergency room can tell. Whoever said “Paper kills,” lied. It is a catchy PR pitch, though.

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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Health Plan Management Navigator

August 2009 Edition

By Douglas B. Sherlock; CFA, MBALibrary

Linked below is the August 2009 edition of Plan Management Navigator. In this month’s edition, we update readers on the results for the Blue Cross Blue Shield universe, and provide product breakouts, summary functional area breakouts as well as expense trends. Cost increases are lower this year than last, though higher if product mix is considered. Twenty-two Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans serving 31.3 million members participated in this year’s benchmarking study.  Growth in Information Systems and Medical Management costs explained more than 40% of the total increase.

Link: Navigator August 09

Sherlock Expense Evaluation Report

This analysis is based on materials from our Sherlock Expense Evaluation Report (SEER) for Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans. Additional information about SEER is available at http://www.sherlockco.com/seer.shtml or by contacting us.

Assessment

In coming weeks, Plan Management Navigator will summarize other results of this year’s performance benchmarking studies. We expect to publish Medicare and Medicaid editions in late August or early September. Independent / Provider-Sponsored plan results were published two weeks ago in Plan Management Navigator and the associated presentation and transcript are found at  http://www.sherlockco.com/

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Tell us what you think. 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 

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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ME-P Invitational Challenge

Now Open to all Mixed Media Types

By Ann Miller; RN, MHA

[Executive-Director]

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The Medical Executive-Post is now open to all submissions of articles, reviews, artwork, videos, surveys and polls, MP3s and photographs for publication. All unsolicited materials becomes the property of ME-P; and the ME-P will not be responsible for them; for publication, or to return them.

Otherwise; all media submissions and formats are invited.

Channel Surfing

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. 

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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 

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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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BCBS-TX Must Talk to D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

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Do My Manners Bother Anyone?

[By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS ]

I posted this on the Dallas Morning News Website in response to an article about BCBSTX downsizing due to the economy.

http://economywatchblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/08/health-care-losing-jobs.html

1-darrellpruittDear Jason Roberson – Reporter – The Dallas Morning News 

As a dentist on the east side of Fort Worth whose patients have been harmed by BCBSTX, I say the fewer clients BCBSTX has, the safer Texans are. Changing dentists causes fillings.

Of HIPAA and the NPI Number

It wouldn’t surprise me that until about now, you and most of your readers have never heard of the HIPAA-mandated National Provider Identifier (NPI) number. And it probably doesn’t make much sense to you when I say that it is BCBSTX policy not to process their clients’ dental claims if they come from a dentist who doesn’t have an NPI number, like me. BCBSTX’s horrible policy has not only decreased my number of new patients, but the arbitrary rule also caused a couple of dozen of my long-term patients – who were perfectly satisfied in the comfortable dental home I provided them – to leave me for dentists with NPI numbers. Please note that the 10 digit identification number does nothing improve the quality of care. It only benefits BCBSTX. And did I mention that changing dentists causes fillings?

Not Accepting Assignment 

Even in these tough economic times, I choose to no longer accept BCBSTX. My ethics-based decision hurts me financially, but that is how much I sincerely despise BCBSTX for its NPI policy. Unless Texas Health CEO Doug Hawthorne or a spokeswoman for BCBSTX like Margaret Jarvis or Ross Blackstone mans up to their deception really soon, I hope to help the wheels fall off of BCBSTX as an example to other insensitive CEOs who harm my patients by selling their clueless bosses discount dental plans with no quality control. Special bastards like me proudly volunteer to clean up the neighborhood, just for grins. As a matter of fact, a few sports fans and I are hoping one of the recently laid off BCBSTX employees is named Wilma, who on May 1, 2008 was known as an “overall supervisor” for BCBSTX in the dental claims department. I’m certain that CEO Hawthorne knows her. Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that he is unconcerned about dentistry.

A Pubic Invitation 

I am publicly inviting Wilma to come forward – even as whistleblower if she still has her job – and share with us the motivation behind the alleged lies she told me during our conversation. Even now, as I listen to our recording, I consider it an entertaining and educational conversation between two people who both know a BCBSTX overall supervisor who brought talking points to an argument. Nevertheless, even while trapped between honesty and her job, Wilma proved to be a devoted employee – willing to risk her own reputation for her boss. The way she sticks with defending a defenseless policy, at times it sounds like the NPI number actually makes sense to her. Then you think, “Surely she is smarter than that.”

