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TECHNOLOGY

Get ready for HIPAA breach before it happens

HIPAA requires you have breach notification policies and procedures to ensure proper handling of a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI). Do you have breach notification policies and procedures that comply with HIPAA, including the latest changes that went into effect in 2013? Are you training your staff about how to handle suspected breaches? If not, you could end up like Skagit County in Washington, which agreed to a settlement with HHS that includes a $215,000 penalty and a three-year corrective action plan…

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WORKING WITH PHYSICIANS

Best and worst states for doctors

Doctors are among the most highly paid, educated, and celebrated professions in the United States. The profession has also been undergoing intense change in recent years, with the Affordable Care Act, the rise of branded hospital networks, the impending retirement of baby boomers, and an increasingly litigious society all complicating the lives of doctors and providing pause to potential white-coats.
With that in mind, the personal finance website WalletHub has released a report, the Best & Worst States for Doctors I 2015. The report uses 12 key metrics, ranging from average annual wages and salary disparities to…

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COMPLIANCE

Model Policy: Medical marijuana

Why you need this policy:

Now that medical marijuana is legal in many states, it’s important that you adjust your zero tolerance drug policy to address, if not accommodate, it.

 
 
 

TECHNOLOGY

Reports provide detailed analysis of telemedicine by state

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA), a leading international resource and advocate promoting the use of advanced remote medical technologies, recently released two state policy reports which identify gaps in coverage and reimbursement, and in physician practice standards and licensure.
These reports compare state policies on a report card, assigning each state grades ranging from A-to-F based on telemedicine reimbursement and physician practice standards. ATA has captured the complex policy landscape of 50 states with differing telemedicine policies and…

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MANAGING STAFF

Are you violating state “time off” requirements for employees who are parents?

Although back-to-school season rolls around every year, it always seems to bring a level of stress for working parents. And is it any wonder?
A new schedule and new commitments require finding ways to meet all the demands of daily life. For households with two working parents, it can be extremely difficult; and for single-parent households, even more so.
It’s easy for employers and managers to dismiss the issue as “not my problem,” but, in reality, it is your problem. Like it or not, the line between personal and professional life got…

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TECHNOLOGY

CMS proposes new deadline for “meaningful use” reporting compliance

Recently, Medical Office Manager told you about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) electronic health records (EHRs) incentive programs and meaningful use requirements. Now, CMS has released a proposed rule that would alter the timeline for meaningful use reporting.
Washington, DC, health care attorney at Alston & Bird, Paula Stannard, a former Health and Human Services (HHS) deputy general counsel and acting general counsel, explains the rule would, if finalized as proposed, give eligible professionals more time to comply with Stage 2 and allow providers “to use 2011 certified EHRs, a combination of 2011 and 2014 certified EHRs, or 2014 certified…

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TECHNOLOGY

Is your practice eligible for Medicaid incentive payments?

Certain professionals can alternatively pursue meaningful use incentive payments from the Medicaid program, which is run by the state Medicaid agencies.
Eligible professionals for Medicaid include doctors of medicine and osteopathy, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, dentists, and physician assistants in a federally qualified health center or rural health clinic led by a physician assistant. Some states allow optometrists to participate.
The professional must have 30% Medicaid patient volume (20% Medicaid volume for a pediatrician) or predominantly practice in federally qualified health center or rural health clinic and have a minimum of 30% patient volume of…

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COMPLIANCE

CQM reporting and HIPAA

One reader questioned whether reporting CQMs using the Physician Quality Reporting System and reporting patient level data in the Quality Reporting Data Architecture (QRDA) format would require sending protected health information to CMS in violation of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
The QRDA format does require some identifying information.
However, Paula Stannard, a health care attorney at Alston & Bird in Washington, D.C., and a former HHS deputy general counsel and acting general counsel, doesn’t believe such reporting of CQMs that include PHI would be a violation of the Privacy Rule. She indicates it is likely that such reporting…

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TECHNOLOGY

‘Meaningful use’ can safeguard big money for your practice

Have you been participating in Medicare’s or Medicaid’s electronic health records incentive program? If not, you are leaving money on the table—or in the government’s bank. Incentive payments still available could total up to $24,000. But that’s not all you’re missing by not achieving meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHR) technology (CEHRT).
“Starting in 2015, if you participate in Medicare you face the possibility of having your Medicare payments reduced with a negative payment adjustment if…

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COMPLIANCE

What you need to know about medical marijuana

With medical marijuana now legal in 20 states and Washington, D.C., and legislation pending in 13 other states*, medicinal use of cannabis has very much become a national issue – and of course it’s an issue with numerous implications for medical practices and the people who manage them.
Richard F. Comenzo is a Massachusetts attorney specializing in medical marijuana laws. His practice assists physicians, dispensary owners, and patients navigate the new landscape. Medical Office Manager asked him for information and insight.
MOM: What is the biggest misconception with regard to medical …

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