On the New Pot Health Policy in NJ?

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It’s Medicinal – Man!

By Staff Reporters

Did you know that in January 2010, New Jersey became the 14th state in the nation to legalize marijuana use for certain chronic illnesses?

Other states where the use of medical marijuana is permitted include Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington; around a dozen more states are weighing pending bills.

Jersey is Toughest State

The New Jersey law is the most restrictive in the nation and authorizes prescribed marijuana for only a handful of chronic illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, AIDS, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Unlike other states, physicians in New Jersey will not be able to prescribe medical marijuana for anxiety, headaches, or chronic pain.


According to reports, the state of New Jersey plans to authorize six dispensaries, and patients will receive identification cards authorizing them to purchase the drug. They will not be able to grow their own marijuana or use it in public, however. And, individuals without a prescription will still be subject to criminal prosecution if caught in possession of marijuana.



Do you support the use of medical marijuana? If you are a doctor that lives in a state where medical marijuana is legalized, have you prescribed it to any patients? If you live in a state where medical marijuana is not legalized, do you want it to be? What about you patients, out there?


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Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Access Management in the Hospital Check-In and Admissions Setting

The Role of Operational Activity Based Cost Management

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™



In order to be paid and maintain cash flow, hospitals and clinics set up levels of specialization. The result is usually more handoffs, delays, eroding financial positions, and a frustrated set of patients and physicians. Much seems out of control. When you factor in the maze of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) technologies, it becomes overwhelming. Now, consider these operational inefficiencies in light of Obama Care?

Access Management

At the hub of the patient hospital or clinic experience is admitting or registration. This department collects information for clinicians treating the patient, meets Joint Commission standards and other requirements, facilitates medical record documentation, patient flow, revenue capture, billing and collections, and ultimately begins to settle accounts. The access management area has numerous customers in addition to the doctor, patient, or family member sitting across from them.

Increasing HR Complexity

Without the benefit of relevant information, managers attempt to staff access management departments based on past history — namely, if patient and physician complaints are not too high, there is probably enough staff. However, staffing in access management has not kept up with the increased demands and complexity of the process, and other hospital areas often suffer. Clinicians and medical records personnel must often deal with incomplete or incorrect information, and take up the slack.

Beware Un-Happy Stakeholders

All of these deficits make for an unhappy set of customers (physicians and patients) as they continually live with the repercussions of inaccurate and incomplete information. This does not go unnoticed by patients and physicians, as these situations erode confidence in the hospital’s ability to get things done correctly.

Emotional Touch Points

Access Management is the clinic or hospital’s first chance to create an “emotional contract” with the customer. It is here that the tone is set for the patient on the issues with respect to his or her hospitalization. And it is here that the provider has the chance to begin working on the patient’s behalf so that clinical outcomes are appropriate. All of this must happen in an environment that minimizes the likelihood of an unfavorable occurrence, and outside the realm of the complex legal requirements established by state and federal officials.

Tips from the Manufacturing Sector

So why are there unresolved issues in the access management area? In a manufacturing environment, if there are problems on the front-end design, huge problems ripple downstream in terms of recalls, warranty-related expenses, lawsuits, and customers that abandon the company’s products. world -class manufacturers dealt with these issues with their ISO-9000, Total Quality Management (TQM), and Six Sigma programs during the ’80s and ’90s. Hospitals, however, have allowed issues in their access management process to fester and create huge and costly problems in the downstream process. 


In an effort to help solve access management issues, every provider must take a proactive role in dealing with the trend. The first step in this journey is healthcare administrator and physician-executive assessment.

This assessment is not a management engineering set of time studies aimed at micro-costing every second of work. The critical path information needed for this plan is reasonable and collected in a few days by talking to the people performing the work. Estimates are gathered based on workers’ views about how they spend their time. This information is combined with available workload measures and general ledger cost information, and activity-based reports are produced.


Going forward, ABCM it is an exercise in operational planning. Activity-based information is used to look at areas where work can be restructured so errors and rework can be eliminated. New technologies that target problematic activities are selected and implemented. Outside companies that can perform complex activities more economically can be used (e.g., www.ICMS.net).

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