Assessment 

I know that coming at the end of one of the strangest comments you have ever attracted, it is appropriately ballsy that I say that there’s a new sheriff in town, Jason. And disrespect around my niche is no longer tolerated if I have anything to do with it. I’ll shoot holes in BCBSTX to help it crash sooner if it will cause fewer Texans experience unnecessary dentistry. How important to one’s oral and systemic health is continuity of care when virtually all oral problems are caused by neglect? Is BCBSTX dental insurance worth the hidden price? Thank you for the opportunity to air out my opinion.

Conclusion

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Evaluating a Sample Physician Financial Plan II

Stress Testing Results a Decade Later

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; CPHQ, MBA, CMP™

By Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CPHQ, CMP™dave-and-hope4

We are often asked by physicians and colleagues; medical, nursing and graduate students, and/or prospective clients to see an actual “comprehensive” financial plan. This is a reasonable request. And, although most doctors who are regular readers of this Medical Executive-Post have a general idea of what’s included, many have never seen a professionally crafted financial plan. This not only includes the outcomes, but the actual input data and economic assumptions, as well.

The ME-P Difference

And so, in a departure from our pithy and typically brief journalistic style, we thought it novel to present such a plan for hindsight review. But; we present same in a very unusual manner befitting our iconoclastic and skeptical next-generation Health 2.0 philosophy. And, we challenge all financial advisors to do same and compare results with us.

How so?

By using a real life plan constructed a decade ago and letting ME-P reader’s review, evaluate and critique same.

  • Part I is for a drug-rep, then married medical school student [51 pages] with no children.
  • Part II is for the same mid-career practicing physician [28 pages] with 2 children.
  • Part III is for the same experienced practitioner at his professional zenith [56 pages].   

Part II: Sample Financial Plan II

Fiduciary Advisorsfp-book2

As former financial advisors and licensed insurance agents – and a reformed certified financial planner – it is our duty to act as economic fiduciaries for clients. In other words; to put client interests above our own. This culture was incumbent in our participatory online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com educational program in health economics and medical practice management; since inception in 2000.

Assessment

And so, as Edward I. Koch famously asked as Mayor of New York City from 1978-1989: “how am I doing”; we sought to ask and answer same. What did we do right or wrong; and how were our assumptions correct or erroneous?  As Certified Professionals in Healthcare Quality this is the question we continually seek to answer in medicine. And, as health economists, this is the financial advisory equivalent of Evidence Based Medicine [EBM] or Evidence Based Dentistry [EBD] etc. It is a query that all curious FAs should ask.

Note: Sample plan III to follow; so keep visiting the ME-P. Be sure to review sample plan I, right here:

Link: Sample Financial Plan I

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. As a financial advisor, accountant, financial planner, etc., we challenge you to lay bare your results as we have done. And, be sure to “rant and rave” – and – “teach and preach” about this post in the style of Socrates, with Candor, Intelligence and Goodwill, to all. Doctors – chime in – too.

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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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

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ASSUMPTIONS

Sample Mega Plan for a New Physician 

Joe Good, a 30-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative, and his pregnant wife Susie Good, a 30-year-old accountant, sought the services of a certified financial planner because of a $150,000 inheritance from Joe’s grandfather. The insecurity about what to do with the funds was complicated by their insecurity over future employment prospects, along with Joe’s frustrated boyhood dream of becoming a physician, along with only a fuzzy concept of their financial future. 

After several information-gathering meetings with the CFP, concrete goals and objectives were clarified, and a plan was instituted that would assist in financing Joe’s medical education without sacrificing his entire inheritance and current lifestyle. They desired at least one more child, so insurance and other supportive needs would increase and were considered, as well. Their prioritized concerns included the following:

1. What is the proper investment management and asset allocation of the $150,000?

2. Is there enough to pay for medical school and support their lifestyle?

3. Can they indemnify insurance concerns through this transitional phase of life,  including the survivorship concerns of premature death or disability?

4. Can they afford for Susie to be the primary bread winner through Joe’s medical school,   internship, and residency years?

5. Can they afford another child?

Current income was not high, and current assets were below the unified estate tax-credit. Therefore, income and estate-planning concerns were not significant at that time.

