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SELLING THE PRACTICE

Due diligence in practice acquistions and physician employment

By John W. McDaniel Many hospitals and healthcare organizations are being approached by private practice physicians and physician groups seeking refuge from the unstable state of the healthcare economy and what lies ahead. While many healthcare organizations are employing physicians in order to solidify their market position, others (particularly in rural areas) find this method of physician recruitment most effective in terms of their overall medical staff development plans. Regardless of the reasons why hospitals and/or physicians are seeking to affiliate with one another, one of the most critical components to ensure that a successful transition occurs is performing a Due Diligence Analysis of prospective medical practices. Some of the most critical due diligence components which are a part of any medical practice acquisition are as follows: Rights to Payment… . . . read more.

CYBERSAFETY

How to give your analog workplace harassment policy a digital makeover

One of the only nice things about the pandemic is the relief it’s provided from workplace harassment. After all, employees are far less vulnerable to workplace harassment when they work from home. Right? Absolutely wrong!!! Since the pandemic began: More than 4 in 10 U.S. workers (41 percent) reported that they’ve been subjected to some form of digital harassment (Pew Research); Nearly half (45 percent) of women experiencing sexual harassment say it happened remotely (Rights of Women, UK and Wales (“ROW”)); 23 percent of women reporting that they’ve been harassed say the problem has actually gotten worse since they began working from home (ROW); and More than 7 in 10 (73 percent) of victims say they don’t think their employer is doing enough to protect them from remote harassment (ROW)…. . . . read more.

PRODUCTIVITY

Increase your efficiency with these workday PC tips

By Ron Slyker Due to the limited number of hours in a workday, it is critical to maximize your time. If you’re having trouble getting work done due to distracting websites, disorganized files, or cluttered inboxes, use these methods to improve your time management and stay productive at work. Keep an eye on productivity levels. Begin by keeping note of the amount of work you accomplish on an ordinary day. There are numerous useful applications for this. For instance, Google Chrome includes a feature called RescueTime that logs your most frequently visited websites and the amount of time you spend away from your computer. This program will offer you with a productivity score and a complete account of your workday. If you realize that you are squandering a significant chunk of your… . . . read more.

AMA SURVEY

Telehealth utilization plateaus but pandemic surges are still a game changer

Digital technology has laid the groundwork for the long-term shift of medical care from in-person to virtual settings. And while it didn’t start the movement, the COVID-19 pandemic certainly accelerated it. The American Medical Association’s latest Physicians Practice Benchmark Survey offers new insight into the extent and direction of physician practice utilization of telehealth services both before and during the pandemic. Punchline: Between September 2018 and September 2020, telehealth utilization grew from 25 percent to nearly 80 percent. Telehealth Utilization Patterns The AMA’s Division of Economic and Health Policy Research has conducted the Physician Practice Benchmark Survey evaluating physician practice arrangements and payment methodologies for every year since 2012. The analysis draws from the responses of thousands of post-residency physicians who take care of patients for at least 20 hours… . . . read more.

COMPLIANCE

5 things to do when implementing a vaccine passport policy at your medical office

Like many other health providers, you might have been undecided about whether to mandate that your employees get the COVID-19 vaccine. However, now that the FDA has fully approved a coronavirus vaccine, namely, the Pfizer BioNTech, you are on much stronger legal ground in requiring that employees get vaccinated. One strategy that may work, especially for offices that aren’t administering the vaccine for their own employees, is to implement a vaccine passport, i.e., a policy requiring personnel to present proof of their vaccination status to gain entry to the workplace. What is a vaccine passport? A “vaccine passport” is a commonly accepted means of showing that a person has received the COVID-19 vaccine. Some foreign governments are creating official, uniform cards that individuals must display. (Go to this link for… . . . read more.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Watch for vaccine mandate and outcome of remote work lawsuit

By Mike O’Brien  Watching for OSHA’s new vaccine mandate rule President Joe Biden has instructed the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop an emergency rule that will require private-sector employers with 100 or more employees to mandate that their employees be vaccinated or receive a weekly negative COVID-19 test. Employers who fail to do so will face fines. In addition, regardless of employee headcount, OSHA will require all federal contractors to mandate vaccinations for their employees with no option for employees to receive weekly testing instead. Similarly, OSHA will require all employers in healthcare settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement to mandate employee vaccinations, with no weekly testing option. President Biden’s announcement was welcomed by many business leaders but criticized by Republican… . . . read more.

We should have waited for reference checks

By Lynne Curry Question: When a long-term staffer passed away, we suddenly had a hard-to-fill position in our firm. We advertised, and when we got an acceptable candidate, offered him the position before completing reference checks. He’s already worked four days for us. What we’re learning from his references makes us worry we’ve selected the wrong candidate. Several describe him as arrogant, abrasive, and a superstar who believes his own press releases and doesn’t care who he ticks off. We’re stunned. None of this behavior showed up in the interview. He was confident, but courteous and professional with us.   We’ve talked about this as a management team and have decided to give him a chance, as he quit his former job and moved across the state to work for… . . . read more.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

All private-sector employers with 100 or more employees must mandate vaccination or a weekly negative COVID-19 test

By Mike O’Brien President Biden spoke from the White House Sept. 9 to announce his new Path Out of the Pandemic Plan. Among other things, President Biden has instructed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop rules that will require private-sector employers with 100 or more employees to mandate that their employees be vaccinated or receive a weekly negative COVID test. Employers who fail to do so will face fines. Some media outlets report that such fines could be up to $14,000 per violation. Along with President Biden’s spoken remarks, the White House also issued this statement: The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated… . . . read more.

Employment Law Update

Paid leave for vaccine tax credit updated & employer ups premiums for unvaccinated

By Mike O’Brien Update to the paid-leave tax credit expansion—paid leave for employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine  As previously described in these updates, the Treasury Department and the IRS announced that eligible employers could receive paid-leave tax credits under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for providing leave for each employee receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and for any time needed to recover from the vaccine. Generally, the tax credits are available for qualified leave wages an eligible employer provides with respect to leave taken by employees beginning on April 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021, if the leave would have satisfied the requirements of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, as amended for ARPA. An eligible employer is generally an… . . . read more.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

OSHA updates guidance to track the latest CDC mask recommendations

By Mike O’Brien  The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated its COVID workplace safety guidance entitled, Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. OSHA’s latest update on Aug. 13 “reflect[s] the July 27, 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask and testing recommendations for fully vaccinated people.” Prior to this update, OSHA had stated that fully vaccinated employees did not need to wear masks and that COVID safety precautions really were focused on protecting only unvaccinated workers. However, that guidance has now changed in response to the highly contagious Delta variant. OSHA’s guidance includes “recommendations,” that do not carry the force of law and “creates no new legal obligations.” Still, OSHA’s counsel likely becomes a standard of reasonableness by… . . . read more.


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