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CASE STUDY

5 strategies to keep high-risk populations safe during disasters

 By Margarita Gil & Racquel Arden  The rapid spread of COVID-19 put healthcare institutions around the country on high alert, with special emphasis placed on those Americans deemed to be most vulnerable or with pre-existing conditions. But what happens when your entire hospital is filled with patients who fit that criteria? Such was the challenge faced at Totally Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Serving children and their families for nearly half a century, Totally Kids provides complex medical care and treatment to children, adolescents and young adults who are recovering from physical trauma or surgery, have suffered catastrophic illness or who are dependent on technology. Programs include pediatric acute rehabilitation, pediatric subacute, and pediatric intermediate care. As soon as the coronavirus was barely a blip on anyone’s radar, it was apparent that… . . . read more.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

COVID, opioids and payroll taxes on HR radar

By Mike O’Brien bio  Applicants, testing, and screening The EEOC has said you cannot test applicants for COVID-19 until after a conditional job offer. Fine, makes sense. What about taking temperatures? You can take a temperature of visitors to your business/office to make sure they are not bringing COVID-19 with them. In fact, you may have an OSHA duty to do so to protect your workers from the pandemic. What about applicants visiting your office to apply to interview—can you subject them to the same temperature screening as all other visitors? Logic would say yes; but the EEOC guidance says no, you can only take an applicant’s temperature after a conditional job offer. Yet, a visiting applicant with COVID-19 could turn your office into a virus hot spot, thus attracting… . . . read more.

Tool: Model Mandatory Face Mask Policy

More than 20 states have enacted laws requiring the use of face masks or coverings in indoor public places, which would include workplaces like medical offices. Here’s a Model Policy incorporating current legal requirements and public health guidance that you can adapt for your own office.

COMPLIANCE

How to create a COVID-19 exposure control plan

For as long as COVID-19 remains a threat, businesses—both essential and nonessential—won’t be allowed to re-open and remain open unless they implement a plan to control workplace infection risks. While infection control is nothing new for medical offices, the challenges posed by COVID-19 are unprecedented and unique and you probably won’t find any great templates in your current policy folders and binders. As a result, you’ll need to build your plan from the ground up. Here’s a step-by-step strategy and Model COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan containing the necessary elements that you can use to accomplish that objective. The Exposure Control Plan & Why You Need It An exposure control plan is a set of measures to protect workers, patients, contractors, visitors and other people at your workplace against exposure to… . . . read more.

MANAGING THE OFFICE

Life science companies and healthcare providers partnering for value-based patient care

By Mal Milburn bio In the era of value-based reimbursement, healthcare professionals are constantly evaluating strategies to improve patient care while simultaneously decreasing overhead costs.   Increasingly, medical practices turning to life science reps as a critical part of the answer. According to recent research from DRG Digital Manhattan Research, 74% of physicians are looking to spend more time with life science reps, as rep partnerships have been shown to improve outcomes and reduce costs.   Outcome improvement: Life science companies are developing cutting-edge drugs and technologies at increasing rates, and their reps are equipped with the latest, most comprehensive information about these advancements. Reps are able to bring this education directly to providers in their practice, as the innovations are released. Reps also provide important updates about new drug… . . . read more.

PRODUCTIVITY

Five ways to boost practice efficiency on a shoestring budget

By Karen Mattocks bio It is every manager’s mantra: ‘Do more with the same number of staff.’ Translation? See more patients. Submit more claims. Generate more revenue—all while providing high-quality, low-cost care. How do successful managers accomplish this? They remove the organizational-level barriers that drain productivity, says Michael Mankins, co-author of Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team’s Productivity Power. ‘Organizational drag’ refers to the cumulative effect of institutional factors that drain energy and decrease output. Through his research, Mankins found that companies lose more than 20% of their capacity for productivity—more than a day each week—to organizational drag. The good news is that boosting productivity doesn’t require a huge budget or even major changes. The reality is that small steps can make a big difference in… . . . read more.

MANAGING THE OFFICE

7 free or low-cost ways to increase practice efficiency

By Jeremy Gilman bio It is a question practice managers ask themselves daily: ‘How can I accomplish more tasks using the same—or even fewer—resources?’ Times are tough. For many providers, increased access to healthcare care under the Affordable Care Act has translated to increased patient volume, and not every practice is equipped to handle the demands. Couple this with ever-changing regulations, stringent documentation requirements, burdensome prior authorization requests, and increased payer scrutiny, and practice managers have a potential recipe for disaster on their hands. Unless, of course, they do something about it. The good news is that “doing something about it” doesn’t necessarily mean putting in dozens of extra hours every week or doling out thousands of dollars to hire workflow consultants or purchase expensive technology. Ultimately, it is about… . . . read more.

COVID-19 & MEDICAL PRACTICES

Updating protocols for rep engagement and communication

By Jeremy Gilman bio We have heard from many practices how difficult it is to stay on top of the ever-evolving guidelines and best practices for how to provide excellent patient care in a pandemic. Here are some patterns we’ve seen emerge within our community of thousands of medical practices: 1. Vendor/rep-specific protocols: As your practice continues to monitor the risk of COVID-19 exposure, you will need to create protocols and policies specific to your life science experts. These protocols may differ from how you are managing patients and should be flexible to change as you adapt to the ever-evolving situation. Linked to this article is a sample vendor/rep protocol implemented by a large healthcare system. Some questions to consider as you build a policy specific to your practice include:… . . . read more.

REOPENING THE OFFICE

Doctors & nurses eager to get back to work despite COVID-19 anxieties

Layoffs and furloughs are a new thing for many medical professionals who’ve come to expect stability in their employment. So, it’s not surprising that a new survey suggests that medical professionals are eager to end lockdowns and get back to work; but like workers in so many other industries, the prospect of going back to work while COVID-19 remains at large is tinged with concern. The CHG Healthcare Survey The survey of 1,285 physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, by healthcare staffing agency CHG Healthcare, found that anxieties are up, even while workloads are down. Among respondents, 59% reported that they’ve treated patients who were either symptomatic but not tested or formally diagnosed as having COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms who was not tested. When asked how their current anxiety levels… . . . read more.

Tool: COVID-19 Vendor/Rep Visitation Protocol Update

Sample Vendor/Rep Policy Update.


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