After thoroughly discussing the gathered financial data, and determining their risk profile, the CMP™ made the following suggestions: 

1. Reallocate the inheritance based on their risk tolerance, from conservative to long-term growth.

2. Maximize group health, life, and disability insurance benefits.

3. Supplement small quantities of whole life insurance with larger amounts of term insurance.

4. Create simple wills, for now. 

Sample Mega Plan for a Mid-Life Physician 

A second plan was drawn up 10 years later, when Joe Good was 40 years old and a practicing internist. Susan, age 40, had been working as a consultant for the same company for the past decade. She was allowed to telecommunicate between home and office. Daughter Cee is nine years old, and her brother Douglas is seven years old. 

The preceding suggestions had been implemented. The family maintained their modest lifestyle, and their investment portfolio grew to $392,220, despite the withdrawal of $10,000 per year for medical school tuition. The financial planning aspects of the family’s life went unaddressed. Educational funding needs for Cee and Douglas prompted another frank dialogue with their CMP. Their prioritized concerns at this point were as follows:

1. Reallocation of the investment portfolio

2. Educational funding for both children

3. Tax reduction strategies

4. Medical partnership buy-in concerns

5. Maximization of their investment portfolio

6. Review of risk management needs and long-term care insurance

7. Retirement considerations

The following suggestions were made:

1. Grow the $392,220 nest egg indefinitely.

2. Project future educational needs with current investment vehicles.

3. Maximize qualified retirement plans with tax efficient investments.

4. Update wills to include bypass marital trust creation, and complete proper testamentary planning, including guardians for Cee and Douglas.

5. Retain a professional medical practice valuation firm for the practice buy-in.

Sample Mega Plan for a Mature Physician 

At age 55, Dr. Joseph B. Good was a board-certified and practicing internist and partner of his group. Susan, age 55, was the office manager for Dr. Good’s practice, allowing her to provide professional accounting services to her husband’s office and thereby maximizing benefits to the couple from the practice. Daughter Cee was 24 years old, and her brother Douglas was 22 years old. The preceding suggestions had been implemented.  They upgraded their home and modest lifestyle within the confines of their current earnings. They did not invade their grandfather’s original inheritance, which grew to $1,834,045. Reallocation was needed. The other financial planning aspects of their lives had gone unaddressed. Retirement and estate planning issues prompted another revisit with their original CMP’s junior partner.

Their prioritized concerns at this point were as follows:

1. Long-term care issues

2. Retirement implementation

3. Estate planning

4. Business continuity concerns

The following suggestions were made:

1. Analyze the cost and benefits of long-term case insurance, funded with current income until retirement.

2. Reallocate portfolio assets and  plan for estate tax reduction, with offspring and charitable planning consideration..

3. Retain a professional practice management firm for practice sale, with proceeds to maintain current lifestyle until age 70.

If you want the opportunity to reach a personalized weekly audience of health care industry insiders, innovators and watchers, the Medical Executive-Post and its educational forums may be right for you?

Advertise with us:

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Ann Miller; RN, MHA

[Executive Director]

Medical Executive-Post

Off-Road Touring with Dr. Marcinko [Part IV]

About Atlas Sports Genetics

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

Dateline: July 6, 2009people_top

Did you know that for about $150 bucks, Atlas Sports Genetics [ASG], a company in Boulder CO, offers a DNA test kit to evaluate actinin; a protein found in fast-twitch muscle fibers? Yep; it’s true!

About ASG

ATLAS™ stands for Athletic Talent Laboratory Analysis System and is a leading edge athletic talent identification test that uses enhanced DNA analysis to identify those athletes that are genetically predisposed to either speed/power or endurance characteristics. Through the analysis of a specific DNA gene called ACTN3, the SportGene® Test developed by Genetic Technologies in Australia, is now available in the United States through Atlas Sports Genetics.

The Kit

Using a cheek swab sent to the lab, a report on the gene ACTN3 is received by mail several weeks later. The test is touted to be helpful in determining the best sport, or prefect athletic career, for participants. And, it is highly sought after by helicopter parents wishing to pursue a college scholarship or sports contract for junior [i.e., marathoner versus sprinter, etc].

Just take a look here: http://www.atlasgene.com

AssessmentESPN

How did I learn about all this? Why, from an USOEC parent of course, during my travels to Upper Michigan. And me? I’ve been a middle distance runner for 35 years; even with a dislocated finger! LSD anyone; long-slow-distance.

