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The History of [Medical] Workers Memorial Day [OSHA]

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The OSHA Precursor
By Matthew Pelletier

[Director of Public Relations]

Compliance and Safety LLC

ME-P Readers and Subscribers

Workers Memorial Day [WMD] is a commemoration day that is celebrated in the U.S and abroad each year on April 28th. It is meant to remember those who have been killed or left disabled as a result of an injury suffered at work. And, it’s an opportunity to recognize the preventable nature of most workplace accidents and bring greater awareness to safety campaigns and legislation.

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So, you are more than welcome to read, review and use any of the content from our memorial page on your ME-P website.

http://complianceandsafety.com/blog/workers-memorial-day-2013/

Assessment

Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, in 1970, which created OSHA to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”

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The Newtown, Conn School Massacre [Lessons to Learn?]

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REPRINT: This re-publication is provided as a service to our readers, as we mourn the children and victims of the Newtown, Conn massacre. The workplace – healthcare setting analogy is self-evident.

Hospital Workplace Violence Risk Factors

[An NIOSH Summary and Review]

By Dr. Eugene Schmuckler MBA CTS

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Domestically, the impact of workplace violence in the US became widely exposed on November 6, 2009 when 39 year old Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal M. Hasan MD, a 1997 graduate of Virginia Tech University who received a medical doctorate in psychiatry from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and served as an intern, resident and fellow at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District of Columbia, went on a savage 100 round shooting spree and rampage that killed 13 people and injured 32 others.

In April 2010 he was transferred to Bell County Jail in Belton, Texas. An Article 32 hearing, which determined whether Hasan would be fit to stand trial at court martial, began on 12 October 2010. Hasan subsequently deemed fit, was arraigned on July 20 2011 and trial was scheduled for March 2012. It was rescheduled again, but is now ongoing and in the news; almost daily.

The NIOSH

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) summarizes the risk factors for occupational violence to hospital workers. These include:

  • working directly with volatile people, especially if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or have a history of violence or certain psychotic diagnoses;
  • working when understaffed — especially during meal times or visiting hours;
  • transporting patients and long waits for service;
  • overcrowded, uncomfortable waiting rooms;
  • working alone;
  • poor environmental design;
  • inadequate and/or ineffective security;
  • lack of staff training and policies for preventing or managing crises with potentially volatile patients;
  • drug and alcohol abuse;
  • access to firearms;
  • unrestricted movement of the public; and
  • poorly lit corridors, rooms, parking lots, and other areas.

Occupational Violence 

Violence occurring in other occupational groups is most often related to robbery. In healthcare settings, however, acts of violence are most often perpetrated by patients or clients. Family members who feel frustrated, vulnerable, and out of control; and colleagues of patients (especially when the patient is a gang member) are also identified as perpetrators of abuse! However, the presence of co-workers has been identified as a potential deterrent to assault in healthcare.

Healthcare and social service workers face an increased risk of work-related assaults stemming from several factors, including:

  • the prevalence of handguns and other weapons — as high as 25% among patients, their families, and friends. Handguns are increasingly used by police and the criminal justice system for criminal holds and the care of acutely disturbed, violent individuals;
  • the increasing number of acute and chronically mentally ill patients now being released from hospitals without follow-up care, who now have the right to refuse medicine and who can no longer be hospitalized involuntarily unless they pose an immediate threat to themselves or others;
  • the availability of drugs or money at hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies, making staff and patients likely robbery targets;
  • situational and circumstantial factors such as:
    • unrestricted movement of the public in clinics and hospitals;
    • the increasing presence of gang members, drug or alcohol abusers, trauma patients, or distraught family members;
    • long waits in emergency or clinic areas, leading to client frustration over an inability to obtain needed services promptly;
  • low staffing levels during times of specific increased activity such as meal times, visiting times, and when staff is transporting patients. This also includes isolated work with clients during examinations or treatment;
  • solo work, often in remote locations, particularly in high crime settings, with no back up or means of obtaining assistance such as communication devices or alarm systems;
  • lack of training of staff in recognizing and managing escalating hostile and assaultive behavior; and
  • poorly lighted parking areas.

OSHA

The Guidelines established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seek to set forth procedures leading to the elimination or reduction of worker exposure to conditions causing death or injury from violence by implementing effective security devices and administrative work practices, among other control measures. Healthcare professionals need to be aware that violence can occur anywhere and in any practice settings.

In hospitals and clinics, which are more likely to report incidents of violence than private offices, the most frequent sites are:

  • psychiatric wards;
  • acute care settings;
  • critical care units;
  • community health agencies;
  • homes for special care;
  • emergency rooms; and
  • waiting rooms and geriatric units.

