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CORONAVIRUS

Practical guidance for medical office employers handling coronavirus

By Paul Edwards bio We know there is a lot of information (and misinformation) out there about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to handle it in the workplace. Our goal is to provide you with guidance on how to handle this as an employer—practical solutions for the impact the coronavirus may have on your business. If an employee is sick, can I send him/her home? If an employee is objectively showing signs of being sick—flu symptoms, bad cold symptoms, coronavirus symptoms, or other—you are able to send them home so that they don’t pose a health risk to the rest of your team or other visitors to the office. Most employers encourage their teams to stay home if they are unwell, but don’t necessarily require it unless it appears to… . . . read more.

CORONAVIRUS

4 steps prepare your medical office for coronavirus disease

The true impact of a COVID-19 outbreak in a U.S. community cannot be predicted. However, all healthcare facilities can take steps now to prepare for such an outbreak and protect both their patients and staff. 1 Be prepared: Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation. Know where to turn for reliable, up-to-date information in your local community. Monitor the CDC COVID-19 website and your state and local health department websitesexternal for the latest information. Develop, or review, your facility’s emergency plan. A COVID-19 outbreak in your community could lead to staff absenteeism. Prepare alternative staffing plans to ensure as many of your facility’s staff are available as possible. Establish relationships with key healthcare and public health partners in your community. Make sure you know about healthcare and public health emergency planning and response activities in your… . . . read more.

WORKING WITH PATIENTS

Prevent losing your patients by focusing on these 4 areas

By Nick Hernandez bio The changes to the healthcare industry are increasingly focused on addressing patients as consumers. Such a change means that providers must, of course, emphasize quality and work toward price transparency, but they must also seek to determine what patients desire most. It is this last effort that is transforming the healthcare sector more like businesses of other sectors; what consumers want, is what drives competition and ingenuity (and oftentimes commoditization). Perhaps more than ever, physicians need to be focused not just on attracting more patients, but also on not losing the patients they have. Under the healthcare reform legislation, the federal government views patients as consumers. Consequently, national attention has been placed on the patients as consumers, and that attention has not gone unnoticed. Indeed, patients… . . . read more.

INFORMATION SECURITY

HIPAA enforcement takes a dramatic new direction

Historically, HIPAA enforcement has focused predominantly on the failure of covered entities to keep protected health information (PHI) private and secure; but now the scope is broadening to encompass keeping PHI too private and too secure. The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the agency that enforces HIPAA rules, has broken new ground by fining a Florida hospital for failing to provide access to PHI to the individual it relates to. Here’s a look at the case and what it portends about the new direction in HIPAA enforcement. The HIPAA Right of Access When you hear the term “HIPAA Privacy Rule,” the first thing likely to jump into your mind is the obligation to keep PHI secure and refrain from disclosing it to third parties without appropriate authorization. But there’s… . . . read more.

RISK MANAGEMENT

How your staff can help prevent costly malpractice lawsuits

Doctors aren’t the only ones who cause malpractice claims. Staff can cause them too by the way they treat the patients and by the way they do their jobs…


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INCREASING PROFITS

How to make a collection call to a patient

A collection call to a patient should never be offensive. But it does need to be firm. Remember, the goal is to collect an…


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MANAGING STAFF

The plain and practical side of medical office managing

Equally as important as regulations, revenue, coding, and Medicare are the day-to-day issues of running the office and managing the…


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READER TIPS

Separate room for schedulers calms front office chaos

A few years ago, a North Carolina pediatric practice realized that the front desk is not the best place to check people in, make return appointments, and…


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MANAGING THE OFFICE

Staff name badges help patients feel comfortable

A seemingly simple, easy-to-implement change can have a positive impact on your practice. Staff name badges make…


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CMS UPDATES

Tell your patients about the new eMedicare app launched this year

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new app that gives consumers a modernized Medicare experience with direct access on a mobile device to…


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