 

About Off Road with Dr. Marcinko

These sporadic off-road segments will continue through-out my 2009 summer promotional tour. On the one hand, formal attendance at several engagements was a bit sparse because of the death of several recent celebrities and entertainer types. On the other hand, local book stores and sponsors noted a spike in our CD and book sales, as well as interest in our online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com program and premier quarterly guide: Healthcare Organizations [Journal of Financial Management Strategies] www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Part I: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-i/

Part II: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-ii/

Part III: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-iii/

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Tell us what you think about the performance predictive power of ACTN3? 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.

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 

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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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Borges versus Kvedar Video eHR Debate

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The Great HIT Debate

[By Staff Reporters]Boxing Gloves

All ME-P subscribers and readers are invited to watch a debate between Dr. Alberto Borges and Dr. Joseph Kvedar. In the original broadcast, by HCPLive, both participants were asked some very interesting questions about health information technology [HIT] when posed to them. And so, if you were unable to attend the live event, it is now re-broadcasted in podcast form for your review.

About Alberto A. Borges; MD

Al Borges is Founder and CEO of the MS Office eMR Project http://www.msofficeemrproject.com He is the project author, visionary and main content developer for the independent website. As a board certified physician, he practices oncology, hematology, and internal medicine in Arlington, Virginia. He is also a clinical professor at the George Washington University Medical School. Dr. Borges is a colleague and thought-leader for the ME-P

About Joseph C. Kvedar; MD

Joe Kvedar is the Founder and Director of the Center for Connected Health http://www.connected-health.org The Center is known for applying communications technology and online resources to increase access and improve the delivery of quality medical services and patient care outside of the traditional medical setting.  A division of Partners HealthCare; the Center for Connected Health works with Harvard Medical School-affiliated teaching hospitals, including Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals. Dr. Kvedar is also a board-certified dermatologist and Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School

Podcast Link: http://www.hcplive.com/hcplive/great_debate

Assessment

Feel free to email questions, or to post follow-up comments, for all our viewers to consider and respond. The principals are asked to weigh-in, as well.

And the Winner is … ?

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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ADA President and Broken Promises

The Future President

By Darrell K. Puritt; DDS

pruitt8

The election for a future ADA president occurs the first week in October in Hawaii at the 2009 annual meeting. A couple of days ago, the ADA News Online posted the ADA President-elect candidates’ statements.

http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/pubs/adanews/adanewsarticle.asp?articleid=3133

All three sound like they support meaningful dialogue with membership: Candidate Dr. Raymond Gist says one of his goals is: “To protect and preserve ownership of the intellectual property of the ADA while demonstrating transparency and fostering an understanding of how our system works.” Candidate Dr. William Glecos says “My first goal will be to coordinate and improve our communication efforts within the ADA. To make sure we are engaging all our members and imparting a sense of connection and transparency.” Candidate Dr. Marie Schweinebraten says “… communication, internal and external, must be improved to respond in today’s world … barriers must be eliminated to allow member input and volunteer involvement when solving specific issues.” I’ve seen candidates use these same buzzwords before, but not mean them. Dentistry is being severely threatened right now, and I’m too young to retire. So I want to see a future leader confident enough to walk through fire with me on behalf of my patients.

Promises from ADA President-elect candidates have been very disappointing so far. Past President Dr. Mark Feldman, President Dr. John Findley and President-elect Dr. Ron Tankersley each promised “transparency.” Feldman and Findley broke their promises very early, and so far, Tankersley has done no better. Nine months ago I invited Dr. Tankersley to a conversation about the future of electronic dental records and he chose to insult me with silence rather than respond. I took it personally, Ron, and I’ll never forget it. Because all three of these presidents are simply rude people, it wouldn’t bother me to never ask any of them for friendship. 

So do you think our fresh leaders are any more sincere about transparency with membership? Or are they also hoping to be safely elected. This could be an opportunity for one or more of the three to break loose and be counted as a brave leader… or not. Let me show you what Feldman, Findley and Tankersley have gotten us into. Below is a list of duties expected of dentists with NPI numbers that came out today on ANCO Online. If any of you three candidates have the courage to respond to my challenging comments about what I consider to be a perfect example of a renegade department, jump right in. Concerned members need to be warned about the courage we can count on. If you cannot defend the Department of Dental Informatics, just say so. We’ll all be better off. And on truth, we can build. What an opportunity for you! I bet one could easily gain the delegates’ attention by doing the right thing, even if it is unpopular at first to those who may have helped you to power.

