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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Understanding Efforts to Promote Lower-Cost Physicians

May Be Based on Misleading Profiles – According to Rand Study

By Staff Reporters

It is increasingly common for insurance plans to encourage patients to receive care from physicians who keep medical costs lower. However, this ethos may be based on unreliable estimates of doctor performance and may not achieve the intended savings, according to a new RAND Corporation press release and study.

PR Link: http://www.rand.org/news/press/2010/03/17/?ref=homepage&key=t_doctor_cash

About the Study

Funding for the study was provided by the U.S. Department of Labor. Other authors of the study are Elizabeth A. McGlynn PhD of RAND, Dr. Ateev Mehrotra of RAND and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and J. William Thomas of the University of Southern Maine.

About Rand Health

RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation, is the nation’s largest independent health policy research program, with a broad research portfolio that focuses on quality, costs and health services delivery, among other topics. RAND Health is the developer of COMPARE (Comprehensive Assessment of Reform Efforts), a one-of-a-kind online resource that provides objective analysis about national health care reform proposals. Visit www.randcompare.org to learn more.

Conclusion

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Senior Public Health Official [Dr. Howard Frumkin] is Reassigned

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In Wake of Congressional Inquiries

By Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica – January 22, 2010 5:56 pm EDT

Dr. Howard Frumkin, the embattled director of a little-known but important division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been reassigned to a position with less authority, a smaller staff and a lower budget.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Frumkin had led the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the National Center for Environmental Health since 2005. For the past two years he had endured scathing criticism from Congress and the media for ATSDR’s poor handling of public health problems created by the formaldehyde-contaminated trailers that the government provided to Hurricane Katrina victims. The agency, which assesses public health risks posed by environmental hazards, also was criticized for understating the health risks of several other, less-publicized cases.

Internal CDC e-Mail

An internal CDC e-mail sent by Frumkin on Jan. 15 and obtained by ProPublica said he was leaving his position that day and would become a special assistant to the CDC’s director of Climate Change and Public Health. His old job will be temporarily filled by Henry Falk, who led ATSDR from 2003 to 2005. In the e-mail, Frumkin praised his staff and described more than 20 ATSDR accomplishments during his tenure. They include strengthening the agency’s tobacco laboratory and creating the Climate Change and Public Health program.

A Change of Function

A CDC spokesman said Frumkin’s transfer shouldn’t be considered a demotion but rather a change of function and responsibilities that the CDC’s director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, said would benefit both the agency and Dr. Frumkin, who is a recognized expert on climate change. But Frumkin’s authority has been sharply reduced, even though his salary won’t change. Previously, he oversaw two departments with a combined budget of about $264 million and 746 full-time employees. Now he will be an assistant to the director of a new program that has a budget of about $7.5 million, five full-time employees and five contractors, two of whom are part time. Through a CDC spokesman, Frumkin declined a request to be interviewed for this story.

US capitol

A 2008 ProPublica Report

In 2008, ProPublica reported [1] that Frumkin and others failed to take action after learning that ATSDR botched a study [2] on the trailers provided to Katrina victims. The Federal Emergency Management Agency used the study to assure trailer occupants that the formaldehyde levels weren’t high enough to harm them. ATSDR never corrected FEMA, even though Christopher De Rosa, who led ATSDR’s toxicology and environmental medicine division, repeatedly warned Frumkin that the report didn’t take into account the long-term health consequences of exposure to formaldehyde, like cancer risks. Frumkin eventually reassigned De Rosa to the newly created position of assistant director for toxicology and risk analysis. De Rosa went from leading a staff of about 70 employees to having none. He has since left the agency and is starting a nonprofit that will consult with communities close to environmental hazards.

The involvement of Frumkin and ATSDR in the formaldehyde debacle was the focus of an April 2008 Congressional hearing held by a subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee. A report [3] by the subcommittee’s Democratic majority, released that October, concluded that the failure of ATSDR’s leadership “kept Hurricane Katrina and Rita families living in trailers with elevated levels of formaldehyde … for at least one year longer than necessary.”

About six months after the report came out, the same panel, the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, held another hearing [4] that touched on other problems at ATSDR.

Flawed Data

Before that hearing, the Democrats on the subcommittee released a report [5] that revealed other cases in which the agency relied on scientifically flawed data, causing other federal agencies to mislead communities about the dangers of their exposure to hazardous substances.

For example, an ATSDR report about water contamination at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina, said the chemically tainted drinking water didn’t pose an increased cancer risk to residents there. The report was used to deny at least one veteran’s medical benefits for ailments that the veteran believed were related to the contamination. A month after the subcommittee hearing, ATSDR rescinded [6] some of its findings, saying it didn’t adequately consider the presence of benzene, a carcinogen that it found in the water. Eight months later, the agency said it would modify another report that was criticized at the hearing, about a bomb testing site in Vieques, Puerto Rico. For decades, the U.S. military used the site to test ammunition that contained depleted uranium and other toxins. In a 2003 report, ATSDR said that heavy metals and explosive compounds found on Vieques weren’t harmful to people living there. But Frumkin decided to take a fresh look at those findings because ATSDR hadn’t thoroughly investigated the site.

Assessment

Subcommittee investigators acknowledged that Frumkin inherited many of the problems in the report from previous ATSDR directors — the original Vieques and Camp Lejeune reports were both done before Frumkin was named director in 2005. But the investigators said he was aware of the agency’s problems and did little to fix them unless he was under political pressure. A CDC spokesman said that Frumkin’s reassignment had nothing to do with the congressional inquiries.

“Americans should know when their government tells them that they have nothing to worry about from environmental exposure that they really have nothing to worry about,” Rep. Brad MillerHouse Science and Technology Committee, D-N.C., the subcommittee’s chairman, said in a statement to ProPublica regarding Frumkin’s reassignment. “The nation needs ATSDR to do honest, scientifically rigorous work. There are many capable professionals at ATSDR who are committed to doing just that.”

Conclusion

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About the Covestor Mutual Fund Portfolio Sharing Service

Certified Medical Planner

What it is – How it works

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

Covestor, with offices in New York and London, is a web platform started by entrepreneurs Perry Blancher, Richard Tachta and Simon Veingard http://www.covestor.com. Their belief was that salaried mutual fund managers have no monopoly on investment talent and shouldn’t have a lock on the rewards that come with investment success. As financial services, and online netizens, they also believed in democratizing the investment management industry and helping proven self-investors compete with the large institutions. This is known as the power of “crowd-sourcing.” All core philosophies seem to be shared by this ME-P.

What it is

According to their website, Covestor is both a portfolio sharing service for proven self-investors and for those wishing to track them; where data is private, secure and anonymous. With Covestor, one can coat-tail successful investors and follow their real trade activity. Or, have their moves auto-traded for you by Covestor Investment Management. Members can also keep track of their investments andBuild a free track record comparable to professional mutual funds. Members earn fees for their hard work, and Manage a model that their clients can mirror thru shared management fees.

Profit Sharing Investors

Covestor investors sharing portfolios include professionals, full time amateurs and industry specialists. They are a serious bunch with an average reported portfolio size of over $200,000 (excluding cash). Positions are typically held in over 5,000 different equities; are based in 50 countries and span the full range of ages, backgrounds and styles.

Issues

As a doctor-investor, health economist and former certified financial planner, there are at least three issues needed to be raised about this firm.

The first is SEC/NASD/FINRA rules and applicable SRO and state regulations for brokers, RIAs, FAs and related others? The status of suitability versus fiduciary accountability for ERISA regulated plans is also questioned. The third [and least important] is the potential negative impact on traditional financial services “professionals.”

In other words, is this another example of how technology will flatten the “intermediary curve” and reduce the profit of middle sales-men and sales-women? Oh! What about medical specificity for our target audience?

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Assessment

I am sure there are other issues as well. Your thoughts and comments on this ME-Pare appreciated; especially from financial services “professionals”, lawyers and FAs, etc, Give em’ a click and tell us what you think http://www.covestor.com?

Conclusion

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As the Health Care Vote Passes

Another Troubling Insurance Story

By Marian Wang, ProPublica – March 17, 2010 2:03 pm EDT

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=health+insurance&iid=8337843″ src=”c/e/5/3/President_Obama_signs_baf7.JPG?adImageId=11734822&imageId=8337843″ width=”380″ height=”484″ /]

Reuters filed a stunning report [1] recently about a health insurance company that targeted policyholders with HIV to drop their coverage. It opens with the case of Jerome Mitchell:

Patient Jerome Mitchell

Previously undisclosed records from Mitchell’s case reveal that [health insurance company Fortis [now known as Assurant Health] had a company policy of targeting policyholders with HIV. A computer program and algorithm targeted every policyholder recently diagnosed with HIV for an automatic fraud investigation, as the company searched for any pretext to revoke their policy. As was the case with Mitchell, their insurance policies often were canceled on erroneous information, the flimsiest of evidence, or for no good reason at all, according to the court documents and interviews with state and federal investigators ….

Insurance companies have long engaged in the practice of “rescission,” whereby they investigate policyholders shortly after they’ve been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. But, government regulators and investigators who have overseen the actions of Assurant and other health insurance companies say it is unprecedented for a company to single out people with HIV.

The Three Minute Rule

A South Carolina judge who ruled on the case noted that in the meeting in which the rescission committee [2] reviewed Mitchell’s case and decided to cancel his policy, there were more than 40 other customers whose cases were up for review, and “an average of three minutes or less” was spent per customer. Assurant Health told Reuters [1] it doesn’t comment on individual customer claims, while a spokesman added the company disagreed with “certain of the court’s characterizations of Assurant Health’s policies and procedures.” 

Link: http://www.propublica.org/ion/blog/item/as-health-care-vote-nears-another-troubling-insurance-story

Assessment

As the story notes, it’s not just this one insurance company that has been engaging in aggressive rescission. In California, state regulators fined five major health insurance providers—Health Net, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, PacifiCare and Kaiser Permanente—for dropping more than 6,000 sick policyholders. The terms of those settlements, reached in 2008 and 2009 [3], have yet to be implemented in most cases, according to news reports [3] from last week.

Industry Indignation Index: 39

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Need a New Career in Dentistry – Become a Consultant

Or – Maybe Just a Hobby

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS

One might ask how much knowledge of dentistry is required before a person is qualified to call oneself a “dental practice management consultant” – beyond maybe being able to spell HIPAA with only one P, and Hippocrates with two.

Meet Jill Coon, Inc

An anonymous management consultant who works for Jill Coon, Inc of Florida posted this brave suggestion on the company Facebook today:

“Why not take 3 max anterior PA’s and 1 mandibular PA once a year with bitewings to check for caries in front teeth? We actually bill insurance for 3 PA’s not 4. Hygiene production just increased!”

My Translation 

Here is a translation of her question from dental-speak to English:

“Why don’t dentists take routine x-rays of front teeth like they do for back teeth, when doing so increases hygiene production and payments from the insurance companies?”

[Dental team members, please sit on your hands for this one].

Bonus Round 

Bonus question: Can anyone think of any reason why one might not want additional routine x-rays – even if insurance pays for it at 100% (of usual and customary fees)?

Hint: It can be trickier to avoid irradiating the thyroid when taking anterior x-rays than while taking routine bitewing x-rays.

Assessment 

I’ll be back soon with the tricky opinion I will have posted on Jill Coon, Inc Facebook. It will be her first if nobody beats me to it.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/West-Palm-Beach-FL/Jill-Coon-Inc/125510596754?v=wall&ref=mf

Conclusion

Is there anyone out there with almost no knowledge of dental care who wants to match wits with a sales rep for a consulting company that “specializes in dental insurance billing and treatment planning for dental practices”?