Impact

The impact of workplace violence is far-reaching and affects individual staff members, co-workers, patients/clients, and their families. Those who have been affected, directly or indirectly, by a workplace violence incident report a broad spectrum of responses — anger is the most common. There are also reports of:

  • difficulty returning to work;
  • decreased job performance;
  • changes in relationships with co-workers;
  • sleep pattern disturbance;
  • helplessness and symptoms for post-traumatic stress disorders;
  • fear of other patients; and
  • fear of returning to the scene of the assault.

Assessment

Link: Chapter 07: Workplace Violence

More: Medical Workplace Violence

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Medical Workplace Violence Prevention Guidelines

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Earliest Guidelines in California Program

By Eugene Schmuckler; PhD MBA MEd CTS

By Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA

[Certified Trauma Specialist]   

The impact of medical workplace violence became widely exposed on November 6, 2009 when 39 year old Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal M. Hasan MD, a 1997 graduate of Virginia Tech University who received a medical doctorate in psychiatry from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and served as an intern, resident and fellow at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District of Columbia, went on a savage 100 round shooting spree and rampage that killed 13 people and injured 32 others. In April 2010 he was transferred to Bell County Jail in Belton, Texas awaiting trial.

Federal Government Guidelines

The federal government and some states have developed guidelines to assist employers with workplace violence prevention. For instance, one of the earliest sets of guidelines for a comprehensive workplace violence prevention program was published in 1993 by California OSHA. This resulted from the murder of a state employee. In 1996, Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers was published by OSHA.

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OSHA Guidelines

In its guidelines, OSHA sets forth the following essential elements for developing a violence prevention program:

  • Management commitment — as seen by high-level management involvement and support for a written workplace violence prevention policy and its implementation.
  • Meaningful employee involvement — in policy development, joint management-worker violence prevention committees, post-assault counseling and debriefing, and follow-up are all critical program components.
  • Worksite analysis — includes regular walk-through surveys of all patient care areas and the collection and review of all reports of worker assault. A successful job hazard analysis must include strategies and policies for encouraging the reporting of all incidents of workplace violence, including verbal threats that do not result in physical injury.
  • Hazard prevention and control — includes the installation and maintenance of alarm systems in high-risk areas. It may also include the training and posting of security personnel in emergency departments. Adequate staffing is an essential hazard prevention measure, as is adequate lighting and control of access to staff offices and secluded work areas.
  • Pre-placement and periodic training and education — must include educationally appropriate information regarding the risk factors for violence in the healthcare environment and control measures available to prevent violent incidents. Training should include skills in aggressive behavior identification and management, especially for staff working in the mental health and emergency departments.

On May 17, 1999, Governor Gary Locke signed the New Workplace Violence Prevention Act for the state of Washington. This act mandates that each healthcare setting in the state implement a plan to reasonably prevent and protect employees from violence.

 

New Washington Workplace Violence Prevention Act

According to this act, prevention plans need to address security considerations related to:

  • physical attributes of the healthcare setting;
  • staffing, including security staffing;
  • personnel policies;
  • first aid and emergency procedures;
  • reporting of violent acts; and
  • employee education and training.

Prior to the development of an actual plan, a security and safety assessment needs to be conducted to identify existing or potential hazards. The training component of the plan must include the following topics:

  • general safety procedures;
  • personal safety procedures;
  • the violence escalation cycle;
  • violence-predicting factors;
  • means of obtaining a patient history form from a patient with violent behavior;
  • strategies to avoid physical harm;
  • restraining techniques;
  • appropriate use of medications as chemical restraints;
  • documenting and reporting incidents;
  • the process whereby employees affected by a violent act may debrief;
  •  any resources available to employee for coping with violence; and
  • the healthcare setting’s workplace violence prevention plan.

Assessment

The act further mandates that any hospital operated and maintained by the State of Washington for the care of the mentally ill is required to provide violence prevention training to affected employees identified in the plan on a regular basis and prior.

Front Matter: Front Matter BoMP – 3 

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Gulf Cleanup Training Ignores Advice from Health Agency

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Concerned Workplace Safety Experts 

By Sasha Chavkin, ProPublica – June 17, 2010 2:05 pm EDT

As we’ve reported, workplace safety experts have expressed concern that Gulf oil spill responders aren’t getting enough safety training [1]. On Wednesday, we spoke with a federal official who said the four-hour safety course that BP is providing to Gulf cleanup workers lacks basic information on health risks and is too short to cover the necessary material.

Joseph Hughes, director of the worker training program at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, said the course fails to incorporate important information. Among the subjects not included are chemical inhalation, the health effects of dispersants, and the risks of direct contact with weathered crude oil.

Hughes’ agency, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, helped develop the training. “We tried to recommend what we thought the right training topics were, but all of those were not included,” he said.

ProPublica Reports

As we reported on Wednesday, cleanup workers are continuing to suffer health problems [2] [2] that they believe to be related to chemical exposure, including vomiting, dizziness, and nose and throat irritation.