Responding to this article in a respectful, professional way could be just what it takes to get a person elected to the highest position in the American Dental Association. That’s what you intensely want, isn’t it? You just have to recognize what I am spelling out for you, Raymond, William and Marie. Just look at the growing discontent with the ADA on the Internet. Whoever is the first to show sincerity and courage, will become a hero to those of us who feel betrayed by those we once trusted. Victory will never be easier. I’ve had a look around. Believe me when I tell you that things are soo bad that even I could be a contender. Don’t make me run for the job.

Here is the first issue for discussion if you are interested: For dentists who were persuaded by the ADA Department of Dental Informatics to quickly volunteer for the 10 digit identifying number, let me ask you this: If you had been told what ADA employees are paid to tell you, which you can read below, would you have applied for an NPI number? And if you were forced to apply for a number by a managed care contract with BCBSTX, Delta Dental or other discount dentistry broker, would that be considered an unfair business practice?

Let’s look at fairness: Who does the NPI number help? Dental patients or BCBSTX? Or perhaps the ADA? We were told again and again in ADA News Online articles written by Arlene Furlong that the best reason for the NPI number was convenience. She said office managers would love it because it would replace numerous identification numbers. When one reads the list of NPI obligations a dentist volunteers their office manager for, all those other numbers don’t seem so bad after all. Why was HIPAA so important that the ADA Department of Dental Informatics forced employees under its supervision to intentionally mislead membership? Does the ADA work for dentists and their patients or for CMS? There you go, Dr. Raymond Gist, Dr. William Glecos and Dr. Marie Schweinebraten. It’s your turn now. If you have the guts to step up to a challenge, it could pay off big. Besides, even if you get elected without first responding to my concerns doesn’t mean you’ll get rid of me. Oh heaven’s no.

D. Kellus Pruitt; DDS

http://anco- .blogspot.com/2009/08/asco-coa-cms-palmettoj1mac-news.html

**** CMS NEWS ****

This message is for health care providers, particularly physicians and other practitioners, who have obtained National Provider Identifiers (NPIs) and have records in the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recommends that each health care provider, including individual physicians and non-physician practitioners: · Secure and maintain their own NPPES account information (i.e., User ID, Password, and Secret Question/Answer) for safety and accessibility purposes. Health care providers should maintain the confidentiality of their User ID, password, and Secret Question/Answer in order to protect their NPPES information from unauthorized access. Reset their NPPES passwords at least once a year.

See the NPPES Application Help page at https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPES/Help.do and select the ‘Reset Password Page’ for applicable rules. Those rules indicate the length, format, content and requirements of NPPES passwords. Review their NPPES records in order to ensure that the information reflects current and correct information. Covered health care providers are required to update their NPPES information within 30 days of the effective date of the change.

Viewing NPPES Information Health care providers, including physicians and non-physician practitioners, can view their NPPES information in one of two ways: (1) By accessing the NPPES record at https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPES/Welcome.do and following the NPI hyperlink and selecting Login. The user will be prompted to enter the User ID and password that he/she previously created. If the health care provider has forgotten the password, enter the User ID and click the “Reset Forgotten Password” button to navigate to the Reset Password Page. If the health care provider enters an incorrect User ID and Password combination three times, the User ID will be disabled. Please contact the NPI Enumerator at 1-800-465-3203 if the account is disabled or if the health care provider has forgotten the User ID. OR (2) By accessing the NPI Registry at https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPES/NPIRegistryHome.do.

The NPI Registry gives the health care provider an online view of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)-disclosable NPPES data. The health care provider can search for its information using the name or NPI as the criterion. Information regarding NPPES data that are FOIA-disclosable can be found at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalProvIdentStand/ by selecting ‘Data Dissemination’. Please note: Business Mailing Address and Business Practice location information (full address and corresponding telephone numbers) are key data elements that are FOIA-disclosable.

Health care providers should not report their residential address unless it is their Business Mailing Address or Business Practice location. The NPPES data appearing on the NPI Registry cannot be deleted; however, it can be updated or changed. Updating NPPES Information Health care providers, including physicians and non-physician practitioners, can correct, add, or delete information in their NPPES records by accessing their NPPES records at https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPES/Welcome.do and following the NPI hyperlink and selecting Login. The user will be prompted to enter the User ID and password that he/she previously created.