Industry Indignation Index: 47

How about it – HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, JD?

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About Guardian24/7 Premium Global Concierge Medical Care

What it is – How it works

[By Staff Reporters]

According to their website and TV infomercials, the principals of www.Guardian247.com developed the medical systems and protocols for the President of the United States [POTUS], senior White House officials and members of the President’s cabinet to ensure the best possible medical care anywhere in the world.

Today, the convergence of telemedicine technologies and reliable telecommunications has enabled a business model for this same level of service to be brought to the private sector – for the first time.

Telemedicine Enabled

Utilizing state of the art telemedicine broadband capability, and pre-positioned medical equipment, a team of former White House physicians administer services that are purportedly nearly as effectively as if they were on location, saving hours of time and anxiety for routine medical needs – and possibly saving a life in an emergency situation.

Like an Emergency Room

The company favors a core concept known as A ReadyRoom™ that is an installation of medical equipment, supplies and medications pre-placed and installed in a client’s primary residence and/or remote vacation home, jet or yacht. Custom-tailored to the needs and the client and his/her family and location, the ReadyRoom’s™ state of the art technology allows Guardian’s physicians to direct the proper use of the medicine, supplies and equipment either via telephonic or through advanced video teleconferencing links. The model is reminiscent of an emergency room; always on-call, available for use and expensive.  

Assessment

For those who recognize that their most important asset – is their health –  this company has a serious concierge medicine type solution that is not available to the masses. As CEO of Guardian 24/7, Jonathan Frye leads the company’s efforts to provide presidential-level medical care to clients; anywhere and anytime.

Conclusion

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Video on Hedge Fund Manager Michael Burry MD

In The Subprime of His Life – My Story

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA, CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief]

I am a long time fan of financial industry journalist Michael Lewis [Liars’ Poker, Moneyball and others] who just released a new book. The Big Short is a chronicle of four players in the subprime mortgage market who had the foresight [and testosterone] to short the diciest mortgage deals: Steve Eisner of FrontPoint, Greg Lippmann at Deutsche Bank, the three partners at Cornwall Capital, and most indelibly, Wall Street outsider Michael Burry MD of Scion Capital.

They all walked away from the disaster with pockets full of money and reputations as geniuses.

About Mike

Now, I do not know the first three folks, but I do know a little something about my colleague Michael Burry MD; he is indeed a very smart guy. Mike is a nice guy too, who also has a natural writing style that I envy [just request and read his quarterly reports for a stylized sample]. He gave me encouragement and insight early in my career transformation – from doctor to “other”.

And, he confirmed my disdain for the traditional financial services [retail sales] industry, Wall Street and their registered representatives and ‘training’ system, and sad broker-dealer ethos [suitability versus fiduciary accountability] despite being a hedge fund manager himself.

I mentioned him in my book: “Insurance and Risk Management Strategies” [For Physicians and their Advisors].

http://www.amazon.com/Insurance-Management-Strategies-Physicians-Advisors/dp/0763733423/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269254153&sr=1-2

He ultimately helped me eschew financial services organizations, “certifications”, “designations” and ”colleges”, and their related SEO rules, SEC regulations and policy wonks; and above all to go with my gut … and go it alone!

And so, I rejected my certified financial planner [marketing] designation status as useless for me, and launched the www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org on-line educational program for physician focused financial advisors and management consultants interested in the healthcare space … who wish to be fiduciaries.

And I thank Mike for the collegial good will. By the way, Mike is not a CPA, nor does he posses an MBA or related advanced degree or designation. He is not a middle-man FA. He is a physician. Unlike far too many other industry “financial advisors” he is not a lemming.

IOW: We are not salesman. We are out-of-the-box thinkers, innovators and contrarians by nature. www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

From a Book Review

According to book reviewer Michael Osinski, writing in the March 22-29 issue of Businessweek.com, Lewis is at his best working with characters and Burry is rendered most vividly.

A loner from a young age, in part because he has a glass eye that made it difficult to look people in the face, Burry excelled at topics that required intense and isolated concentration. Originally, investing was just a hobby while he pursued a career in medicine. As a resident neurosurgeon at Stanford Hospital in the late 1990s, Burry often stayed up half the night typing his ideas onto a message board. Unbeknownst to him, professional money managers began to read and profit from his freely dispensed insight, and a hedge fund eventually offered him $1 million for a quarter of his investment firm, which consisted of a few thousand dollars from his parents and siblings. Another fund later sent him $10 million”.

“Burry’s obsession with finding undervalued companies eventually led him to realize that his own home in San Jose, Calif., was grossly overpriced, along with houses all over the country. He wrote to a friend: “A large portion of the current [housing] demand at current prices would disappear if only people became convinced that prices weren’t rising. The collateral damage is likely to be orders of magnitude worse than anyone now considers.” This was in 2003.

“Through exhaustive research, Burry understood that subprime mortgages would be the fuse and that the bonds based on these mortgages would start to blow up within as little as two years, when the original “teaser” rates expired. But Burry did something that separated him from all the other housing bears—he found an efficient way to short the market by persuading Goldman Sachs (GS) to sell him a CDS against subprime deals he saw as doomed. A unique feature of these swaps was that he did not have to own the asset to insure it, and over time, the trade in these contracts overwhelmed the actual market in the underlying bonds”.

“By June 2005, Goldman was writing Burry CDS contracts in $100 million lots, “insane” amounts, according to Burry. In November, Lippmann contacted Burry and tried to buy back billions of dollars of swaps that his bank had sold. Lippmann had noticed a growing wave of subprime defaults showing up in monthly remittance reports and wanted to protect Deutsche Bank from potentially massive losses. All it would take to cause major pain, Lippmann and his analysts deduced, was a halt in price appreciation for homes. An actual fall in prices would bring a catastrophe. By that time, Burry was sure he held winning tickets; he politely declined Lippmann’s offer”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_12/b4171094664065.htm

My Story … Being a Bit like Mike

I first contacted Mike, by phone and email, more than a decade ago. His hedge fund, Scion Capital, had no employees at the time and he outsourced most of the front and back office activities to concentrate on position selection and management. Early investors were relatives and a few physicians and professors from his medical residency days. Asset gathering was a slosh, indeed. And, in a phone conversation, I remember him confirming my impressions that doctors were not particularly astute investors. For him, they generally had sparse funds to invest as SEC “accredited investors” and were better suited for emerging tax advantaged mutual funds. ETFs were not significantly on the radar screen, back then, and index funds were considered unglamorous. No, his target hedge-fund audience was Silicon Valley.

And, much like his value-hero Warren Buffett [also a Ben Graham and David Dodd devotee], his start while from the doctor space, did not derive its success because of them.

Moreover, like me, he lionized the terms “value investing”, “margin of safety” and “intrinsic value”.

Co-incidentally, as a champion of the visually impaired, I was referred to him by author, attorney and blogger Jay Adkisson www.jayadkisson.com Jay is an avid private pilot having earned his private pilot’s license after losing an eye to cancer.

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Mike again re-entered my cognitive space while doing research for the first edition of our successful print book: “Financial Planning Handbook for Physicians and Advisors” and while searching for physicians who left medicine for alternate careers!

In fact, he wrote the chapter on hedge funds in our print journal and thru the third book edition before becoming too successful for such mundane stuff. We are now in our fourth edition, with a fifth in progress once the Obama administration stuff [healthcare and financial services industry “reform” and new tax laws] has been resolved

http://www.amazon.com/Financial-Planning-Handbook-Physicians-Advisors/dp/0763745790/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269211056&sr=1-1

Assessment

News: Dr. Burry appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday March 14th, 2010. His activities with Scion Capital are portrayed in Michael Lewis’s newest book, The Big Short.  An excerpt is available in the April 2010 issue of Vanity Fair magazine, and at VanityFair.com 

Video of Dr. Burry: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6298040n&tag=contentBody;housing

Video of Dr. Burry: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6298038n&tag=contentBody;housing

PS: Michael Osinski retired from Wall Street and now runs Widow’s Hole Oyster Co. in Greenport, NY http://www.widowsholeoysters.com

And, our www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com related books can be reviewed here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=david+marcinko

Assessment

Visit Scion Capital LLC and tell us what you think http://www.scioncapital.com.

And to Mike himself, I say “Mazel Tov” and congratulations? I am sure you will be a good and faithful steward. The greatest legacy one can have is in how they treated the “little people.” You are a champ. Call me – let’s do lunch. And, I am still writing: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com for the conjoined space we both LOVE.

Conclusion

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[PHYSICIAN FOCUSED FINANCIAL PLANNING AND RISK MANAGEMENT COMPANION TEXTBOOK SET]

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

[Dr. Cappiello PhD MBA] *** [Foreword Dr. Krieger MD MBA]

***

VOTE: New Healthcare Reform Legislation

Vote on Healthcare Reform and Tell us What you Think?

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Now that healthcare reform is law, tell us what you think and give us your vote.

You may wish to review this synopsis guide first: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34609984/ns/health-health_care/?GT1=43001

Feel free to answer these queries, in prose form, as well:

1. How will the new law affect the practice of medicine?

2. How does it affect the condition of the national economy?

3. Where do you go to seek succor and support?

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What’s Next with Health Care?

And, Why the Process was Madness

By Staff Reporters

With the House passing health care reform yesterday, resident ProPublica blogger Marian Wang explains what’s next for the bill, and why the process keeps on changing.

Main Concerns

Sometimes things are a little clearer in retrospect. Now that health care reform has passed in the House, it seems there are two main questions in people’s minds:

  • What’s next?
  • Why, procedurally, was the legislative process so confusing and painful to watch?

So, Marian will answer that second question first with some helpful infographics.

Assessment

http://www.propublica.org/ion/blog/item/whats-next-with-health-care-and-why-this-process-was-madness

Conclusion

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On Disruptive Healthcare Innovators and Financial Industry Change Agents

Calling all Young Doctors, FAs and Medical Executives with “FLY”

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

In my real-job travels as a medical management consultant, speaker and physician focused financial advisor, my clients and their healthcare practices / financial services business models run the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous; from pegboards to eMRs and clinical groupware; from cash/bond holders to hedge fund devotees and IPO junkies.

And, from broker-sharks and commissioned sales agents, to fee-only financial advisors and fiduciary RIAs. Fortunately, we see much more of what’s in-between than the latter [www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com and www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Business Analogy

Nevertheless, I am always struck by the fact that change and disruptive innovation [both positive and negative] seems to be within the realm of the young, rather than the more “mature” [sic].

Why? Younger folks just don’t seem to have the mental baggage and fear of failure that older counterparts seem to harbor. THINK: Janis Joplin: Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.

For example, Microsoft, Dell, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple and Twitter, etc. No one told these young founders that “it can’t be done” – or – “we don’t do it that way around here.” Or, they did not listen to such talk. Unfortunately, this hubris [confidence or elan] is often just lost with age in the guise of political correctness.

Nevertheless, although started by folks in their youth, the professional management that most successful companies in the public domain ultimately require is from “older” folks.

Healthcare / Financial Services Analogy

Still, it is not surprising to learn that even some hospitals that house the most accomplished authorities in the fields of IT and quality care do not always follow their own advice when it comes to making improvements in the delivery of healthcare, or in their operational and delivery activities. THINK: Robert Wachter, MD.