Hughes also said the course’s four-hour duration — a fraction of the 24-hour training usually required for cleanup workers [3] [3] who may be exposed to hazardous materials — is insufficient and rests upon a faulty interpretation of safety regulations. In 1990, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a directive following the Exxon-Valdez disaster that allowed the minimum training to be cut to four hours [4] [4] for workers performing low-risk tasks such as beach cleanup.

“The idea of the Exxon-Valdez exemption is that they would not have direct contact with crude oil or weathered oil,” Hughes said. However, he said that some spill responders receiving the four-hour training, such as booming and skimming workers on vessels, are “definitely having direct oil contact.”

The BP Spokesman

BP spokesman Toby Odone stated that the safety trainings are appropriate for the work people are doing. “Training for Vessels of Opportunity and shoreline workers is 4+ hours and includes properties of oil, insect bites, heat, marine operations such as laying and collecting boom,” Odone wrote in an e-mail. The Vessels of Opportunity program employs local boat operators and crews in cleanup activities.

Odone also wrote that workers going into oiled areas are accompanied by a technician with 40 hours of training, and that the training was approved by the government. “It was developed with OSHA and approved by OSHA and the US Coast Guard,” he wrote.

OSHA is in charge of monitoring workplace safety for the cleanup. We at ProPublica have been trying to get in touch with officials there since Monday to discuss the safety trainings, but haven’t yet gotten a response.

Hughes said that his office is pressing Unified Command — the interagency spill response team that consists of BP, Transocean, the Coast Guard and numerous federal agencies — to implement an eight-hour training course for those at greater risk of contact with hazardous materials. The course would include the chemical exposure curriculum that is not provided in the current trainings.

“The group that I’m still concerned about is the booming and skimming workers,” Hughes said. “There’s an effort under way to increase the training of those workers that’s being discussed at the highest level.”

On Wednesday, Aubrey Miller, senior medical adviser in Hughes’ agency, testified to a House subcommittee that OSHA is “working with BP to develop a new eight-hour curriculum [5] [5] for worker safety and health training,” according to a transcript of his remarks provided by the agency.

Hughes said he had not heard any dates for when this eight-hour training program would start.

wind

Assessment

As it stands, Hughes said the training goes against the precautionary principle — the concept that the possibility of harm is enough to warrant action to reduce the risks to public health.

We thought it was backwards,” he said of the current curriculum,“that it had a reduced amount of protection for workers.”

Link: http://www.propublica.org/feature/gulf-cleanup-training-ignores-advice-from-health-agency-official-says

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How Physicians Select Risk Management Advisors

More Difficult than Ever Before

By Brian J. Knabe MD, Certified Medical Planner

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Historically, the term “risk management” has brought to mind one subject for the practicing physician – medical malpractice.  Unfortunately, physicians today face a multitude of other risks which may be more insidious and daunting than malpractice.  It is important to recognize these risks, and to have the appropriate procedures and policies in place to mitigate the risks.  These risks come from the federal government, state government, insurance companies, patients, employees, and even prospective employees.  Some risks, many unique to small businesses and medical practices, include the following:

  • Medicare recoupment risk – challenges to coding and subsequent billing by the physician.
  • Medicare fraud.  Numerous laws can be used by the federal government to go after the physician, including the Medicare and Medicaid Anti-Fraud and Abuse Statute, the RICO statute, and the Federal False Claims Act.  The recently enacted Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act aims to save money by increasing funding for anti-fraud efforts.
  • Insurance fraud.  An inquiry from Medicare to look for fraud in a physician’s practice is often followed by similar efforts by insurance companies.
  • The HIPPA Act of 1996 creates new definitions and penalties to use against the physician.
  • Self referral risks.  Federal regulations in this area include the Medicare Anti-Fraud and Abuse Statute, the Medicare Safe Harbor Regulations, and the Stark Amendment.
  • Federal agency risks.  These include regulations from the Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA), Health and Human Services (HHS), the Drug Enforcement agency (DEA), and even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Anti-trust risks.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) formulate regulations in this arena.
  • Managed care contractual risks.  Most managed care contracts require the individual physician rather than the professional corporation to sign the contract, thus placing the physician’s personal assets at risk.
  • Medical malpractice risks.  Although the vast majority of claims are paid by the insurance carrier, there can be other adverse consequences for the physician.  These include the risk of increased premiums, non-renewal of policies, and difficulty in getting replacement insurance.
  • Loss of income due to death or disability.  Most physicians recognize the importance of life insurance, but the medical professional is actually much more likely to lose income due to disability at some point in his or her career.

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The practicing physician should seek the advice of professionals with expertise in these areas.  Every practice should have an experienced attorney on retainer.  It is very important to seek advice from fiduciaries – experts who have no conflicts of interest and who can therefore act in the best interest of the client.  A Certified Medical Planner is such a fiduciary with training and expertise in these areas.

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

It can be particularly challenging to find an insurance advisor with no conflicts of interest, as this industry is built upon product sales and commissions.  One such insurance advisor is Scott Witt, a fee-only insurance advisor with Witt Actuarial Services (www.wittactuarialservices.com).