Please note: Required information cannot be deleted from an NPPES record; however, required information can be changed/updated to ensure that NPPES captures the correct information. Certain information is inaccessible via the web, thus requiring the change/update to be made via paper application. The paper NPI Application/Update Form (CMS-10114) can be downloaded and printed at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/cmsforms/downloads/CMS10114.pdf.

Deactivating the NPI Health care providers, including physicians and non-physician practitioners, can deactivate their NPIs if the NPIs are no longer required or needed. Reasons for deactivation include retirement, business dissolved, or death of the health care provider. A request for deactivation must be submitted via paper application. The paper NPI Application/Update Form (CMS-10114) can be downloaded and printed at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/cmsforms/downloads/CMS10114.pdf.

Health care providers should review the instructions located on the application regarding deactivations in order to properly complete the deactivation request. The Power of Attorney or Executor of the Will may complete the application for deactivation due to death of the health care provider.

Need More Information?

Providers can apply for an NPI online at https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov or can call the NPI enumerator to request a paper application at 1-800-465-3203. Visit CMS’ dedicated NPI web page at www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalProvIdentStand for additional NPI information.

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Hospital Automated Data Collection

Understanding Data Capture Technologies

By David J. Piasecki, with
Hope Hetico; RN, MHA

Automated data collection (ADC), also known as automated data capture, automated identification (AutoID) or automated identification and data capture (AIDC), consists of many different technologies. Bar codes, voice systems, RFID, OCR, laser scanners, vehicle mounted and wearable computers are all part of ADC management and hospital inventory activities.

www.HealthcareFinancials.comHO-JFMS-CD-ROM

Six-Figure Projects

However, the fear of six-figure project costs often prevent many small to mid-sized hospitals and healthcare systems from taking advantage of these technologies. The key to implementing cost-effective ADC systems is to know what technologies are available and the amount of integration needed to implement them. Applying this processing knowledge in a healthcare organization will help in developing the scope of any project. Limiting projects to or prioritizing by those applications that have a high benefit/cost ratio allows these operational improvement technologies within a reasonable budget. 

Example:

For example, adding a keyboard-wedge bar-code scanner to an existing personal computer (PC) or blade terminal in a nursing station is a very low-cost method for applying ADC to existing hospital reporting applications. This type of hardware is inexpensive and the only real programming required is to add a bar code to the proper form (work order, pick and delivery slip, etc).

Review of the ADC Technologies

Some of the current hospital data capture technologies include the following:

a. Bar Codes

b. Bar-Code Scanners

Laser or CCD 

Auto-Discrimination

Keyboard-Wedge Scanners 

Fixed-Position Scanners

c. Portable Computers

d. Batch versus Radio Frequency

e. Hand-Held Devices

f. Vehicle-Mounted Devices

g. Wearable Systems

h. Voice Technology

i. Optical Character Recognition

j. Light Systems

Assessment

Driven by a need for improved data capture, asset management, staff mobility and standardized medication administration to name a few benefits, hospitals are likely to invest much more heavily in ADC and Wi-Fi technologies over the next five years, according to this new research report.

Link: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Health-Care-IT/WiFi-Healthcare-Systems-to-Hit-49B-878082/

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Tell us what you think. Can you think of any other hospital data capture technologies? 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 

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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OSHA and Sharp Medical Instruments

Understanding OSHA Requirements

By Patricia A. Trites; MPA, CHBC, CHCC, CMP™ (Hon)
Dr. Charles F. Fenton, III; JD, FACFAS
Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CMP™

The OSHA Standard requires that contaminated needles and other contaminated sharp instruments (sharps) must not be bent, recapped, or removed.

Definition

Contaminated sharps are defined as any contaminated object that can penetrate the skin including, but not limited to: needles, scalpels, broken glass, broken capillary tubes, and exposed ends of dental wires.

Contaminated needles and other contaminated sharps must not be recapped or removed from the syringes unless the employer can demonstrate that no alternative is feasible or that such action is required by a specific medical procedure. Also, shearing or breaking of contaminated needles is prohibited. This would include those instances, such as during surgery, where recapping was necessary due to the need to give multiple injections from the same syringe. If needles are recapped, it must be through the use of a one-handed technique.

Two-Handed Recapping

Two-handed needle recapping is strictly prohibited by the Standard. Recapping of needles can be a very dangerous procedure. It is during recapping that most skin punctures occur.

