This is a busy time for most practices. Managers are preparing for the annual juggling act of getting staff and physicians coordinated for summer vacations. Practices are ramping up for new doctors joining their practice at the traditional end of residency programs in the summer. Many practices are in the midst of shopping for, negotiating for or implementing EMRs. And most everyone without an existing EMR is struggling with the e-prescribing deadline looming in 30 days. Read my first post on this topic here.
As a reminder:
- Eligible professionals who are not successful e-prescribers, based on claims submitted between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2011, may be subject to a “payment adjustment” (read payment cut) in their Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for covered professional services in 2012.
- Those that do not e-prescribe as a part of 10 Medicare patient encounters by June 30, 2011 will only receive 99% of their Medicare payment for all encounters in 2012.
- Those that do not e-prescribe as a part of 25 encounters by December 31, 2011, will only receive 98.5% of their Medicare payments for all encounters in 2013 and only 98% of their Medicare payments for encounters during 2014 and going forward.
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with 50 employees of Intuit Health (live in Cary, NC and virtually in Menlo Park, CA) on the workflow of the medical practice and what makes medical practices unique from a marketing prospective.
Why is healthcare so very different from other markets and so often frustrating for medical salespeople?
Apple announced last night that it would be sending an update to its OS X operating system that would protect users from and remove a program called “MacDefender” (alias “MacProtector” or “MacSecurity”) that had been finding its way onto some consumer’s machines. The program is a piece of malicious software (or “Malware“), that is ultimately designed to get you to send your credit card number to a company to sell you a program to “fix” the problem.
Here’s how MacDefender works:
- You are browsing Google Images and when you click on an image, you are redirected to a fake “security alert” webpage.
- The security alert webpage informs you that you have been infected with a virus, and recommends you download a free program – MacDefender – to solve the issue.
- MacDefender pops up on your computer as an offering. If you click OK, you’ve just invited the malware onto your system.
- Here’s where it gets malicious. The installed malware begins to make your system appear as if it has become infected with a virus.
- The program regularly opens up new browser windows to pornographic websites. Needless to say, this is very embarrassing, as well as making computer very hard to use.
- At this point you are probably thinking “well, I just installed a new anti-virus program”, and you try to run the MacDefender program. Now it gets really nasty.
The terms “biohazardous material,” “biohazardous waste,” “medical waste,” “regulated waste,” and “regulated medical waste” are used somewhat interchangeably, but they all have different definitions, and the definitions can change depending on the state in which you are located.
- refers to materials that present a risk or potential risk to the health of humans, animals, or the environment. They can be infectious agents or chemicals or other products that can damage the environment. Certain chemotherapy drugs and most laboratory reagents fall into the biohazardous material category.
- refers to waste (e.g. body fluids or tissues) which has the risk of carrying human pathogens. Biohazardous Waste is usually generated at health care facilities or research facilities, and the term is used interchangeably with Medical Waste.
– is the term OSHA uses to describe blood and body fluids and OPIM (other potentially infectious material) as defined in the Bloodborne Pathogens regulation (BBP).
Regulated Medical Waste
- refers to biohazardous waste whose handling is regulated by state or federal laws.
There’s no doubt that consumers are looking online for information – all kinds of information. Here are the reasons why every single physician’s office needs a website.
There are moments when the physician-centric world needs to engage an attorney. Please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone when the FBI shows up with a search warrant!
There are other moments when you and the physicians you work with do not need an attorney for boiler-plate contracts. How do you tell the difference?
What an attorney can do for you
Areas that an attorney can help your office include (but by no means are limited to):
- Audit requests from RACs and insurers
- Contractual and corporate organization documents
- Human resource issues
- Credentialing and privileging disputes
- Ethical and disciplinary reviews
- Quality, peer-review and risk management
Most of us learn just enough about software to get done what we need done at the moment.
Unfortunately, when we continue using software at the same preliminary level, we can’t get every drop of value out of the system that we’ve paid dearly for.