Others can be found with an internet search for “fee only insurance advisor”.

Assessment

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Understanding the Mental Healthcare Regulatory Environment

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Appreciating the Rules

[By Carol Miller; RN, MBA]

Carol S. MillerLocal counties and municipalities are the primary providers of state mental healthcare for patients who lack private insurance coverage for such care.

Both children and adults may be eligible to receive assistance.

These counties provide a wide range of psychiatric and counseling services to the residents in their community as well as other types of assistance such as:

  • treatment services related to substance abuse;
  • housing;
  • employment services;
  • information and education service;
  • referrals;
  • consultative services to schools, courts and other agencies;
  • after-care services; and other related activities.

mental

Rules and Regulations

Accordingly, regulations from federal, state, and county governments have an impact on the day-to-day operations, procedures and processes of a county mental health center. Traditionally, there are three main types of regulations.

Federal Regulations — The United States healthcare system is guided by programs such as those established under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (in the case of county mental health programs, Medicaid is especially important), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and others.

State Regulations — These include general legislative guidelines, state management of benefits and reimbursement of the Medicaid program, and state allocations of budgets, which impact the centers’ operations.

County Regulations — Each county defines its own County Mental Health Program and decides which services will be provided or excluded.

Assessment

County facilities generally include outpatient clinics, county mental health programs, short-term psychiatric facilities, day-care centers, de-toxification centers, residential rehabilitation centers for substance abuse, long-term care psychiatric facilities, and Veterans Affairs (VA) psychiatric centers. The county centers may be co-located with other county services such as social services, occupational rehabilitation services, information technology services, human resources, maintenance services, and others or may be independently located.

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Understanding Hazard Communication Labeling

An OSHA Requirement

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The Hazard Communication Standard

The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard requires proper labeling of all chemicals present in the workplace. Labels are usually provided on chemicals that are found in a healthcare practice, but when a substance is transferred from its original container to a different container, a label must be affixed to the secondary container to inform any employee who uses it of the contents and their potential risks.

Assessment

The Standard also requires education for employees regarding any chemical present in the workplace to which they may be exposed under normal conditions of use or in a foreseeable emergency.

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OSHA Financial Cost Analysis Software

About the “Safety Pays” Program

By Staff Reporters

A financial cost analysis can be performed by anyone using the OSHA software program, Safety Pays. This software can be found and downloaded at no cost by accessing the website: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/searchresults.category?p_text=safety%20pays&p_title=&p_status=CURRENT

A Free Software Program  

The program was developed to assist employers in assessing the impact of occupational illness and injuries on their profitability. Utilizing this software program and profit/loss data from the www.bizstats.com website on physician practices – reveals a number of startling statistics that illustrate how cost effective implementing an OSHA safety program can be for a medical practice, clinic, hospital or emerging healthcare organization (EHO).

Assessment

Conclusion

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

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OSHA Medical Record Keeping Standards

On the Recording – Reporting of Occupational Injuries and Illness [29 CFR 1904]

By Pati Trites; MPA, CHBC and CPC

tritesIn this era of eHRs, and eMRs, it is vital to understand how OSHAs Recording and Reporting of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Standard [29 C.F.R. 1904 – also known as the Recordkeeping Standard] requires employers to record & report work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Exemptions

For example, in January 2001, OSHA provided for a partial exemption from this Standard for many industries including: Offices & Clinics of Medical Doctors, Offices and Clinics of Dentists, Offices of Osteopathic, Offices of Other Health Practitioners, Medical and Dental Laboratories, and Health and Allied Services, Not Elsewhere Classified [1].

The exemption applies as long as the above-stated employers do not have at least one of the following events occur:

  • any workplace incident that results in a fatality; or
  • the hospitalization of three or more employees (example: a malfunctioning heat exchanger on a furnace causes carbon monoxide poisoning to the employees. If three or more must be hospitalized, then the exemption is lost for the calendar year).

If either of these two events occurs then the practice must comply with the reporting requirements of this Standard. Again, each employer who is physically located in one of the 26 states that has its own OSHA must follow state requirements if they are stricter.

Fatality or Hospitalization

In the event of a workplace fatality or an incident that causes the hospitalization of three or more employees, the employer must notify OSHA’s Area Office nearest to the site of the incident either in person or by phone. Notification can also be made by calling the OSHA toll-free central telephone number, 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742). This notification must be accomplished within eight hours of the occurrence [2].

OSHA Form 330

Although the likelihood of either of these occurrences taking place is slight, it may be prudent to maintain records that comply with the OSHA Recordkeeping Standard in the event the practice’s partial exemption is lost during a calendar year. Keeping adequate records includes maintaining an OSHA Form 300, which is a log of the following events: days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, and a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed healthcare professional.

