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BILLING & COLLECTIONS

3 legal protections to include in your patient debt collection agency services contract

Outsourcing can be an effective way to overcome patient collection challenges. But it can also backfire if the collection agency you contract with uses illegal, unethical or insensitive collection tactics. One of the keys to…


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RISK MANAGEMENT

How to investigate an employment-related complaint from a staffer

Got a complaint from an employee?
Investigate it. If that complaint turns into a legal claim, part of the allegation of wrongdoing may well be that the office “didn’t take it seriously and…


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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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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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MANAGING THE OFFICE

Should your practice enlist the services of a medical interpreter?

Approximately 8 million foreign-born Americans say they speak English “not well.” Additionally, approximately 4 million foreign-born Americans cannot speak English at all.
These figures, from a study conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, means there are 12 million people, which is about 30 percent of the foreign-born American population, who have difficulty communicating in environments where English is spoken.
In certain situations, such as a hospital or medical practice, lack of ability to communicate—and equally important, comprehend—could prove detrimental to the health and wellbeing of these…

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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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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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RISK MANAGEMENT

Avoid these 5 common but costly wage and hour violations

What is the most significant – and also uninsured – risk every employer lives with?
Wage and hour litigation.
That’s the one employment law area that EPLI, employment practices liability insurance, will not cover, says attorney Joseph M. Sokolowski, who heads the wage and hour practice group of Fredrikson & Byron in Minneapolis.
Most EPLI policies specifically exclude wage and hour violations, especially those that become class actions.
And insurance companies do it for good…

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