Immediately, or as soon as possible after use, contaminated reusable sharps must be discarded and placed in appropriate containers until properly reprocessed. The containers must be:

  • puncture resistant;
  • labeled or color-coded; and
  • leak proof on the sides and bottom.

Assessment

Finally, containers must be at the site as close as feasible to the use of the sharps. This will limit the risk of injury during the time the sharp would otherwise have been transported from the site of use to the site of disposal. During use, the sharps container must be maintained upright, not be allowed to be overfilled, and replaced routinely. When moving containers of contaminated sharps from the area of use, the containers must be closed immediately prior to removal or replacement to prevent spillage or protrusion of contents during handling. The container must be placed in a secondary container if leakage is possible. Reusable containers must not be opened, emptied, or cleaned manually or in any other manner that would expose employees to the risk of percutaneous injury. Physicians can purchase turn-key sharps containers that, when full, can be shipped back to the distributor for proper disposal.

Sharps

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Tell us what you think. How has OSHA affected your practice? 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

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Dictionary of Health Insurance and Managed Care

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Whither the Dictionary of Health Insurance and Managed Care?

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A simple query that demands a cogent answer!

Why do we need the Dictionary of Health Insurance and Managed Care, and, why do payers, providers, benefits managers, consultants, and consumers need a credible and unbiased source of explanations for their health insurance needs and managed care products?

The Answer is Clear!

Health care is the most rapidly changing domestic industry. The revolution occurring in health insurance and managed care delivery is particularly fast. Some might even suggest these machinations were malignant, as many industry segments, professionals, and patients suffer because of them. And so, because knowledge is power in times of great flux, codified information protects all people from physical, as well as economic harm.

We appreciate the support of our sponsors. So, click-on on the links and review all dictionary products.

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Medical Inventory Management Methodologies

Understanding Traditional Costing Methods

By David J. Piasecki, with
Hope Rachel Hetico; RN MHA, CMP™cmp-logo1

A good inventory management system offers opportunities for improved efficiency in any healthcare organization. The following traditional methods of inventory cost accounting and management are useful when one is calculating the cost of supplies (as opposed to medical items for resale and DME).

a. LIFO

The last-in first-out (LIFO) inventory costing method means the last items purchased are the first to be used (at least for cost calculations if the inventory consists of identical units). In times of rising prices, a lower total cost inventory is produced with a higher cost of goods sold. The last items purchased are most often the most expensive, and used first for the calculation. This happens because LIFO increases an expense (cost of goods sold) and decreases taxable income. Given the same revenue, higher expenses mean less profit. Deflation has the opposite effect.

b. FIFO

The first-in first-out (FIFO) inventory costing method means the first items purchased are the first to be used (at least for cost calculations if the inventory consists of identical units). In times of rising prices, a higher total cost inventory is produced with a lower cost of goods sold. This happens because FIFO decreases an expense (cost of goods sold) and increases taxable income. Deflation has the opposite effect.

Note: Any switch from FIFO to LIFO does not change reality, and although a decrease in reported incomes occurs, it does not increase cash outflows. However, for a taxable healthcare entity, after-tax net cash flow does increase.

c. Specific Identification

Specific identification is used for larger pieces of equipment, as it traces actual costs to an identifiable unit of product and is usually applied with an identification tag, serial plate, or radio frequency identification device (RFID) scanner. It does not involve flow-of-cost analysis. It does, however, permit the manipulation of income because healthcare entities state their cost of goods sold, and ending inventory, at the actual cost of specific units sold.

d. Average Cost

Average costing calculates ending inventory using a weighted average unit cost. When prices are rising, cost of good sold is less than under LIFO, but more than that under FIFO, and hence income manipulation is also possible.

e. Just-in-time Management

Although technically not a costing technique, JIT inventory management means that inventory supplies like DME are delivered as soon as needed by the healthcare organization, the prescribing doctor, or the patient. In JIT, inventory is “pulled” through the flow process. This is contrasted to the “push” approach used by conventional IM. In the push system, DME is already on-site, with little regard to when it is actually needed. In the JIT “pull” system, the overriding concern is to keep a minimum cost inventory, so that means having a system in which inventory is obtained on an as-needed basis.

The key elements of JIT consist of six parts:

1. a few dependable vendors or suppliers willing to ship with little advance notice;

2. total sharing of demand information throughout the supply chain;

3. more frequent orders;

4. smaller size of individual orders;

5. improved physical plant (hospital or clinic) layout to reduce travel flow distance; and

6. use of a total quality control system to reduce flawed medical products.