Do yourself and your group a favor by using one or more of these 10 ways to get more out of your system.
It’s easy to think of your mother of Mother’s Day. Reminders are everywhere as we are nudged to think of her on the day everyone else does. Commercials, calendars and signage on jewelry shops beckon: Mother’s Day is Next Sunday! Of course we think about our Mothers more than just one day a year, but maybe we don’t always make the connection between the things we do everyday: our habits and customs, our values – and the people that guided us into becoming who we are.
I probably have as close a working relationship with my Mother as anyone in the world: we are partners in a corporation, and I work with her and her practice closely. We talk at least once a day about the business, our customers, her recent experiences at work, things weve read or heard, and our future plans. Its a vital connection, to know someone as both Mother and business partner – full of incredible opportunities for growth (and for difficulty), and it’s one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Working with Mary Pat side by side, it has been remarkable to me to notice how many of the things that are ingrained in me are habits she taught me long ago.
So on this Mother’s Day, I’d like to take this time to be mindful of some of the things my mother has taught me over the years that still inform how I go about being in business with her, my clients, and the rest of the world every single day.
1. Do the right thing. And for the right reasons.
As a businesswoman, Mary Pat is never hesitant to point out the financial benefits of a particular choice or action – but that isnt always the driver of her decision making process. The right thing to do is usually the best business decision- but more importantly, it’s the right thing to do.
I remember working on an IT inventory system for my mother one summer, and having her walk up to my desk at about 5 minutes to 5PM one afternoon and saying Are you almost done for the day? I told her I was almost finished, but that the clock hadnt quite hit 5, so I was going to work for a few more minutes.
That’s great Abraham. Get into the habit of never cheating the clock. Make it a habit to be honest and do the right thing.
To this day I hear her voice when I wonder if I should cut a corner, or treat even a little bit of someone else’s time capriciously.
2. Never let them see you sweat.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned, and people dont always behave nicely. But how you handle it is up to you. The pressure, obstacles, and people who are giving you trouble should nonetheless be met with a smile, and the calm and composed demeanor that you are still in control of yourself- even if you arent fully in control of the situation.
3. Always ask a question first.
A natural extension of her advice in #2. When you are upset at a person or a situation, you should begin any critical conversations about the problem by asking a question. Can you tell me what happened? Did you understand when I told you to? Am I understanding this situation correctly?
Asking a question starts the conversation, ensures that you get the critical information straight from the source, and if done in a direct, dispassionate manner, sets a professional tone for the conversation.
4. Forget ‘em!
You can’t please everyone, and trying to usually just makes everyone hate you equally. So you have to have a strong reflex for the people in the world that just wont be satisfied (or reasonable, mature, realistic etc) about a situation. Forget ‘em! The more time you spend thinking about how crazy or rude someone has been, the worse the damage is to you – in time and effort wasted. Actually, moms full expression is closer to Forget ‘em and feed ‘em fishheads!, and employs more colorful language, but the point remains – youre going to have to forget a lot of goofy people in this life. So do it quickly, and get back to the people worth focusing on. Forget ‘em!
5. Do your best
Maybe the most quintessential piece of Mom advice for everybody, Do your best can seem nebulous and idealistic at times – but not when you have strong role models. It’s one thing to have someone suggest that you do your best – they are inspiring words, but the message sometimes comes from so many different places and people that it can get lost. People need to be inspired for those words to really take effect on them, and growing up, the inspiration to do my best came not only from my Parents’ words, but also their actions. My Mom and Dad lived the words Do your best to my Sister and I, and not only told us, but showed us the value and practice of that idea – and they taught us to show other people too.
Mary Pat is still, and always will be more of a Mother to me than a partner. She is not only an inspiration to me in terms of the things she taught me as a child, but for things she still teaches me everyday.
To have a Mother that continues to teach and inspire me everyday is a blessing that I have the pleasure of celebrating 365 days a year.
Thanks Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!