OSHA Form 330-A

If the practice maintains its partial exemption throughout the calendar year, nothing further needs to be done. But if the practice loses its partial exemption this form must be used to complete a second OSHA form, Form 300A, the annual summary. The employer must post a copy of Form 300A in each practice location (if there are multiple locations) in a conspicuous place or places where notices to employees are customarily posted. The employer must also ensure that the posted annual summary is not altered, defaced, or covered by other material. The Form 300A remains posted from February 1 through April 30 of the calendar year following the year of data collection [3]. In other words, for all records kept in 2005, Form 300A would be posted from February 1, 2006, through April 30, 2006, and so on.

AssessmentMedical Chart

An additional recordkeeping requirement for healthcare entities is established in the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, wherein the Sharps Injury Log must be maintained by any employer who must comply with the Recordkeeping Standard. If the employer loses his or her partial exemption during the year, then there is an obligation to complete and maintain the Sharps Injury Log. Again, this is a form that probably should be maintained by all healthcare organizations just in case the partial exemption is lost in any particular year.

Conclusion

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1.  29 C.F.R. 1904 Subpart B Appendix A.

2.  29 C.F.R. 1904.39.

3.  29 C.F.R. 1904.32.

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ADA President and Broken Promises

The Future President

By Darrell K. Puritt; DDS

pruitt8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

D. Kellus Pruitt; DDS

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

**** CMS NEWS ****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Need More Information?

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

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OSHA and Sharp Medical Instruments

Understanding OSHA Requirements

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

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

Definition

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

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

Two-Handed Recapping

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

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

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

Assessment

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

Sharps

Conclusion

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

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Hand Washing for Healthcare Facilities

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Understanding OSHA Standards

[By Dr. David E. Marcinko; FACFAS, MBA, CPHQ, CMP™]

[By Patricia A. Trites; MPA, CHBC, CHCC, CMP™ (Hon)]

The OSHA Standards for healthcare require that hand washing facilities be readily available to employees.

Definition

Hand washing facilities are defined as a facility providing an adequate supply of:

  • running potable water;
  • antiseptic soap; and
  • single-use disposable towels or hot air drying machines.

Location

The hand washing facilities must be located where the employee will have easy access. This will ensure that the employee will be likely to use the hand washing facility and will minimize the time that the contamination will remain in contact with the employee. In those instances where the provision of hand washing facilities is not feasible, either an appropriate antiseptic hand cleaner (e.g., alcohol-based rinse, antiseptic foam, or antiseptic-impregnated paper wipes) in conjunction with clean cloth or paper towels, or antiseptic towelettes, must be provided.

Soap and Running Water

When using antiseptic hand cleansers or towelettes, the hands must be washed with soap and running water as soon as feasible. Not only must the employer provide the hand washing facilities, he or she must also ensure that employees in fact do wash their hands immediately or as soon as feasible following contact with blood or other potentially infectious material [OPIM].

The employee must also wash his or her hands immediately after removal of gloves or other personal protective equipment [PPE]. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that hand washing occurs. OSHA states that hand washing must be strictly enforced by the employer.

***

handwashing-550x2190

***

Assessment

How has OSHA affected your hospital, medical practice or healthcare facility?

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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.

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Understanding Universal Healthcare Precautions

The OSHA Definition for Medicine

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

www.HealthcareFinancials.comHO-JFMS-CD-ROM

OSHA defines universal precautions (sometimes referred to as “normal precautions”) as an approach to infection control whereby all human blood and certain human body fluids are treated as if known to be infected by HIV, HBV [hepatitis], or other blood borne pathogens.

 

Assessment

Universal precautions must be observed to prevent contact with blood; or; Other Potentially Infectious Materials [OPIM]. Under circumstances in which differentiation between body fluid types is difficult or impossible, all body fluids should be considered potentially infectious.

ConclusionGloves

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

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

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OSHA and Workplace Pathogen Control

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Engineering and Medical Work Practice Controls

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

Engineering and medical practice controls are methods used to isolate or remove bloodborne pathogen hazards from the workplace. These practices should be used to eliminate or minimize employee exposure by removing the hazard or isolating the employee from the exposure. However, where occupational exposure remains after institution of these controls, personal protective equipment [PPE] must be employed, as described below.

Engineering Controls

Engineering controls can be described as those an employer purchases and makes available to protect his or her employees. Examples are sharps containers, eye-wash stations, spill-kits, and safer needle systems. It is the employer’s responsibility to implement and maintain a system for ensuring engineering that controls are used. The engineering controls must be examined and maintained or replaced on a regular schedule to ensure their effectiveness. Conducting only an annual review of the engineering controls is inappropriate under the OSHA Standard.

Healthcare Work Practice Controls

Unlike engineering controls, healthcare work practice controls depend upon the behavior of the employee to reduce exposure. Examples are hand washing, utilizing universal precautions, and wearing appropriate PPE. Even with properly implemented work practice controls, exposure can still occur. Some of the engineering and work practice controls that must be addressed (if applicable to the specific healthcare organization) within the employee control plan [ECP] include:

  • hand washing facilities and practices,
  • treatment of sharp instruments,
  • separation of food from contamination,
  • certain procedures in the treatment of contamination,
  • sterilization, and
  • care of equipment.