And, it is not unusual for industries like the financial services and banking sectors, facing deep structural change, to be slow moving. THINK: Harry Markopolis.

Also, consider the auto industry – public education and labor unions – before the fall. Why – because the leaders of such sectors are typically promoted within, and because of past success, and not any ability to change the current environment?

IOW: They were hired for their ability to maintain the status quo, rather than for their ability to make constructive changes.

Assessment

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Do we call this need for young blood, the “theory of business evolution?” The dinosaur is dead … long live the dinosaur!

Moral: We can’t help getting physiologically old – but we can help getting cognitively old to the extent possible. Be disruptive – champion change – don’t settle and raise a little hell in the dual industries we love and serve!

Conclusion

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A New Survey on Dental Insurance

Come on out Kim E. Volk – CEO of Delta Dental

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS

Today, Julie Frey posted “Dentist & Dental Insurance: No Love Lost” on Jim Du Molin’s Blog.

http://www.thewealthydentist.com/blog/1186/dentist-dental-insurance/

Frey hosts dentists’ frank criticism of dental insurance – their harsh sentiments backed up with fresh results from yet another of the blog’s timely studies that nobody else can compete with. Frey writes “Half of dentists have mostly or completely stopped accepting dental insurances, according to this survey.”  One dentist captured the mood of the dentists with the statement, “Do the math … somebody is making hell of a lot of money on these plans, and it is not the dentist!” I smelled blood and posted the following comment.

Bloody Sunday

Anonymous members of the obscure National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) are losing the fat, collective thumb they once oppressed us with – even using our own ADA News to present their non-negotiable terms. Apart from common sense appearing in the marketplace about the same time as transparency, multiple other interconnected factors are causing dental insurance companies to lose business. The bad economy, corporate greed and pride are a few of their more serious handicaps that come to mind. Wasteful, deceptive insurance practices have aggravated my patients and me for decades before modern networked recourse became available on the Internet through progressive Websites like Jim Du Molin’s Blog. I’ll go out on a limb and say it is not unprofessional for us to enjoy protecting those we serve by showing no mercy to unfair stakeholders like the NADP.

There. I said it. In fact, as US citizens and taxpayers I think blowing the whistle on unneeded expense and danger in the nation’s healthcare delivery is the least we can do for meaningful healthcare reform. I say do your part. Make an insurance CEO like Delta Dental Plans Association’s Kim E. Volk feel discomfort on the Internet. Do you know that Kim E. Volk is the only person who has ever refused to accept me as a friend on Facebook?

http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421/

Assessment 

We really don’t want to allow Delta Dental, UnitedHealthcare, United Concordia and others to dictate fees for non-covered dental services, do we? I also don’t think they deserve continued protection from FTC anti-trust litigation. I say we punish the NADP hard every chance we get until the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act and finally make such in-your-face collusion illegal for crying out loud.

Conclusion

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Lehman Brothers Autopsy

Repo 105 and Why Auditors Have Some “Splainen to Do”

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[By Staff Reporters]

According to ProPublica on March 16, 2010 on 9:07 am EDT, a post-mortem report on Lehman Brothers revealed a shady accounting maneuver through which the bank hid its financial troubles for nearly a decade.

Pleading Ignorance

In this repot, Marian Wang takes a closer look at the parties pleading ignorance and the auditors who admit they knew, but insist they did no wrong.

Assessment

Link: http://www.propublica.org/ion/bailout/item/lehman-brothers-autopsy-repo-105-explained-auditors-in-trouble

Conclusion

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A Petition to the US Federal Government

For an Individual Opt-Out Request for Healthcare

By MyMillionSite

We The Undersigned Wish To Convey By Their Signatures Below That They Wish To Have The Same Rights Under The Current Health Care Legislation.

That Allows The Individual States That If This Would Place An Economic Burden On That State They Have The Option To Opt Out Of This Mandate.

Currently Over 35 Of The 50 States Have Or Will File A Legal Action Against Washington To Claim This Is An Unconstitutional Bill.

If The States Are At 35 against and 15 Not Yet Heard From, It Would Seem That “We The People” Are More That 51% Against This Health Care Bill.

THIS WOULD BE A CLEAR STATEMENT THAT IF AN UP OR DOWN VOTE WAS HELD TODAY BY THE GENERAL POPULATION OF REGISTERED AMERICAN VOTERS THIS BILL WOULD NOT EVEN SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY AND ANY LEGAL ACTION FILED BY THE INDIVUDAL STATES WOULD NOT EVEN BE REQUIRED.

IF THIS BILL WOULD Place an ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC BURDEN ON THE STATE, it Would Seem Logical That It Should Also Be AVAILABLE TO THE INDIVIDUAL PERSON AS WELL.

We the Undersigned Wish To Opt Out Of the Average $12,000.00 per Year Price Tag The Current System We Have In Place by Law Already Mandates That Any Hospital Cannot Refuse Medical Treatment to Anyone That Is In Need Currently Any One Who Asks For Help Will Receive It.

This Bill Will Be Imposed By A Federal Mandate On Each Man, Woman, Child, And Even Unborn Children That Live In This The United States If This Bill Passes.

That This Mandate Is Actually an Unconstitutional Bill in Many Ways:

The Federal Government Does Not Have the Right to Mandate that it’s Citizens Will Have to Purchase a Product Such As Health Insurance Policy.

To Mandate That An Unborn Child Will Have To Purchase This As Well Is The Same Taxation Without Representation.

We As Citizens Are Now Already Over Taxed the Federal Government It Takes the First 4 Months of Our Income and The States Take Another Two Months Of Our Income.

If You Live You Pay Sales Tax on All Purchase’s And Even More On Other Taxes Such As Property Taxes, City Taxes, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Death Taxes, And Soon Even A Carbon Tax On Breathing.

At The Present Time With All Of The Visible Taxes And The Taxes That Are Hidden In Every Item That Is Purchased We Are Taxed At If Not More Than 50% Of Our Income’s An Additional $1000.00 Per Month $12,000.00 For A Federal Health Care Product That Once Implemented Will Only Cover 60% Of Medical Expenses After An Already High Deductible This Will Place A Large Burden On Any If Not All United States Citizen’s.

WE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATE RESPECTFULLY REQUEST TO OPT OUT OF THE CURRENT HEALTH CARE BILL

PLEASE COPY AND EMAIL TO ALL OF YOUR CONTACTS AND ON SUNDAY WHO EVER HAS A COPY FORWARD IT TO THE HOUSE, SENATE, AND THE WHITEHOUSE

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eHRs and Clinical Trials

An Oft Neglected Topic

By Chris Thorman

I wanted to give the ME-P a heads up on an article I just finished about a neglected topic in the eHR debate concerning clinical trial participation.

It’s called: Electronic Health Records and Clinical Trials: An Incentive to Integrate.

The Argument

In the article, I make the argument that clinical trials should play a bigger role in whether or not to purchase eHR software because:

  • The potential profit from participating in clinical trials is so large that it dwarfs the HITECH Act incentives;
  • eHRs make clinical trial participation much easier than in the past; and,
  • eHR software has the potential to solve many of the problems that clinical trials face.

Editors Note: So, let’s try to spark some discussion on this oft-ignored topic. And, feel free to contact the author.

Chris Thorman
Senior Marketing Manager
Software Advice
(512) 364-0118

chris@softwareadvice.com

Conclusion

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About Remember It Now Patient-Centric Health Services

What it is – How it works – Where is it from?

By David Edward Marcinko; MBA CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

RememberItNow was a featured company at the recent 10th annual HIMSS conference. It reports to be the best way for patients to take control of their health, or the health care of loved-ones. Their simple to use, patient-centric eHealth services are available online, anytime. There is no software to download, or upgrades to manage. The firm helps patients remember to take their medications, create a care community, get organized, provide long-distance care, and more. It is designed to be simple to use and make life easier http://www.rememberitnow.com

Mission

The folks at RememberItNow believe patients should spend more time doing the things they enjoy, and less time worrying about taking medications, remembering appointments, tracking prescriptions, reordering supplies and scheduling medical care, etc. RememberItNow is privately funded.

Video: http://prezi.com/irjw0cqiv1cu/introducing-rememberitnow/

My story – Back in the Day

Almost ten years ago, I was invited to attend a venture capitalist technology forum at Georgia Tech University, here in Atlanta. One of the very smallest firms [non-health care] I reviewed was called RememberIt.com. It was billed as a personalized email and online reminder service. I discussed the concept with a very young red-haired man-child named Jeffrey Tacca, president and chief executive officer. He had no employees at the time. Although Jeff was impressive, I was not a fan of his concept.

Nevertheless, if I recall correctly, he received first round funding in the amount of $1.5 million dollars and was accepted into the Georgia Tech start-up business incubator. I tried to keep track of his company throughout the years, to little avail. But, later I learned that RememberIt.com merged with Boardroom, Inc [a large paid subscription firm that publishes newsletters targeting personal, business, health and finance issues], enabling them to enhance users’ experience by providing personalized tips and information from its silo of newsletters. For example, if a RememberIt.com user requested weekly reminders to lose weight, they also received links to related articles on topics such as healthy living or finding the right fitness routine, etc. Users also were able to log-on to track events, special occasions and other commitments. This is no longer a unique concept today, but was state-of-the-art back then.

Assessment

According to my investigations, RememberitNow.com is unrelated to the RemembIt.com of above. The firm is based in Orinda, CA and is headed up by Pamela Swingley [Founder] and Phil Wang [Engineer]. So, if I am mistaken – please tell me. We’d love to share this success story on the ME-P and I’d like to know what ever happened to Jeff Tacca?

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Give em’ a click and tell us what you think? Is this a very sophisticated solution, to a very minor problem?  Do we simply need to exchange bad habits, for good habits, regarding self health responsibility?

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Ease Up – Managing Editor Bob Mitchell

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=doctors+computers&iid=131173″ src=”0127/4caf5e52-a89a-4ddb-a0b2-bf4b6789c92b.jpg?adImageId=11344576&imageId=131173″ width=”414″ height=”413″ /]

Two days ago, ADVANCE for Health Information Executives’ managing editor Bob Mitchell publicly criticized the author of last week’s Parade Magazine article, “Electronic Health Records Face Critics.” Personally, I thought it was cowardly for the editor to accuse Drew Jubera of journalistic recklessness without mentioning his name.

http://community.advanceweb.com/blogs/hx_1/archive/2010/03/16/critics-ehrs-don-t-save-money.aspx

According to Jubera

Jubera wrote:

“A new Harvard Medical School study suggests that electronic health records do not save hospitals money—and in fact often end up increasing costs. The Obama Administration has allocated $19 billion in federal stimulus funds to facilitate the shift from paper to electronic records – a move the Rand Corporation has projected could save up to $80 billion a year. Yet the Harvard study found no evidence of savings so far and little evidence that electronic records improve care.”

http://www.parade.com/news/intelligence-report/archive/100314-electronic-health-records-face-critics.html

Dis-Respects Harvard

Incredibly, Bob Mitchell discounts the Harvard Medical School study as being dated research – even though it is less than 5 months old. “I did some research and found that this study was released back in November 2009, even before meaningful use of an eHR had been defined by [ONCHIT] – or the Office of National Coordinator of Health IT.” As if defining meaningful use was meaningful! That’s humor.

Dis-Respects Parade

Furthermore, editor Mitchell has taken on the responsibility to shield his readers from harm caused by Parade Magazine authors whose ethics fall short of acceptable.