- Consumers deserve to know what your service costs. Why would anyone buy anything without knowing what it costs? Consumers should know both the value of the service as well as knowing what is their personal responsibility to pay.
- Publishing fees makes you justify them. Medical practices may not want to post their fees if they aren’t sure what their services truly cost. Other businesses charge what their services or goods cost plus a profit, why don’t we?
- You will find out if your prices are not competitive in the market. Patients will tell you. Then you will have to decide if you want to be competitive. If you are worried you can’t compete with a hospital-sponsored practice if they know your prices, stop worrying. The hospitals already know your prices.
- Publishing your prices will open the door for things to be simpler. Publishing fees will liberate you and your staff to talk much more openly with patients about their financial responsibility.
It is my pleasure to announce Manage My Practice’s first product in our new Manage My Practice Tools section – MMP FileConnect.
MMP FileConnect is a simple and affordable way to:
- Increase efficiency in your practice by reducing workflow issues and duplication of paperwork.
- Cut expenses for on-site and off-site storage.
- Promote collaboration and teamwork between departments, locations and employee silos.
- Reduce risk by keeping critical documents secure.
- Access files anywhere from any browser or mobile device (especially great for the docs!)
How does MMP FileConnect work?
MMP FileConnect is similar to a new and improved filing cabinet that resides in the cloud (a secure Internet domain), not on your server. It allows the administrator to design a folder and file system and assign users permissions (view, upload, download, edit, etc.) in their practice.
The administrator can set up groups of users with the same permissions, and can easily add or delete users, change existing groups’ settings, or change file organization. In my practice I have a structure something like this:
- Office Forms such as PTO requests, fax cover sheets and reimbursement requests
- Patient Forms such as demographic sheets and financial agreements
- Calendars such as call calendars, vacation calendars and birthday calendars
- Lists & Reference Documents - internal and external phone lists, practice abbreviations, and insurance plans the group participates with.
- Physicians & Administrator
- Monthly Financials
- Reimbursement Requests
- Time Off Notifications
- Billing Staff
- Provider CME records
- Provider Credentialing Records
- Payer Contract Summaries
- Personnel Files
- Payroll Files & Compensation Spreadsheet
- Contracts & Leases
You can also invite external users to be a part of MMP FileConnect for easy communication surrounding documents. My benefits broker is a user so I can place new employee benefit enrollment forms on FileConnect and she is immediately notified without me having to send an email. She can download the enrollments and process them immediately. An added benefit is that I have a tracking record of when I placed the forms there and when she picked them up.
What about the security of MMP FileConnect?
MMP FileConnect is built on the Box.net platform. Box knows the healthcare industry is one of the worlds most demanding marketplaces when it comes to data security and customer privacy. The implicit trust between a provider and a patient is critical to all stakeholders. With MMP FileConnect and Box you can be sure that your stored data is absolutely safe. Box has a SAS 70 type II certification, meaning it has been independently audited by the AICPA for sensitivity in handling healthcare data. All of your data on MMP FileConnect is 256-Bit AES encrpyted both in storage and in transfer. There is the capability for a complete audit, giving you the tools to monitor and manage your information with peace of mind. On top of that, Box.net has a guaranteed uptime of 99.9%, so you can count on your data being there anytime you need it.
Do I have to logon to a website every time I want to use a document?
One of the best features of MMP FileConnect is the desktop file sync feature. Every user can keep a desktop folder of most-used files and folders stored on FileConnect and can utilize them without going to a browser or using a login and password. Anytime a file is updated by any user, the newest version automatically syncs to the appropriate desktops.
What else can it do?
For more ideas on how to use this amazing tool, see my post on “76 Ways to Use the Cloud” here. Every one of those 76 ways is doable with MMP FileConnect!
What does MMP FileConnect cost?
A very affordable $25 per month per user, with discounts for paying annually and for groups of 50 users or more.
Tell me more!
For more information and an opportunity to try MMP FileConnect free for 28 days, click here to contact us.
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