Assessment

These engineering controls must be examined and maintained or replaced on a regular schedule to ensure their effectiveness. Conducting only an annual review of the engineering controls is inappropriate under the OSHA Standard.

Surgical prep

Conclusion

How has OSHA affected your practice? Or, is it so 1999?

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

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The Need to Protect Accounts Receivable [ARs]

Understanding Liability and Stewardship Issues

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

By Dr. Gary L. Bode; MSA, CPA, CMP™

HOFMSAll hospitals, clinics, healthcare entities and doctors are aware that accounts receivable (ARs) represent money that is owed to them, usually by a patient, insurance company, health maintenance organization (HMO), Medicare, Medicaid, or other third party payer. In the reimbursement climate that exists today, it is not unusual for ARs to represent 75% of a hospital’s investments in current assets. ARs are a major source of cash flow, and cash flow is the life-blood of any healthcare entity. It pays bills, meets office payroll, and satisfies operational obligations.

Medical ARS are Different

A feature of ARs in healthcare organizations that differentiates them from ARs in other types of business is that they are often settled for less than the billed amounts. These allowances include four categories that are used to restate ARs to realizable expected values:

  • professional or courtesy allowances;
  • charity (pro bono care) allowances;
  • doubtful account allowances; and
  • HMO and managed care organization (MCO) contractual and prospective payment allowances.

AR Stewardship Issues

Good stewardship of assets requires that one must be concerned not only with significant economic losses due to professional conduct (professional malpractice liability concerns, and issues raised by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Office of Civil Rights (OCR), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and so on); but that of physician partner(s) and even the financial failure of contracted private insurers, payers, MCOs, HMOs, etc. ARs are often the biggest asset to protect against creditors or adverse legal judgments. It is not unusual to have ARs in the range of a hundred thousand dollars for a group practice or medical clinic; and in the millions of dollars for a hospital. Yet, since they can easily be attached, ARs are known as exposed assets to creditors.

Assessment

A judgment creditor pursuing a doctor for a claim may pursue the assets of the clinic, and ARs and cash are the most vulnerable assets. ARs are as good as cash to a creditor, who usually has to do no more than seize them and wait a few months to collect them. If a creditor seizes ARs, the clinic or health entity may be hard pressed to pay its bills as they become due. One must therefore be vigilant to protect AR assets from lawsuit creditors.

More: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

FACTORING: ARs 1

Conclusion

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More about Healthcare Organizations [Financial Management Strategies]

Our Print-Journal Preface

By Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CMP™hetico1

As Managing Editor of a two volume – 1,200 pages – premium quarterly print journal, I am often asked about our Preface.

A Two-Volume Guide

As so, our hope is that Healthcare Organizations: [Financial Management Strategies] will shape the hospital management landscape by following three important principles.

What it is – How it works

1. First, we have assembled a world-class editorial advisory board and independent team of contributors and asked them to draw on their experience in economic thought leadership and managerial decision making in the healthcare industrial complex. Like many readers, each struggles mightily with the decreasing revenues, increasing costs, and high consumer expectations in today’s competitive healthcare marketplace. Yet, their practical experience and applied operating vision is a source of objective information, informed opinion, and crucial information for this manual and its quarterly updates.

2. Second, our writing style allows us to condense a great deal of information into each quarterly issue.  We integrate prose, applications and regulatory perspectives with real-world case models, as well as charts, tables, diagrams, sample contracts, and checklists.  The result is a comprehensive oeuvre of financial management and operation strategies, vital to all healthcare facility administrators, comptrollers, physician-executives, and consulting business advisors.

3. Third, as editors, we prefer engaged readers who demand compelling content. According to conventional wisdom, printed manuals like this one should be a relic of the past, from an era before instant messaging and high-speed connectivity. Our experience shows just the opposite.  Applied healthcare economics and management literature has grown exponentially in the past decade and the plethora of Internet information makes updates that sort through the clutter and provide strategic analysis all the more valuable. Oh, it should provide some personality and wit, too! Don’t forget, beneath the spreadsheets, profit and loss statements, and financial models are patients, colleagues and investors who depend on you.ho-journal9

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Assessment

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Avi Baumstein and HIPAA Compliancy

A Ten-Step Process

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDSpruitt

HIPAA inspections are coming. Are you still computerized? If so, are you prepared? The fines are steep if a dentist’s [optometrist, podiatrist, allopath or osteopath’s] computer is hacked and he or she is found to be not in compliance.

About Avi Baumstein

Avi Baumstein is an information security analyst at the University of Florida’s Health Science Center in Gainesville. He posted an article recently; on InformationWeek titled “Time to Get Serious about HIPAA.” Baumstein is one expert who should know.