He writes:

“I’m concerned that the public is not being served and they will get the wrong impression of computers in health care, especially if it’s being reported by Parade, which reports celebrity, entertainment and health news.”

Of Healthcare Providers

Not so fast with those tricky pronoun phrases, Bob. Rather than being merely a healthcare stakeholder like you, I’m actually the healthcare provider whom you would have fund your enthusiasm. I think your broad statement that “all of us in healthcare know that digital is much better than paper” is journalistically foolish. In addition, your creativity threatens society much more than alleged exaggerations in Parade Magazine. You not only write about HIT as a career, but people generously call you a managing editor.

eMRs in Dentistry 

The next time you feel important enough to quietly insult writers on behalf of providers like me, remember that eMRs in dentistry will not save money over paper records and will unnecessarily increase the risk of identity theft for my patients … unless you disagree.

It would thrill me if you want to publicly debate the value of electronic dental records (How much do you know about dentistry?)

Assessment

For example, do you realize that if a computer containing thousands of patients’ identifying data is stolen in a burglary, and the dentist, or physician, does the right thing and reports the data breach, he or she will likely be bankrupt even before the HIPAA inspections and lawsuits?

The Ponemon Institute estimates that it will cost about $50 per record just to notify affected patients. A few weeks ago, the HHS was obligated to release information that a burglar stole a computer containing more than 9,000 records from a Missouri dental practice. Just to notify the affected patients will cost the practice almost half a million dollars. But wait. That’s not all. Since the loss involves over 500 individuals, news of the breach must be provided as a press release to the local media. As goes the dentist’s reputation, so goes the dentist’s career – all because of a simple burglary.

Conclusion

So what were you saying about dangerous, biased articles in Parade Magazine? The author whose ethics you criticize has a name. It is Drew Jubera. He’s an award-winning staff member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in Atlanta GA – home of this ME-P.  I’ll make sure he also gets this message.

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Physicians and FAs Dealing with Debt Collaboratively

A Holistic Approach to Financial Health Planning

[By Somnath Basu; PhD, MBA]

Financial Advisers [FAs] often feel helpless in the face of fierce resistance from clients, especially doctors, to rein in their spending, stop living beyond their means and salt away more of their paychecks. Even worse, the financial services industry’s less discerning practitioners are enabling reckless behavior for fear of losing business.

Psychological MoJo

A huge part of the problem is psychological. Look no further than the emerging field of behavioral finance to explain why average Americans of all ages and walks of life feel pressure to keep up with their neighbor. The unfortunate result, of course, is that consumers max out their credit cards, tap equity lines of credit or consolidate loans in pursuit of the American Dream. But, in the process, they often fall victim to over-consumption and under-saving.

Bad Faith Lenders

Unscrupulous lenders are exploiting doctors and consumers with interest-only loans and variable-rate home buying without a down payment – the latter labeled in one recent headline as a car-dealer tactic on the new-home lot. Another gimmick ties a home equity loan to life insurance with the promise of zero premiums, albeit no escape from a lien on equity no matter how it’s sold to an unsuspecting public.

Debt Consolidation Issues

There’s also the issue of determining whether it’s prudent for physicians to consolidate their debt. Many online calculators use the current monthly payment figure as the basis for comparison against monthly payments after debt consolidation, which is erroneous since payments in subsequent periods aren’t compared. This flawed approach is enough to convince unwary people they should consolidate their loans, and in many cases, it justifies a resumption of conspicuous consumption – leading to a vicious cycle.

Need for Discipline

Before a Financial Advisor even gets through a doctor-client’s front door, chances are that the person they’re meeting with might require the services of a psychotherapist and/or credit counselor (or require such a recommendation) to examine the root causes of their propensity for reckless spending and suggest a need for financial discipline.

Wants versus Needs

There must be a clear understanding of the difference between needs (i.e., retiring with peace of mind) and desires (i.e., living the high life), and a willingness to change. It means not eating out five times a week or financing a $75,000 kitchen remodeling makeover, cutting back on entertainment, or making more than the minimum payment on credit card balances. It means not rushing out to buy a house or perhaps finding a local college for children to attend and spare the added expense of housing them in a dormitory. Only then can physician’s and all of us, earmark increasing amounts from each paycheck to build a comfortable savings cushion.

A New Collaborative Approach

What’s needed is a collaborative approach [much like emerging Health 2.0 participatory medicine], since Financial Advisers cannot be the sole catalyst for change. The media too, needs to do much more reporting on the dangers of debt. Politicians need to make difficult choices [a balanced budget, for example] and business leaders need to be more vigilant about adopting ethical practices when it comes to lending, advertising or marketing products and services that feed the vicious cycle of indebtedness.

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The Courage to Deliver Tough Love

Astute Financial Advisers can take on a real collaborative leadership role with regard to helping doctors and other clients avoid or dig out of debt; but the FAs who have the intestinal fortitude tend to have the most affluent clients. So the question becomes, do they have the courage to deliver tough love to their working or upper-middle class, or affluent middle-class clients and prospects?

The Faithful

For doctors to have faith in their FAs, they need to trust their expertise as a financial health practitioner and believe in the power of a diversified investment portfolio. But, they also need to be repeatedly told to stick with their long-term financial plan whenever there’s a downturn in financial markets and not be swayed by fear or the lure of short-term gain.

Financial Advisers who are willing to recognize and treat the symptoms of irrational decision-making, and educate their physician-clients on the follies of making emotion-based decisions, will be able to distinguish themselves in a competitive market. They need to understand investor psychology, as well as identify behavioral biases and offer counsel about the perils and consequences of irrational decisions. They need to know their target physician market-audience, too. This will enhance the results of their long-term planning.

Rethinking Mission

At the end of the day, it’s not just a matter of offering financial planning. It’s as much about life planning as helping get a client’s financial house in order. Just ask Richard Wagner or George Kinder, who describe the movement they created as “the human side of financial planning” and holds workshops that teach advisers client-relationship skills.

But, an even better objective would be to offer financial health planning as part of a more holistic, and arguably, effective approach.

Avoiding Unscrupulous Lending Practices

The best Financial Advisers know how to steer their clients away from unscrupulous lending practices, resist the urge to over-consume and learn financial discipline; but unfortunately they’re a rare breed. Unless the status quo changes, financial planning runs the risk of irrelevance.

How can people possibly expect to amass adequate savings for a home, child’s education and/or retirement if they can’t first dig out of debt? The only possible result will be legions of unhappy clients.

NPOs?

One way to help combat the nation’s difficulty in dealing with debt would be through the creation of a quasi-governmental, nonprofit organization whose educational mission is to better understand the basic issues surrounding the need to borrow money.

But, perhaps the time has come for the some 200 educational institutions that teach financial planning to pool their resources in hopes of becoming a credible watchdog of the nation’s financial health.

Lawmakers increasingly have come to the realization that financial literacy needs to become a higher priority. Advisers should never forget that sound financial health is a necessary condition for good physical and mental health, especially since most married couples argue about money more than anything else and financial distress is a leading cause of depression.

Link: http://www.fa-mag.com/issues.php?id_content=2&idArticle=1640#

Assessment

In the future, Financial Advisers could serve as financial health practitioners in partnership with counselors, behavioralists and psychologists. The very health of financial planning just might depend upon it.

Somnath Basu, Ph.D., is program director of the California Institute of Finance in the School of Business at California Lutheran University where he’s also a professor of finance. He can be reached at (805) 493 3980 or basu@callutheran.edu.

Conclusion

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Electronic Medical Records and Dentistry

A Note to Diane Rehm

[By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS]

Dear Diane Rehm,

I always enjoy your show.

You add value to my drive to work.

As a dentist, I was especially interested in your March 10 show “Electronic Medical Records.”

http://wamu.org/programs/dr/10/03/10.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+WAMU885DianeRehm+%28WAMU%3A+The+Diane+Rehm+Show%29&utm_content=FaceBook#30598

In all the excitement that surrounds the 19 billion dollars our grandchildren have unwittingly granted to physicians and hospitals for “meaningful” adoption of certified eMRs, you probably haven’t noticed that nobody is talking about including dentistry in the conversion from paper to digital. Do you find that odd?

Small and Mid Sized Practices

Like small and mid sized physicians’ practices, small dental practices are intended to be part of the federal mandate for interoperable eMR adoption – even without the help from stimulus money that physicians receive. You probably weren’t aware that the stimulus money will run out before HHS gets around to defining “meaningful use” of eMRs in dental office. That would be impossible, but nevertheless, I anticipate that the attempts will be entertaining. Physicians in small practices typically have tens of thousands of paper charts as thick as phone books. On the other hand, a busy solo dental practice, like the majority of practices in the US, might have 5,000 files that are very thin in comparison to files that involve the whole body instead of just the bottom third of the face. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Marginal Benefits May Not Exceed Marginal Costs 

I listened to your guest Dr. Carol Horn, who practices internal medicine in private practice, as well as others involved in the actual delivery of healthcare. They list not only the benefits of eMR adoption, but in fairness, they also described the expense and liability of digital records that continue long after the tedious and dangerous conversion from paper to digital. In other words, it appears that the benefits for physicians barely make the effort worth the price, even with 19 billion dollars in help.

Editor’s Note: In economics, we say that the marginal benefits may not exceed the marginal costs; all things being equal.

Assessment 

And so, it occurs to me that if dentists are to be included in the plans for digital interoperability, we will be very, very slow adopters for natural reasons: like eMRs in physicians’ offices, eMRs in dentists’ offices are more expense and trouble than they are worth – even before considering the bankruptcy-level liability of a data breach.

Most of those who champion eMRs for the entire healthcare system in the nation don’t realize that the bottleneck in dental offices isn’t the front desk. It’s the dentist who is hopefully taking his or her time providing care with those hands instead of working a keyboard.

Conclusion

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On Employer Based Health Insurance Premium Costs

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One Client’s Comparative Expense Analysis Experience

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA

[Publisher-in-Chief]

Hospital Costs

A colleague posted an interesting essay recently on his blog The Incidental Economist. Austin Frakt PhD is a health economist with an educational background in physics and engineering. After receiving a PhD in statistical and applied mathematics, he spent four years at a research and consulting firm conducting policy evaluations for various federal health agencies. Here is the post.

Link: http://theincidentaleconomist.com/index.php?s=Kaiser%2FHRET+

The Survey

In his essay, Austin reported these figures from a cited survey:

“The 2009 Kaiser/HRET employer health benefits survey found that employees pay 17% of the $4,824 annual premium for single coverage and 27% of the $13,375 annual premium for family coverage (all average figures)”.

Case Report Model

So, if the survey is correct, it got me thinking about how much a long-time client paid as a doctor-employer, when she last practiced in a certain medical group back in 2000. And, especially about how much she would be paying today if still in business with the same group. This brief case-report with comparative expense analysis [CEA} is the up-shot.

My Client’s Story

Her health insurance premium costs including doctor-partners, was about $13,500 annually, per employee. This was a sunk cost, but an above the AGI line deductible business expense to the practice and entirely employer paid as a fringe benefit [all valid corporate expenses are deductible as there is no AGI line on a business tax return]. She and her three partners were both very magnanimous to their employees, and naïve. They became virtually insolvent a few years later and were bought out by a larger medical group for a pittance. Today, they are grunt employee doctors in a 25 plus physician group practice.