Using the JIT method, inventory is delivered when needed, rather than in advance, saving handling and storage costs. The healthcare entity never needs to stockpile inventory, and cash flow is enhanced. JIT is further characterized as follows:

  • little or no work orders;
  • little or no tracing of materials;
  • fewer inventory accounts or accounts payables;
  • reduction or elimination of work-in-progress or handling activities; and
  • no tracing of overhead and direct labor costs

JIT requires a dependable working relationship with suppliers and the precise calculation of inventory needs, especially for the following:

  • sterile surgical packs;
  • gastro-intestinal and gastro-urinary instrumentation;
  • orthopedic and OB-GYN inventory;
  • invasive heart and lung equipment;
  • radio isotopes and trace radiographic materials; and
  • equipment for almost all pre-schedule medical interventions and procedures.

Assessment

This means that, when JIT inventory monitoring is used, healthcare managers are better prepared with the proper inputs to control and reduce inventory, including when dramatic bursts or declines occur. This means a more rapid and higher cash flow balance, rather than inventory balance. Each of these traditional methods of inventory cost accounting is adequate for most healthcare facilities, but as inventory orders and costs continue to increase, economic order quantity [EOQ] costing may be the most effective means of accounting for inventory in DME-intensive organizations.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Can you think of any other inventory management technologies?  Tell us what you think. 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

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On the Gates Incident

A Teaching Moment – I Think Not!

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher in Chief]Obama-Hope

ME-P readers are no doubt aware of the Professor Gates incident in Cambridge Massachusetts? So, please indulge me in presenting one doctors’ opinion on the matter; short and sweet. 

The Participants

Professor Henry L. Gates Jr., is an elderly Harvard educated expert on African American studies.

Sergeant James Crowley attempted to resuscitate Boston Celtics star Reggie Lewis in 1993, and is a police department race relations intermediary.

President Obama is a Harvard Law School Professor who knowingly opined without the facts.

Who’s Right?

Now – if these august participants “got it wrong” – how can “they” expect ordinary citizens to “get it right”?

A Teachable Moment?

The only teachable moment here – is that there was no teachable moment. Or, perhaps the real teachable moment demonstrates that we citizens are getting it “right” – faster than the experts.

ME-P Synergy

So, what’s the synergy with the ME-P? Just this; perhaps a psychiatrist or psychologist should attend the next “beer summit.” Or, that Reggie Lewis was from East Baltimore like me; his fan. And, that he attended Dunbar our local public high school. My teachable moment was thus decades ago – taught not by “governmental experts” – but by my parents. Thanks mom and dad!

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Tell us what you think about the Gates incident. Is this even a fertile topic of discussion for the ME-P?

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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. 

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Meet Brian J. Knabe MD CFP™ CMP™

A New ME-P Thought-Leader

By Ann Miller; RN, MHA

[Executive Director]Brian J. Knabe MD

Brian J Knabe MD is a financial advisor with Savant Capital Management www.SavantCapital.com. He uses his experience from the medical field in his work with clients, portfolio managers, physicians and other financial advisors to develop comprehensive planning, investment, and tax strategies for professionals.

Medical and Financial Background

Brian is a magna cum laude graduate of Marquette University with an honors degree in biomedical engineering. He earned his medical degree from the University Illinois College of Medicine. Brian also attended the University of Illinois for his family practice residency, where he served as chief resident. Brian is currently pursuing his Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation, and he recently passed the exam.

Certified Medical Planner™

Dr. Knabe is also matriculating in the online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org [CMP™] charter-designation program for financial advisors and medical management consultants, from the Institute of Medical Business Advisors, Inc.

Personal Background

As if the above were not enough to keep him busy, Brian is also a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine with the University of Illinois. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association [AMA], and the Catholic Medical Association. Brian has also served as the vice president of membership for the Blackhawk Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Our Congratulations

And so, we trust all ME-P readers will give a congratulatory “shout-out” to Brian J. Knabe MD, our newest “thought-leader.” Read his position paper here:

Evidence Based Investing [A Scientific Framework for the Art of Investing]

Link: Evidence Based Investing[1][1]

We trust we will hear much more from him in the future.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Tell us what you think about the credentials of Dr. Knabe. Is this extreme education a new-wave of fiduciary focus for all financial advisors and planners in the healthcare space? 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

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

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