Link: Ten Step Process

http://www.informationweek.com/news/industry/health-care/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=214600332&pgno=1&queryText=&isPrev=

Mr. Baumstein notes that in October, the HHS inspector general issued a report that was sharply critical of CMS (Medicare and Medicaid) for not enforcing HIPAA security. The embarrassing dope-slap of CMS leadership causes Baumstein and other experts in the security industry to anticipate more “proactive enforcement” (unannounced inspections) in the next year. 

From his article, I am led to believe that the last prerequisite for meaningful action to enforce security is a tax-paying and otherwise acceptable nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Whoever Obama finally digs up [Kathy Sibelius] I think providers are in for significant changes. 

For example, it will be the Secretary who will ultimately decide if HIPAA inspections will be performed by new federal employees or PriceWaterhouseCoopers personnel – which was the former President’s administration’s “market approach” to helping the GDP by outsourcing policing duties, as well as accountability, to favored big businesses. (For those who are sensitive about political affiliations and become upset with me for saying unflattering things about your heroes, please don’t feel too hurt.  I’m a bi-partisan critic for natural reasons).

The ADA’s imaginary playing field and toy soldiers

“The electronic health record may not be the result of changes of our choice. They are going to be mandated. No one is going to ask, ‘Do you want to do this?’ No, it’s going to be, ‘You have to do this.’ That’s why we absolutely need the profession to be represented in the discussions about EHR to make sure our ideas are enacted to the greatest extent possible.”

ADA President-Elect Dr. John S. Findley,

In-house interview ADA News

October 7, 2008

In spite of President Findley’s manicured and traditional cause-I-say-so sound bite, the actual invisibility of ADA leadership in healthcare IT matters clearly hints that whatever happens in Obama’s healthcare reform, dentists’ and patients’ concerns stand little hope of being adequately represented by ADA representatives. 

For example, when I recently contacted CCHIT to ask about EHRs in dentistry, I was told that I was one of the first to even mention dentistry to the private and reclusive non-profit EHR certification club. I think that chunk of unexpected news blows a huge hole in President Findley’s boat. Want to see something hilariously scary in a darkly humorous way? The President’s campaign motto this time last year was “Findley for the future.” Get it?

In spite of the silent neglect of dentists’ interests by dental leaders from the top down, I would like to proclaim that there is accidental hope that future HIPAA inspectors will know more about dentistry than the jobless OSHA hired in the late 1980s during the HIV panic. I heard a rumor back then that OSHA sent an inspector to a dental office who didn’t know the difference between a microwave and an autoclave.

Panic and Urgency

Panic, a favored US government bureaucratic response, occurred when OSHA leaders found themselves suddenly under pressure from Congress over a mysterious disease that was raging out of control. Since immediate action was demanded, even if it was irrelevant and wasteful, OSHA leadership was so busy chasing shadows that it was hiring almost anyone just to cover their lower backs. Eventually, the panic subsided and yielded to a low level of common sense, thanks in large part to the intervention of the late Rep. Dr. Charlie Norwood of Georgia – a dentist and a courageous statesman. Nevertheless, because of the momentum of institutional panic, millions of healthcare dollars have been wasted on 99% superstition; incredible? Consider this.

In the last two decades, how many lives have been saved by covering dental chairs with plastic between patients? Now, how much does the effort raise dentists’ fees – thereby lowering accessibility and increasing disease and suffering among Americans? Furthermore, after each dental patient is released, the “contaminated” sheet of petroleum-based polyethylene is thrown away. I ask this: Are the reasons for inevitable environmental problems caused by regularly adding non-biodegradable plastic to the city dump based on evidence-based science? 

Of course not! This and other related acts of foolishness are nothing but lingering, costly superstition – now accepted as standard of care without proof of effectiveness. Here is how such absurdity happens: Some of those weekend miracles quickly hired by OSHA in the ‘80s went on to become prosperous and influential consultants with lots of ideas.

Since the US government is prone to panic followed much too quickly by careless and expensive overkill, national responses to adversity often stimulate lots of employment – evidence of need be damned. The OSHA surge of the 80s followed the AIDS scare. More recently, coming on the heels of the banking collapse, auditing has become one of the fastest growing fields in the industry. The feds cannot hire people with accounting skills fast enough. I contend that one should expect that for reasons and attitudes similar to those surrounding the increased funding for OSHA, it follows that news of frightening breaches of EHRs by the hundreds of thousands at a time has created a new nidus of power in a fresh, enthusiastic administration, as well as an enormous employment opportunity for anyone with knowledge of dentistry – like super-hygienists.

A hazy glimpse of the future and a promise to tie all this together soon

This brings us to a fanciful peek over the edge of the event horizon in dentistry. At the same time that HIPAA inspections of dental offices appear unavoidable, there is currently a turf war between fully licensed dentists and expanded duty “super-hygienists” who wish to be able to practice independently – limiting their invasive work to only easy fillings and simple extractions that in their assessment will not turn complicated.