My Numbers

Now, if I crunched the numbers correctly as an citizen economist, on my HP12-C calculator, using health insurance inflation rates of 3%, 5% and 7% respectively for a decade [low], she would be now be paying somewhere between $18,143 and $21,990 and $26,556 in 2010 [dangerously assuming linear economics]. Each of her 15-18 employees at the time was a female, head of household, with 1-4 dependents of their own; no singles. Her own family unit included a professional husband and young daughter in private elementary school. They were the most health conscious of the bunch.

Her Situation

So, she left the group in 2000, and we transitioned her to solo private practice with a HD-HCP indemnity-styled [better] plan that pays 100% after her $5,000, and later $10,000, deductible. She has 100% prescription drug coverage, no OB coverage and no networks, second opinions or pre-certification requirements. Today, she has more than $50-K in the savings portion [cash account earning 3.5%, tax deferred].

Her Reaction

As she just turned age 55, there as was significant jump in her family coverage premiums from about $1,350/quarter to $1,650/quarter! Of course, her carrier offered a ten percent discount to $1,485 quarter, when she pitched a fit, and completed a health and wellness survey which “they” verified.

My Intervention

So, I used my “insider” knowledge as a doctor, financial advisor and insurance agent and went back to the open market place for coverage. Her new direct halth insurance coverage [she used a non-fiduciary insurance agent intermediary previously] is better, and her premium is only $1,248/quarter or about $5,000 annually to age 58. Bye, bye insurance agent. Link:  www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Now, if we use the non-inflated [a conservative unlikely scenario] 27% employee premium contribution for the present value projections of $18,143 and $21,990 and $26,556 today – each employee would be responsible for about $4,898, $5,937 and $7,170 respectively [please again recall both our conservative nature and the repeat danger of linear economic assumptions].

Where Did the Money Go?

So, under the 3-5% health insurance inflation scenario, my client would have been contributing about $5,417 for her heath insurance. This is very close to what she is annually paying now! So, where did the much larger employer’s contribution portion of the money go? Probably to overhead costs, marketing, advertising, sales and commissions, HR, high-risk pool premiums, ie … down the drain?

What did my client do with the monetary difference? Well, she paid all family doctor and drug bills that were under the high-deductible threshold; some went to her annual family health club membership dues, covered extras and various “wants and nice-to-haves”, and the remainder of course, went into her savings account portion. In other words … not down the drain.

There is an additional $1.000 “catch up” savings provision for those over age 55. She paid it – to herself.

The Road Ahead – More Expensive

I informed my colleague-client that there likely will be another big premium jump when she turns 58, 60 and age 62 respectively. We will report back to ME-P readers on market competition and related health insurance pricing at that time, ceteris paribus.

Assessment

Does the competitive open marketplace find a way to reduce HI costs– sooner or later? High Deductible HealthCare Plans were launched as a temporary pilot project in 1997 and initially sold poorly. In the past few years however, there has been a boom in HD-HCPs and the pilot project was made permanent. What other HI innovations may be in the future?

Of course, President Obama was against them in his original healthcare reform plan. But, now in his weakened political position, they seem acceptable to him. So, go figure. Utility depends on political winds, not economic efficacy, I suppose. 

Conclusion

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Congratulations Harry Markopolos

A Future SEC Chairman?

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief]

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Harry Markopolos is finally taking his victory lap. He is out hustling a new book about his nearly decade-long pursuit of Bernie Madoff, and rightful criticism of the Securities Exchange Commission [SEC].

And, he’s been on a whirlwind media and PR tour of sorts: CNBC, MSNBC, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, etc. Still, we’ve written about him before on this ME-P

No Schadenfreude

According to one trade magazine essay, Markopolos finally seems relaxed and at peace. Bernie Madoff is in jail. The Feds are closing in on his accomplices. Markopolos clearly is having some fun. After being ignored for so long, he’s finally the center of attention – on his terms.

But to be sure, schadenfreude was not a philosophy taught to Harry and I, while students back-in-the-day, at Loyola University Maryland.

http://www.fa-mag.com/fa-news/5322-harry-markopolos-sec-chairman.html

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. In my opinion, Harry would be a much better SEC chairman than Mary L. Schapiro, the 29th SEC Chairman [January 2009] -or- Christopher Cox, the 28th Chairman [June 2005].

Dare I say it … I’m just wild about Harry.

So, FAs, investors and doctor colleagues; what do you think about Harry? 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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About the Managed Care Digest Series

Where Information Becomes Intelligence™

By Staff Reporters

The sanofi-aventis Managed Care Digest Series® is part of their continuing commitment to provide the healthcare industrial complex with the latest and most essential information on the evolution of medical care.

The Series, available online or in print, provides key benchmarking data that can help assess value, control costs, and develop business strategies.

Assessment

According to ME-P Publisher-in-Chief, Dr. David Edward Marcinko:

I have been a user of the Managed Care Digest series for more than a decade. The depth and breadth of information is astounding. I especially appreciate the data driven and graphical interface nature of the publication; as well as its’ cost—free!

I suggest all medical professionals, healthcare economists, business experts and financial advisors – read it and reap!

And so, give em’ a click www.ManagedCareDigest.com and tell us what you think?

Conclusion

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Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

Help Support the ME-P

You were among of the first; the early adopters if you will. You saw the troubling state of healthcare, medical economics, private practice and the financial services community in our country.

And, you believed in the ME-P and our “new-wave” brand of informed and collaborative investigative journalism to do something about it.

Our History

For the last three years, the ME-P has played the role of educator, watchdog and advocate for medical practice management and financial planning transparency, scrutinizing powerful people, systems and institutions that would prefer to stay out of the spotlight, highlighting the fine print that might otherwise slip past cash-strapped physicians and their consulting advisors.

As newsrooms across the country contract, in-depth investigations are viewed as a luxury that many print publications can’t afford. Journalists are getting kicked off their beats. And, when they do, we are there to help pick up the virtual baton.

The Pioneers

We’re pioneering a new, no-profit e-model, helping spearhead a movement to reinvigorate investigative and non-clinical healthcare administrative and business journalism in this country.

But, we need the support of our most loyal readers – concerned members of the healthcare industrial complex, like you – to spread the word about our mission. If you value our investigations and essays, you will tell five colleagues about the ME-P, today.

Participatory Power

You’ll see our stories in your inbox every day, so you know the types of issues we’re tackling. Our reporting speaks for itself – but we need your help to get the word out about where it’s coming from. We need your participation and collaboration to tell your colleagues.

Our Request

I’ll bet you believe in the power of investigative journalism just as much as I do. So, please tell five [5] of your colleagues that they can stay on the leading edge of the groundbreaking stories that shine a light on the unbiased nexus of medical practice and financial planning, in plain English.

Assessment

In the modern Health 2.0 era, our goal is to “bridge the gap between medical mission and profit margin.”     

Join the ME-P Nation today … and tell us what you think!   Thank you for standing up for investigative healthcare journalism. Thank you for supporting the Medical Executive-Post. Now go; please tell five [5 … or more] colleagues to subscribe. It’s fast, free and secure.

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Conclusion

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Why eMRs Won’t Improve Patient Care or Reduce Costs

Deus Ex Machina – NOT

By Staff Reporters

Question

Have electronic medical records made a difference in patient care?

Answer

According to a new study looking at the digital medical record adoption of 3,000 hospitals, electronic records have made little difference in healthcare costs or the quality of medical care.

Assessment

That’s discouraging, considering that the government is investing billions of dollars into the technology.  

Related posts from Kevin Pho MD:

Conclusion

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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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Healthcare Case Models CD-ROM

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Office Case Models in Healthcare Business 

[A Practice Improvement Compendium]

In Medical Practice? – Buy this CD-ROM

Regardless of specialty, most doctors quickly realize there are few case model guidelines available to steer them through the day-to-day management maze. One solution is to discuss best-of-breed practices with leading practitioners in order to discern what successful doctors are doing [mentoring concept].

The Problem

Of course, this is a costly and time consuming process with no criteria for success. Today, mentors are even loath to assist as competitive advantage can be lost.

A Solution

A better solution may be to use our Case Models in Healthcare [A Practice Improvement Compendium] to appreciate real-world practice situations and develop personalized approaches for an appropriate course of action. These techniques are so powerful that many business schools center their teaching on them. Case studies have been used for one hundred years because of their practical descriptions of actual situations.

Typically, information is presented about a practice’s patients, markets, competition, financial structure, service volumes, management, employees and other factors affecting success. The length of a case study may range from a few pages to 30, or more. And, our Case Models in Healthcare [A Practice Improvement Compendium] is suitable for medical practices, clinics, hospitals and other emerging healthcare entities.

We use three different methods to enhance your knowledge and launch your practice’s success: 

  • Prepared case-specific questions, with detailed answers, to illustrate underlying practice management concepts.
  • Problem-solving analysis, styled after Harvard Business School, to learn intuitive skills for resolving various practice issues.
  • A “no-answer” strategic planning approach to develop your ability to analyze a complex situation, generate a variety of possible strategies, and select the “best” from multiple self-generated solutions. 

 Case Model Topics

We give you more than 25 healthcare administration cases, covering the enterprise wide practice management ecosystem, to champion your financial success: 

  1. Market Competition
  2. Operations Management
  3. Capital Formation
  4. Cash Flow Management
  5. Revenue Analysis
  6. Hybrid Costing
  7. OSHA Model
  8. Economic Order Quantity Costing
  9. USA Patriot Act
  10. Mixed Costing
  11. Managerial Accounting
  12. Cost Volume Profit Analysis
  13. Insurance Contract Analysis
  14. Incurred but Not Reported Claims
  15. Accounts Receivable
  16. Cost Accounting
  17. Medical Contract Negotiations
  18. Workplace Violence
  19. HIPAA
  20. Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  21. Medicare Compliance
  22. Health Information Technology
  23. IRS Form 990
  24. Hospital Valuations
  25. HIT Security
  26. Medical Endowment Funds; and others.

 Bonus Features

 We also include at no additional charge: 

1. Glossary of Insurance and Managed Care

2. Glossary of Health Economics and Finance

3. Glossary of Health IT and Security

To help avoid administrative worries, you need Case Models in Healthcare [A Practice Improvement Compendium].

Sample Case Model: WV 1 

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Testimonial:

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Product Specifications: Adobe Acrobat Reader® required – both Mac and PC compatible. And, the handsome, sturdy package makes the CD-ROM an ideal gift for the recent graduate, mid-career doctor or mature medical practitioner; office manager, CXO or healthcare administrator.

TO ORDER: Please send your check or money order [for the CD] to: iMBA Inc, Suite #5901 Wilbanks Drive, Norcross, GA 30092-1141 [770.448.0769] or MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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Only: $ 99.00 USD [includes SPH & tax]. 

New Regulations Needed For Financial Planners?

So Says New Coalition

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

The Financial Planning Coalition [FPC] is pushing for a law that would require anyone calling themselves a financial planner to meet certain ethical and educational standards and to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC].

About the FPC

According to its’ website, the Financial Planning Coalition is a collaboration of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA), and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) to advise legislators and regulators on how to best protect consumers by ensuring financial planning services are delivered with fiduciary accountability and transparency. Americans have grown leery of those who work in financial services.

Currently, financial planning (the process of advising individuals and families across a range of personal finance topics in addition to investment advice) is unregulated as a profession, resulting in major gaps in current laws. So, is it really a “profession” many ask – void of any significant barrier to entry?

The Financial Planning Coalition intends to work with Congress to produce legislation that puts the interests of clients first and enables consumers to identify a trusted financial adviser.

To learn more about the Financial Planning Coalition’s purpose and mission, click here to read, or download the Statement of Understanding [PDF].

