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YOUR CAREER

Health IT offers career growth opportunities, according to new survey

The first of its kind survey about health IT professionals—an evolving field that links information technology, communications, and health care to improve the quality and safety of patient care—addresses new data correlating education and…


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READER TIPS

Better office communication? There’s an app for that

Hendricks Therapy is a private, out-patient, mental health practice in Danville and Plainfield, IN. The practice currently has 16 psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists, a combination of full- and part-time. There are an additional 10 staffers and three managers to keep everything running at the two locations. Due to the nature of the practice…

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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Paid sick leave: what medical practices need to know

Currently, there is no federal law that requires private sector employers, including medical practices, to provide paid or unpaid sick leave, explains a new report from XpertHR, an online service for HR professionals from Reed Business Information.
Without federal legislation in place, however, several states and local jurisdictions have taken matters into their own hands by creating their own paid sick leave laws to protect employees who may otherwise be forced to choose between going to work sick or losing pay and, in some cases, their jobs…

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MANAGING THE OFFICE

Electronic cigarettes: why your practice needs a “vaping” policy now

Your employment policies address cigarettes, and so you think you have the smoking issue covered. Well, think again. Electronic cigarettes have created new challenges for employers.
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, first became available in the United States in 2006 and have grown in popularity. Designed to look like cigarettes, they are battery-powered devices, usually made of plastic or metal, that convert liquid nicotine into a mist, or…

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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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RISK MANAGEMENT

4 big social media mistakes your practice must avoid

The Internet and social media have ushered in new ways of doing business. But as with so many other aspects of running a medical office, health care is different from any other business when it comes to an online presence. The sanctity of the physician-patient relationship can often be at odds with the openness, anonymity, and wide accessibility of the Internet and social media. Yet there are benefits to medical practices utilizing the Internet and social media to connect with patients. In this article, we’ll highlight the risk areas medical office managers need to…

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COMPLIANCE

$800,000 HIPAA penalty for dumping medical records

A healthcare organization whose employees left boxes of medical records unattended on the driveway of a physician’s home has to pay an $800,000 settlement.
Parkview Health System has agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
Parkview will pay $800,000 and adopt a corrective action plan to address deficiencies in its HIPAA compliance program.
Parkview is a nonprofit healthcare system that provides…

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READER TIPS

Indiana office uses billboards and TV to bring in a flood of new patients

An Indiana practice is seeing a significant number of new patients from a billboard and a TV commercial.
It’s money well spent, says Laurie Streib, administrator of Gastroenterology of Southern Indiana, an eight-physician, 43-staff practice in New Albany, IN. And getting the advertising going has been amazingly easy – the billboard company designed the sign and the television station wrote the commercial, filmed it, and edited it.
The advertising began only a year ago with the billboard. The office is located in the Louisville, KY, metro area, so it placed the sign on the interstate between Kentucky and Indiana. It carries a group picture of the…

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COMPLIANCE

Same-sex marriage ruling brings in new legal issues

Plus new emphasis on discrimination
Though it applies only to states where same-sex marriage is legal, the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage warrants attention from managers in all states. For those in Washington, DC, and the 13 states where gay marriage is recognized, there are new employment law requirements. For those in all the other states, the ruling calls for increased emphasis on nondiscrimination.
A matter of two rulings
In a nutshell, the decision, which came down June 26, says that in states where same-sex marriage is recognized…

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HEALTH CARE REFORM

Health reform’s delay on the employer mandate raises lots of questions

There’s a new delay in health care reform.
It’s a one-year postponement of what’s known as the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
That mandate says large employers, or those with 50 or more full-time employees, have to provide health insurance for their employees or pay a penalty. Originally, the requirement was supposed to take effect this coming January. Now the date is pushed back to 2015. That gives larger employers a year’s grace before they have to provide health insurance that meets government standards…

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