Link: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Turf Wars

This kind of war has been fought before, and physicians lost. Nurse-practitioners annexed physician turf like Sudetenland, and they are still grabbing lebensraum. CMS loves it. 

However, dentistry is different. It is my opinion that because of dental patients’ very personal reasons that include under-rated motivation from primal fear and terror, they will shun almost-dentists almost immediately – leaving graduates with huge student loan payments and lots of unused knowledge about dentistry.

Furthermore, I predict that when super-hygienists consider the expense of finishing out and leasing space at a shopping mall or department store, in addition to monthly loan payments to cover the price of dental equipment, or perhaps even the buy-in price to an insurance-sponsored dental franchise, a few will be discouraged from their initial intention to increase accessibility to dental care by lowering cost and quality.  

I think reality will cause a few super-hygienists to be readily lured from their initial goals upon entering two-year junior college programs that taught them nomenclature and the easy parts of doing dentistry. Unless they agreed to work in underserved areas in exchange for paid tuition, some will consider the benefits of working for commission for the US government as HIPAA inspectors. And later, the most successful of these will have the opportunity to continue their careers as HIPAA consultants with lots of ideas.

Are you following me so far? In conclusion, within two years, instead of real-dentists and almost-dentists being faced with uninformed HIPAA inspectors like OSHA’s shock-and-awe weekend miracle crews of the ‘80s, there will accidentally be thousands of nomenclature-savvy super-hygienists graduating across the nation looking for work about the time an acceptable HHS nominee finds his or her stride. What a story! 

Did I ever tell you that I once did a short stint as a screenplay writer? 

I guess I am being a little bit silly concerning super-hygienists, but do you see how all these pieces of history can conceivably come together at a time when the nation couldn’t be more vulnerable to wasting money on foolishness? Common sense about patients’ security is just not that common in Washington DC, and the absurdity of HIPAA is so great that the stunned silence it evokes actually causes the enforcement of folly to fit in well with the traditional Democratic tendencies of using big government to handle all possible contingencies caused by human frailties – even if that means micromanaging everyone. Who needs that? 

Every day, I am increasingly thankful that my office is not computerized. The sheet-metal box that contains my patients’ ledger cards does not have a USB port. Preparation for inspection is tricky by design.

Link: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

Assessment

Baumstein concedes that preparing for a HIPAA inspection is difficult because the law is intentionally vague:

“One goal of HIPAA was to be a one-size-fits-all, technology-neutral regulation.” 

Incredible; when you read the ten obligations Baumstein says a dentist must complete to be compliant with a vague mandate, you too may want to go back to a pegboard system – carbon paper and all.  

It seems to me that in 2003 or so, someone in the ADA Department of Dental Informatics should have warned ADA leadership about the obvious fact that as long as there is a dependable supply of cheap carbon paper in the nation, HIPAA enforcement has the potential to drive computers smoothly out of dentistry. Instead, there was silence followed by increased funding for the department’s budget, and the game was on. By 2005, at the urging of the former administration and healthcare IT stakeholder Newt Gingrich, the ADA News was posting articles pushing ADA members to quickly volunteer for irreversible NPI numbers for no good reason.  A trusting majority of members dutifully followed the tainted command. I am saddened by the loss few yet comprehend.

Link: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. In bringing a close to this contiguous, here is something some may find interesting about the University of Florida, where Avi Baumstein works. Do you remember the 330,000 dental patient records that were hacked this fall from the Dental School located in Gainesville, Florida?  You guessed it; same college town – same health science center

And, as of last week that the dental school was still hemorrhaging patient data to who knows where. I bet by now, Baumstein knows more about HIPAA and dentistry than anyone in the nation How about you? 

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

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About OSHA’s eTool for Hospitals

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A New Computerized Graphical Safety Interface for 2008

[By Staff Reporters]

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] in 2001, the nation’s hospitals reported 293,600 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses to their personnel.

Hospital Injury Rates High

Among US industries with 100,000 or more injuries and illnesses, hospitals have the second highest rate of nonfatal injury or illness cases. Only eating and drinking places have more injuries and illnesses. The incidence rate for hospitals is 9.2 injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers. The incident rate for industry as a whole is 6.1 injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers. During October 2000 through September 2001, OSHA performed 103 inspection activities in SIC code 806-Hospitals. The most frequently sited violations were bloodborne pathogens, lockout/tagout, and hazard communication.

Introducing Hospital eTool from OSHA

OSHA is now providing a new computerized graphical, known as eTool, to help healthcare entities and employers identify and address potential occupational hazards in hospitals. This will be done through a comprehensive safety and health program approach.

Assessment

eTool will help employers in developing and implementing engineering and work practice controls which comply with OSHA requirements and can be incorporated into a health facility’s safety and health plan to reduce the hazards of hospital work and improve worker safety. eTool addresses the following areas: 

More: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/hospital/scope.html

Conclusion

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