SEC Wrong Oversight Agency?

According to this report in Financial Advisor magazine, an advertiser-driven trade journal:

the standards would be set by a public oversight board that would be funded by small registration fees paid by the financial planners, said Robert Glovsky, chair of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards during a conference call today. The CFP Board, as well as the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors makes up the coalition.

Exemptions

However, brokers and insurance agents would not be forced to register as financial planners, but those who held themselves out as financial planners would have to meet the required minimum competency and ethics standards or stop using the financial planner title.

Assessment

And so, as we have noted, written, preached and warned for more than a decade – anyone can call themselves a financial planner, or financial advisor; so beware medical colleagues.

More: http://www.fa-mag.com/fa-news/5314-new-regs-needed-for-financial-planners-coalition-says.html

NOTE: The fiduciary definitional standard conundrum was not even addressed in the article or by the committee, as far as I know. Moreover, note that SEC oversight was in place before, during and now after the Bernie Madoff scandal – so enough said about competency! www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. What do you think FAs, and CFPs®? Should all become an RIA or ERISA styled fiduciary? Or, will this be another CFP® lite fiasco?

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.

Disclaimer: I am a former certified financial planner and CEO of the online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com program for fiduciary advisors working in the healthcare space.

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

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

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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On New York’s Medicaid “Rip-Off” Artists

Or … Just  Accidentally Billing Dead Patients?

By Staff Reporters

Sixty-six New York state healthcare providers billed Medicaid for services provided to 287 patients they later admitted were “deceased at the time of service,” says the office of state Medicaid Inspector General James Sheehan.

Assessment

The inappropriate billings, which the providers attributed to clerical mistakes, totaled less than $1 million.

Now, read the entire New York Post article, complete with identifiers; and then page Dr. Frankenstein.

Link: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/rai_ing_the_dead_in_medicaid_rip_Ocmt6BxwUyL8WO3OwwmCVI

Conclusion

Industry Indignation Index: 24

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Could this only happen in the bi-polar State of New York? How about at Manhattan’s famed Bellevue Hospital?

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 Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com 

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Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

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

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

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

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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About Microsoft HealthVault Community Connect

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Connecting Hospitals with Patients and Referring Physicians

[By Staff Reporters]

At the recent 2010 Annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference & Exhibition here in Atlanta, Microsoft announced Microsoft HealthVault Community Connect, a new software solution for hospitals designed to help them improve care coordination and engage patients and their families in managing their own health.

Improving Coordination of Care

HealthVault Community Connect reports to enable hospitals to give patients and referring physician’s access, after discharge, to electronic copies of the patient’s personal health data generated at the hospital. The product also lets patients pre-register for hospital appointments online using their electronic personal health information to populate hospital forms in advance.

Assessment

Microsoft HealthVault Community Connect lets hospitals exchange electronic patient health information with patients and referring doctors. The new solution is scheduled to be available in the third quarter of 2010.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2010/mar10/03-01MSMiamiPR.mspx

Conclusion

So, give em’ a click and tell us what you think.

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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Insuring the Investment Portfolio

A Multi-Strategic Discussion

By Ann Miller RN, MHA

Since the market crash, portfolio insurance and program trading are not as popular as they were in the mid-1980s.

In this essay, Dr. Somnath Basu explains why.

Link: Insuring the Investment Portfolio

Somnath Basu, Ph.D., is program director of the California Institute of Finance in the School of Business at California Lutheran University where he’s also a professor of finance. He can be reached at (805) 493 3980 or basu@callutheran.edu.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Financial advisors please chime in on the debate? Is Basu correct; why or why not? 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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Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com 

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Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

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

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

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

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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

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I’m Not Economically Bashing JHU … But!

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In My Opinion … Hospital Charges Not 4 Me

Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA

[Editor-in-Chief]

On February 09, 2010, journalist Maggie Mahar posted an excellent op-ed piece on The Health Care Blog. In fact; I am now compelled to address one aspect of it. The essay was titled: “Massachusetts’ Problem and Maryland’s Solution”.

Assuredly, I’ve no beef with Maggie, her economic machinations or reporting. In fact, I am a fan and encourage all ME-P readers and subscribers to “read it and reap.’

Link: http://www.thehealthcareblog.com/the_health_care_blog/2010/02/massachusetts-problem-and-marylands-solution-we-dont-have-to-wait-for-washington-part-2.html#comments

Maggie Speaks

In her essay, Maggie says the following to which I agree. It is well known to me as a Balti-moron. For, I lived in the bowels of inner-city Baltimore when this legislation went down, back-in-the-day:

“While health care reformers argue about what it would take to “break the curve” of health care inflation, the state of Maryland has done it, at least when it comes to hospital spending. In 1977, Maryland decided that, rather than leaving prices to the vagaries of a marketplace where insurers and hospitals negotiate behind closed doors, it would delegate the task of setting reimbursement rates for acute-care hospitals to an independent agency, the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission. When setting rates, the Commission takes into account differences in labor markets and how much a hospital pays in wages; the amount of charity care the hospital does; and whether it treats a large number of severely ill patients.

For example, the Commission sets the price of an overnight stay at St. Joseph Medical Center in suburban Towson at $984, while letting Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore Maryland, charges $1,555. For a basic chest X-ray, St. Joseph’s asks $81 and Hopkins’ is allowed to charge $155. The differences reflect Hopkins’s higher costs as a teaching hospital and the fact that it cares for generally sicker patients.”  

Of Invoices, Charges and Cost Shifting – Oh My!

I do have a beef with the above charges, which are not necessarily costs, which are not necessarily what is ultimately paid by a third-party insurer, or patient. This cost shifting is not unique to JHU, of course, but mention of the “Johns” just caught my eye as I admit that I’ve been away from my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland for 35 years.

Oh my; don’t get me wrong. I loved the place and played stick-ball in JHU’s parking lot on Broadway in Upper Fells Point when I was a kid. I was seen in the ER, at a young age, for a forehead laceration. I even met two of the greatest physicians in the world there.

J. Alex Haller Jr. MD – the world famous Children’s-Surgeon-in-Charge of Johns Hopkins Hospital, and pectus excavatum surgical pioneer, from 1964 until 1997.  As well as pediatric heart surgeon Helen Brooke Taussig MD (1898 – 1986), developer of a famous operation to alleviate “blue baby” syndrome, and who first warned the public on the dangers of thalidomide.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-vii/

However, as a health insurance agent and advocate of HD-HCPs for more than a decade, who has direct economic “skin-in-the-insurance game”, I would rather go to suburban St. Joe’s medical center for non-traumatic, non-emergent care – if I had my druthers. The neighborhood is safer and the quality can’t be much different. After all, a basic chest x-ray … is a basic chest x-ray, and an uncomplicated overnight stay … is an overnight stay etc, ceteris paribus.

RememberParetto’s 80/20 economic principle of the “vital few and trivial many”? Most of us [trivial many] will not need JHU care [vital few]. And, that’s a good thing! 

The fact that JHU is a teaching hospital that generally cares for sicker patients has tremendous societal implications with positive “trickle-down” innovative benefits for the masses. But, not for me as one doctor-purchaser of healthcare services who knows better. I refuse to pay freight charges for the “full JHU monty”.

I just can’t afford it under my definition of medical / business school derived quality health care.

The correct diagnosis, necessary care and proper treatment with f/u and ancillaries; at the most convenient venue; by the appropriate level medical provider; in an appropriate time-frame, and at the right price.

Assessment

JHU is an outstanding healthcare entity in Baltimore, but perhaps even more so for the poor and/or rich; not us “tweeners”.

For the middle class, it is expensive care whose reputation for quality may actually be declining.

In fact, some JHU employee’s still living “back in the hood” tell me that it is “getting larger, but not better.” 

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/a-story-all-doctors-and-patients-should-re-read/

Quality guru, Bob Wachter MD, where are you?

http://community.the-hospitalist.org/blogs/wachters_world/about.aspx

PS: I am a former CPHQ myself [Certified Physician in Healthcare Quality].

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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Simplifying the Investment Decision

A Basic Overview for Emerging Physician and Medical Professional Investors

By Somnath Basu; PhD, MBA

There are three basic considerations in any investment decision.

1] The first is the understanding of the investment objective or why the investment is being made. While this may seem somewhat irrelevant at first – why would you be investing if you do not know what you are doing – combining investment objectives can pose problems down-stream.

For example, if you are saving for your retirement so that you can afford the retirement lifestyle you desire (the investment objective), your saving plan should not include any savings you are making for your children’s education (a separate investment objective). Compounding the two savings streams in one plan can very easily lead to one or both of the plans failing.

2] The second consideration is the time horizon of the investment. As a rough guide, investments that need to mature in the next 5-7 years can be considered as short term, 8-15 years as medium term and the rest as long term.

3] Finally, and probably the most important consideration of all is the importance you attach (priority) to achieving your investment objective; in other words, how safe and secure should your investments be. For example, if you are 70 years old and considering how you should invest your retirement funds so that your expenses are covered say for the next 25 years, you do not want a large margin of error in how your investments turn out; you can ill afford to be broke when you are older and hence you want your investments to be as secure as possible.

On the other hand, if the investment is for a second home or a boat, for example, you may wish to engage in some risk taking which may help in lowering your upfront investment needs. It is very important for any investor to clearly understand how much loss they can bear from any investment decision.

Decision Matrix

It is useful to express the investment framework described above as a simple decision matrix. Using the matrix (shown below) as a decision support system should clarify and simplify most investment decisions.

Link:  Investment Scenarios

Understanding where in the matrix your decision falls is a very good first step of your decision. Both these elements (safety and time) will ultimately decide the kinds of financial instruments that will reside in your portfolio. We will examine the structure of each of the 9 possible combinations shown in the matrix. Before doing so, let us start by examining the various investment alternatives (e.g. stocks, bonds, etc.) since they have an implicit connection with the two dimensions portrayed in our matrix.

Stocks

Stocks are the most well known and popular form of financial investments. Stocks may be further segregated between large cap and small cap stocks, where the term “cap” is surrogate for the size of the underlying corporation or firm.

Stocks may represent investments in both domestic and international companies. Within the international category, stocks may represent corporations registered in developed (safer) or emerging (riskier) markets. In terms of our matrix dimensions, stocks are best suited when the decision is of medium or long term. In terms of safety, large cap (both domestic and international) stocks are the safest, while small cap and emerging market stocks are the most risky. The riskier the stock, the greater are the profit possibilities as are the chances of large losses.

Bonds 

The second common type of investment are bonds Generally, bonds are much safer than stocks with the exception of a class of bonds known as high yield (or junk) bonds. Bonds are issued by companies, governments (domestic and international) and other agencies such as local governments (municipal bonds or “munis” which are especially desirable for those in high income tax rate categories) and quasi-government agencies such as Federal Home Loan Bank, Student Loan Administration, Agricultural Cooperative Banks, etc (collectively known as “Agency” bonds such as Ginnie/Fannie/Sallie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc.).

Government bonds are the safest, followed by agency and municipal bonds and then by bonds issues by corporations.

Corporate bonds may be safe (which are assigned credit safety ratings such as AAA, AA, BBB, etc.) or risky (junk bonds with ratings such as BB, CCC, CC etc.).

Bonds can be used for all time horizons, their maturities ranging from 3 months to 30 years. Very short term bond and bond like instruments (with maturities of one year or less) are known as money market securities which are generally safer than most other investments.

Alternate Investments

Other types of investments include real estate (long term, risky), commodities (such as energy, basic building materials, precious metals, etc.) which are also risky and which may be used for both short term and long term purposes and provide a good hedge (counter balance) in an inflationary environment, derivatives (options and futures) which are very risky and typically short term in nature. Derivatives are generally suggested for very sophisticated investors and are best left alone otherwise.

Risk Reduction

A very important feature about investments is that when various types of investments are bundled together in a portfolio, they help to reduce the risk of the investment decision without affecting the profits in a comparable way. This basic aspect of mixing various kinds of investments (stocks, bonds, etc) to reduce risk is known as diversification and it is a “must” for any investment portfolio. It is a “must” because this technique of risk reduction is generally costless (unless you are paying a financial advisor to do this for you) and it is very worthwhile. All other methods of risk reduction have cost implications.

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Scenario Matrix

Armed with this nomenclature regarding various investment types we can now go about examining what the 9 combination (Scenario) portfolios may look like for investment purposes.

Link: Investment Scenarios

Starting with Scenario 1, if you wish to make a short term decision that is very important to you and needs to be very safe, investments should be made in very short term bonds (government or treasury bills)and other similar money market (short term, safe) securities. International short term bonds of developed countries may also be included. Such investment products are generally available through mutual funds or Exchange Traded Funds (or ETFs). ETFs are just like mutual funds except that they are usually cheaper, much easier to buy and sell and may provide tax deferral benefits.

If your investment falls in the Scenario 2 category, include agency/municipal bonds as well as some domestic and international (developed country) large cap stocks while for Scenario 3, smaller portions of small cap and emerging market stocks may be added proportionately while reducing some of the safer investments.

If your investment was a Scenario 4 type of investment, corporate large cap stocks (both domestic and international) could be added to agency or corporate (domestic and international) bonds. Before investing in stocks (in any Scenario) for this Scenario 4, a good question to ask is the following:  how profitable were stock investments in the last 3-5 years? If the answer is “very profitable” then reduce the proportion of stocks as compared to bonds in the portfolio. If the last few years were not good, then it would be good to increase their comparable shares. The main reason for this “fine tuning” is that the fortunes of stocks (and many other types of investments) follow a cyclical pattern and the cycle is related to the general cycle of economic (GDP) growth and contraction.

It can be seen now how Scenarios 5 and 6 (as also 8 and 9) will follow a similar pattern as before, increasing proportionally in stocks (of all sizes, domestic/international), real estate, commodities, etc. Portfolios falling in these groups may also include some small cap and emerging market stocks as well as high yield or junk bonds. The proportion of these riskier investments would of course be higher for Scenario 6 over Scenario 5 (and Scenario 9 over 8).

For Scenario 7, the investment portfolio would typically resemble one that would be like an opposite of the portfolio in Scenario 1 and would include a greater proportion of large cap (domestic/international) stocks and a much smaller proportion of bonds. As we move towards Scenarios 8 and 9, the portfolios would be dominated by small cap and emerging market stocks as well as junk bonds.

Assessment

In the discussion above, I have tried to generalize the investment decision in a simplifying way. While the discussion may have centered more on stocks and bonds, it is important to note that all portfolios must “diversify” the investment risks by expanding upon the various types of investment products contained in the portfolios. The very fact that a portfolio contains various types of investments will ensure that the portfolio will perform better than those which are not as well diversified. This will be so in spite of any one of the investment types underperforming at any point in time and the diversification benefit will be received consistently over long periods of time. A popular analogy to this diversification benefit is the common phrase of not putting all eggs in one basket.

Editor’s Note: Somnath Basu PhD is program director of the California Institute of Finance in the School of Business at California Lutheran University where he’s also a professor of finance. He can be reached at (805) 493 3980 or basu@callutheran.edu

Conclusion

The above approach to investment decision-making can be considered as a basic template that can be used universally. For those seeking greater sophistication and who have a foundation built on the above model, expert advice is strongly recommended.

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Financial advisors please chime in on the debate? Is Basu correct; why or why not? 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 Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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

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A [Another] Doctors’ Problem with Electronic Medical Records

ME-P in the Forefront of “Reasonable” Skepticism

By Staff Reporters

There is no doubt that paper medical records can cause harm. They are easily lost and damaged, they disappear during emergencies, and they are often incomplete. 

With incorrect or missing information, doctors end up duplicating tests, making uninformed decisions and delaying care. 

Another POV

Well true enough, but redundancy also reduces the instantaneous and widespread electronic dissemination of incorrect information. For example, we’ve all seen patients allergic to the drug ampicillin, being confused with the drugs penicillin, amoxicillin, dicloxacillin, ticarcillin and bicillin, etc.

Now, just suppose an eMR patient history was inputted incorrectly by a doctor, nurse, or some medical assistant or lightly trained technical aide?  Instant error dissemination – times a zillion!

So, paper notes and medical charting redundancy does involve a bit of double-checking, which is a good thing!

THINK: Wrong sided surgery, never-events, etc.

The Skeptics

Patients – and all of us – deserve better, of course. And, we are naturally skeptical here at the ME-P. But, are electronic charts really the answer?

Alexander Friedman MD [Fellow in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania], author of this new WSJ essay, sure doesn’t seem to think so. He joins these other experts, opining both for and against eMRs on this ME-P.

Channel: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/category/information-technology/

Assessment

Link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126599531264644979.html

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments are appreciated. Tell us what you think about eMRs. 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 Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com 

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Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

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

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

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

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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

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Sponsors Welcomed

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

The ME-P as Provocateur

On Publishing Information and Entertainment

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA

[Publisher-in-Chief]

As avid blogger Darrell K. Pruitt DDS recently noted, this past quarter brought in a large number of monthly hits, readers and subscribers to the ME-P; and we are grateful. The traffic boost was mainly due to interest in eMRs and the financial essays of Somnath Basu PhD, especially during current political turmoil in Washington, DC involving both sectors simultaneously. The common element was the provocation of diverse opinions.

Audience Centric Philosophy

Through a focused attention on our target audience, we’ve come to understand that information and entertainment are inseparable in all but a theoretical sense.

For example, you’re reading this sentence because it entertains or interests you. That it is also informative may be a reason why it interests you, but entertainment and information are nevertheless inexorably linked.

A sure way to entertain is to be provocative.  Apparently some people really like to debate the value of eMRs, healthcare reform and the financial services industry. And, we appreciate multiple links from prominent bloggers, essays and journalists, too. Don’t misunderstand. We do not publish for the sake of provocation and we do lightly self-censor. But, we publish to advance our own thinking and understanding. That we also entertain and invite debate is an additional benefit.

Self Motivation Mission to Inform

Our posts and comments are motivated to correct the record and to infuse an unbiased debate over both healthcare and financial reform with the best evidence available. In the process, we learn much. Hence, though we may entertain, we are motivated by a desire to inform and “bridge the gap between medical mission and profit margin” in the Health 2.0 era.  

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Assessment

We’d even go so far as to say that anyone who does not agree is attempting to fool you with clever theory that belies the practical truth. According to Austin Frakt PhD, of the Incidental Economist, if you fall for it … that only proves our point!

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. 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 Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com 

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Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

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

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

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

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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

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Sponsors Welcomed

And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

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Should Drugs be Discontinued If DNA Predicts Risks?

On Pharmacogenetic Testing and Genomics – An Invitation

[By Karen D. Matthias RN MBA]

Dr. Marcinko and ME-P Readers

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to test someone’s DNA and know the right drug to prescribe at the right dose the first time without the worry of adverse side effects?  Pharmacogenetics—the manner in which a person’s genes affect their response to drugs, has the potential to do just that.  Genetic and genomic tests hold enormous promise for revolutionizing our medical understanding of a disease.

However, it is irresponsible to suggest that a simple genetic test, at this point in time, can appropriately dictate prescribing practices for certain drugs.

Pharmacogenetic Testing

The use of pharmacogenetic testing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer has recently created a lot of questions for patients.  A high profile example is whether or not genetic tests can predict the risk of recurrence of breast cancer in women taking tamoxifen.

Our knowledge of how genetics and environment interact to dictate an individual’s response to a given drug is in its infancy. Therefore it is critically important that there is sufficient evidence to support the use of a given test before it is introduced into mainstream medical practice. In most cases, there is not a simple single genetic test that will give us the necessary information.

For example, Hayes has reviewed the evidence behind the pharmacogenetics of response to tamoxifen, and the reality is that there is currently insufficient evidence to conclude that performing a genetic test prior to prescribing this drug has any impact at all on patient outcomes.

Link: http://www.hayesinc.com/hayes/?s=Tamoxifen+

Assessment 

Furthermore, well-designed studies are needed to both confirm the relationship between genetic variants and response to tamoxifen. The critical component is to show that positive changes in patient care can be made in response to the results of genetic testing and to establish what the potential negative repercussions of NOT prescribing these drugs to patients may be.  It is possible that the benefits outweigh the risks, even for patients shown by genetic testing to be less likely to respond to treatment.

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ME-P Invitation from Hayes, Inc 

Dr. Diane J. Allingham-Hawkins would be available to give you, and your ME-P readers, a perspective on this ongoing genetics testing dialogue. Dr. Allingham-Hawkins is Director of the Genetics Test Evaluation Program at Hayes, Inc., an unbiased, healthcare research and consulting firm that is helping hospitals and insurers cope with the cost and ethical issues related to genetic testing.  She is an outspoken interviewee with deep knowledge of the subject matter and very pointed opinions regarding genetic testing.  A great interview for your consideration.

Contact Info:

Karen D. Matthias – Vice President

Hayes, Inc – 157 S. Broad Street

Lansdale, PA 19446

P: 215-855-0615 x7918

E-mail: kmatthias@hayesinc.com

Channel Surfing the ME-P

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Conclusion

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

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

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Doctors – Are You Ready to Retire?

Moneywise?

By Somnath Basu; PhD, MBA

For those of us between the ages of 45 to 54, the thought of retirement should be popping up a few times these days. And, for doctors between ages 55 and 64, the thought may be taking on urgent tones. Many of us are reconciling to the idea that it may be a fact that we have to either postpone our retirements or live a much simpler life during retirement. Whatever the thoughts may be, what’s driving them is our preparedness to retire.

Preparedness Components

So, we will now examine what the component (dos and don’ts) may be for physicians, and others, to assess whether they are on the right path in their preparations to retire. It is somewhat easier if we consider the preparedness issues of the expectant retirees along the two age groups we tagged earlier. It is possible that we may find that the proper components of our retirement plans may already exist for us and we need to give them a good and disciplined effort to carry us through in the retirement years. It is also important to note, in this vein, that as a nation, our savings rate has gone from -0.6% in 2006 to about 5% today. While most of the increase in savings is the result of people building back an emergency nest egg, we can also take heart in the fact that the savings habit has not become obsolete or even rusty, and given the proper motivation (e.g. a sub-standard retired lifestyle), we can alter our destinies by riding on the same savings wave.

The Possibilities

Let us begin by describing the possibilities for the younger group (ages 45-54) doctors and employees pondering their retirement moves. There are two aspects of retirement that needs consideration. First is the contemplation of the needs associated with retirement lifestyles and the corresponding financial requirements required to sustain such lifestyles.

The second is to consider our current lifestyles, living standards (consumption), our income and savings and to assess whether we are set to achieve our retirement lifestyle targets. To understand the many possibilities, we will examine some typical scenarios using data from the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI). Note that all calculations are only approximations for a typical individual.

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Example:

If you are about 50 years of age, have worked and saved for about 20 years [401(k), or 403(b)] or other pension plan) and earn about $100,000 a year, you should have about $200,000 in your retirement account today. Assuming that Social Security (if the organization remains viable and makes its required payouts), covers about 27% of your needed retirement expenses. You could expect a Social Security payment of about $30,000 per year at age 65. This would mean that in about 15 years, you would need to generate an additional $80,000 per year from your own savings. While you may think that you are not consuming $110,000 worth of lifestyle today, it is useful to note that this estimate is in future (and inflated) dollar terms.

This brings us back to the second question of how much you may be consuming today. If you are paying about 25% as taxes and saving another 5%, then you are currently spending about $70,000 today. At a 3% inflation rate, in 15 years this amounts to a spending of $110,000 on an income of approximately $160,000.

Thus, if your 403(b) balance does not change from now till retirement and you estimate to plan for a 25 year retirement phase, then your 403(b) account will be equivalent to about an additional $8,000 per year, which itself will grow every year minimally at the inflation rate.

If you assume the 403(b) plan will itself grow at about 7% a year over the next 40 years (from ages 50 to 90) then at retirement (age 65) you’ll have about $550,000 and be able to withdraw about $50,000 per year. This will leave you with a shortfall of $30,000 per year. To be able to afford retirement to its fullest, you’ll need to save an additional $15,000 per year for the next 15 years. Before you begin thinking that is a doable task and start assessing which parts of current lifestyle to pare, note that many of the assumptions above may not hold true.

Average Rates of Return

For example, earning a 7% average rate of return over 40 years is no simple task; Social Security may not be able to deliver on its promise. Physician income and job security is a political issue. Paring current lifestyle is a bigger issue. Healthcare and leisure types of costs during retirement may increase by more than 3%, even as you consume more of these retirement lifestyle services.

Therefore, you may want to continue enjoying your current medical practice lifestyle and consider worrying about retirement about 10 years (or more) later or you may take stock of your current situation. If your situation is worse than the average portrayed above, a big issue for you is to keep your physical and mental health well balanced and not depressed and medicated; plan to postpone retirement and practice or work longer, albeit in good health.

Assessment

If you are about 60 years of age, have worked for about 25-30 years, earn $100,00 per year and have about $350,000 in your retirement accounts, your problems are more exacerbated and your fears (of postponing retirement, paring current or future lifestyle or not being able to make up shortfalls) are much more real. The strategies remain the same from earlier in that you have to make some urgent and difficult decisions. These are decisions that cannot be postponed any longer.

Note: First released “All Things Financial Planning Blog” on December 18, 2009.

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.

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 Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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About the eHealth Initiative and the Foundation for eHealth

What they are – How they work

By Staff Reporters

The eHealth Initiative and the Foundation for eHealth Initiative are independent, non-profit affiliated organizations, whose shared mission is to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare information technology [HIT].

Protean Stakeholders

Both organizations are focused on engaging diverse stakeholders–including hospitals and other healthcare organizations, clinician, consumers and patient groups, employers and purchasers, health plans, manufacturers, public health agencies, academic and research institutions, and public sector stakeholders–to define and then implement specific actions that will address the quality, safety and efficiency challenges of domestic medical care through the use of interoperable HIT.

Membership

Since 2001, the eHealth Initiative has represented a diverse membership that is improving HIT. Over the years, eHI membership has grown to over 200 organizations.

Coalition Growth

In 2005, eHI launched the eHI Connecting Communities Membership, a rapidly growing coalition of leaders representing more than 200 state, regional and community-based initiatives focused on improving health through information exchange.

In 2009, eHI adopted the Information Therapy (Ix) Action Alliance. The IxAction Alliance, previously a part of the Center for Information Therapy – an eHI member – resides at the intersection of patient-centered care and HIT, focusing on issues relating to the prescription and use of targeted health information to help people make good health decisions and lead healthy lives.

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Assessment

The adoption of e-health initiatives promises to revolutionize health care in the United States by reducing errors, improving the quality of care delivered, reducing costs, and empowering consumers to better understand and address their own health care needs.

eHI is one of the few organization that represents all stakeholders in the industry. eHI advocates for the use of health IT that is practical, sustainable and addresses stakeholder needs, particularly those of patients.

Conclusion

So, give em’ a click and tell us what you think: www.eHealthInitiative.org 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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Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

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

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

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

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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

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Sponsors Welcomed

And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

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

Risk Assessment of Medical Coding Services

Office of Inspector General

By Pati Trites MPA CHBC, with Staff Reporters

Any readers considering enrolling in a medical coding school should read this ME-P.

Why? Because the written policies and procedures concerning proper health insurance and Medicare coding should reflect the current reimbursement principles set forth in applicable statutes, regulations and Federal, State or private payer health care program requirements, and should be developed in tandem with organizational standards.

Furthermore, written policies and procedures should ensure that coding and billing are based on medical record documentation; which is now the “reality” rather than just a “reflection” of the reality.

Focus on the Codes

Particular attention should be paid to issues of appropriate diagnosis codes, CPT, DRG and MS-DRG coding, individual Medicare Part A and B claims (including documentation guidelines for evaluation and management services) and the use of patient discharge codes. The billing company should also institute a policy that all rejected claims pertaining to diagnosis and procedure codes be reviewed by the coder or the coding department. This should facilitate a reduction in similar errors.

Problem Areas

Among the risk areas that some billing companies who provide coding services should address are:

  • Internal coding practices;
  • “Assumption” coding;
  • Upcoding and Downcoding;
  • Alteration of medical records and documentation;
  • Coding without proper documentation of all physician and other professional services;
  • Billing for services provided by unqualified or unlicensed clinical personnel;
  • Availability of all necessary documentation at the time of coding; and
  • Employment of sanctioned individuals.

Assessment

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Billing companies that provide coding services should maintain an up-to-date user-friendly index for coding policies and procedures to ensure that specific information can be readily located.

Similarly, for billing companies which provide coding services, the physician-executive and billing company should assure that essential coding materials are readily accessible to all coding staff.

Finally, billing companies should emphasize in their standards the importance of safeguarding the confidentiality of medical, financial and other personal information in their possession.

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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. It is fast, free and secure.

Conclusion

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

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

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Does Life Insurance Cover Intra-Operative Death?

ASK-AN-ADVISOR

Courts at Odds over Wether Hospital Mishaps are Accidents?

By Staff Reporters

A spouse dies while in surgery. Was he or she covered under your family life insurance plan? Are you entitled to collect?

Assessment

Explore this issue thru an original article by Asher Hawkins [02.08.10] 06:18 PM EST, from Forbes.

Link: http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/08/life-insurance-medical-malpractice-personal-finance-mistake.html?partner=msn

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.

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 Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

***

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™

[Dr. Cappiello PhD MBA] *** [Foreword Dr. Krieger MD MBA]

Front Matter with Foreword by Jason Dyken MD MBA

Book of Month

 

 

ME-P Joins Up with SocialVibe

What it is – How it works

By Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA

[Managing Editor]

SocialVibe is a new networking website with over 1,000,000 members. It was founded by Joe Marchese, Brandon Mills and David Levy, and aims to reward publications like the ME-P through donations to their charity of choice.

How it Works

After joining SocialVibe, in addition to creating a personal profile, users are asked to select their favorite cause to support and to choose a sponsor. Once they have done so, they can earn points for themselves, which can be redeemed for a variety of different perks and money for their respective charities by posting their “badge” to another social networking site. The more a SocialVibe user’s networking site is visited, the more points they are able to earn.

The Badge

A badge is defined as “a distinguishing emblem or mark worn to show membership or achievement.”

The SocialVibe badge brings members together with their favorite brand and charity. The badges are customized to be the member’s own [ie, ME-P] but all consist of their brand sponsor logo, cause logo, member profile picture and a personalized message. The Badge is one of the most powerful tools that SocialVibe members have at their disposal to share both their brand and charity messages across their various publishing blogs and social networks.  An appealing and inviting aspect of a SocialVibe member’s social networking profile, the Badge helps spark a conversation between a SocialVibe member and their friends regarding the brand a member has chosen to feature on their Badge.

Economic Impact

Once the badge has been created, members put them on their social networking site and/or blogs. For example, with each view the badge gets on our ME-P site, we will earn points. These points contribute to a larger donation to the American Red Cross which is our charity-of-choice. With SocialVibe, our readers make a positive, measurable impact for the Red Cross just by completing branded activities. In just over a year’s time, the SocialVibe community has raised over $700,000 for over forty different non-profits. We hope to do our part, too!

Assessment

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P sponsorhip are appreciated. Feel free to click on the SV badge located on our left middle home page side-bar; you’ll know what to do, thereafter. 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.

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 Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com 

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Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

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

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

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

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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

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Sponsors Welcomed

And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

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

The FDA and eMR Regulation?

One HIT Futurist’s Opinion

By Staff Reporters

A few years ago, Shahid N. Shah wrote that the FDA should be paying closer attention to healthcare IT systems and consider regulating those systems; in other words – regulating them the same as any other drug, medical device or foodstuff.

After all, some healthcare IT systems can kill just as easily as inappropriate medical care.

Link: http://www.healthcareguy.com/2010/02/24/thank-goodness-the-fda-could-start-regulating-healthcare-it-systems/

Our View

We agree that hospital IT systems and eMRs can, do, and will kill when not used or implemented properly.

And, it’s a shame that we may need the government to improve quality; but perhaps the fear of regulation will do the trick. In fact, we’ve also warned of similar adverse unintended consequences of eMRs and related HIT systems, previously on this ME-P.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/will-electronic-records-raise-the-legal-standard-of-care-and-increase-malpractice-risk/#comments

About Shahid Shah

Shahid is CEO of Netspective, a Java/.NET consultancy that specializes in healthcare IT with an emphasis on e-health, EMRs, data integration, and legacy modernization. He is also a valued thought-leader for the ME-P, who will be contributing the HIT chapter for the third edition of our best selling book: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com to be released later this Spring.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-Pare appreciated. Should eMRs be regulated by the FDA? Does the FDA need to put even more on its plate and has it done a good job until now? Do we really need more governmental intervention in healthcare?

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.

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 Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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Events-Planner: March 2010

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Events-Planner: MARCH 2010

By Staff Writers

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

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

First, a little about us! The Medical Executive-Post is still a relative newcomer.  But today, we have almost 17,500 visitors and readers each month from all over the country, in addition to our growing subscriber base. We have been a successful collaborative effort, thanks to your contributions.  As a result, we are adding new resources daily.  And, we hope the website continues to provide the best place to go for journals, books, conferences, educational resources, tools, and other things you need to establish the value your healthcare consulting and financial advisory intervention. And so, enjoy the Medical Executive-Post and our monthly Events-Planner with our compliments. 

A Look Ahead this Month

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

  • March 1-4: HIMSS-10 Conference, Atlanta, GA
  • March 4-5: Medicare RAC Summit, Washington, DC 
  • March 6-9: BISA Annual Convention, Westin Diplomat, Hollywood, FLA
  • March 7-9: ABA Wealth Management and Trust Conference, Biltmore, AZ
  • March 11: Health Plan Innovations Conference, Orlando, FLA
  • March 13: AORN Congress, Denver, CO
  • March 14: Health Facility Planning, San Diego, CA
  • March 25: World Healthcare Congress on HI-TECH, Washington, DC
  • March 29: HIT and the Future of Managed Care Industry Forum, NY 

Please send in your meetings and dates for listing in the next issue of our ME-P Events-Planner: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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

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