You are likely familiar with the style of telemedicine that has been available through large healthcare entities and insurance carriers. A telephone/video conversation with a physician, nurse practitioner or behavioral health professional has become a common and convenient way to diagnose and treat straight forward illnesses such as upper respiratory infections. Pay between $45 and $65 with a credit card and pick up your prescription at your preferred pharmacy.
More recently innovative IOT (Internet of Things) diagnostic devices have been developed which can be connected via Bluetooth to smart phones and computers to become powerful tools in augmenting telemedicine services. More accurately now referred to a virtual care or telehealth, this technology is becoming an increasingly important component in re-imagined models of healthcare delivery.
Blood pressure, stethoscope, blood sugar measuring devices, EKG, high definition digital camera, pulse ox, skin temperature sensors – just a few of the relatively inexpensive diagnostic aids that can increase physicians ability to observe and treat. But these same devices and many more on the horizon are also designed to monitor chronic conditions and provide real time information to patients and caregivers to warn them of impending conditions and avoid trips to the emergency room. There are even pills in development that will signal when they have been ingested.
The proven efficacy of these devices and the pressure being placed on health care organizations by value based payment models, where compensation is fixed per patient or episode, has industry experts believing that telehealth will soon be a dominant form of healthcare delivery.
CPT (procedure) codes have been recently established for both virtual evaluations and monitoring. CMS announced that these codes will be payable under Medicare advantage plans in 2020, without the previous restrictions requiring the patient be seen in a rural or underserved area. As Medicare advantage carriers are paid by CMS on a per member basis and not for each service, it is in their interest to serve their respective enrollees as efficiently as possible, causing most to believe these dynamics will cause telehealth service usage to explode, particularly in the nursing home and skilled nursing facility environments.
Integrating telehealth into an independent practice does not need to be a ground-up project. Companies such as PSC Healthcare provide a robust, cloud based telehealth platform that can be leased for less than $200 per month. Commercial carriers will follow Medicare’s lead and offer suitable reimbursement for telehealth encounters and monitoring. Precision Healthcare Consulting urges independent practices to offer these services to your patients, integrating them with your current offerings, before your patients are lured away by healthcare entities offering convenient physician interactions and continual monitoring options for chronic conditions via telehealth.
Contact us to learn more at
If your doctors office is active on social media please follow these guidelines below.
HIPAA Social Media Guidelines
Listed below are some basic HIPAA social media guidelines to follow in your organization, together with links to further information to help ensure compliance with HIPAA Rules.
* Develop clear policies covering social media use and ensure all employees are aware of how HIPAA relates to social media platforms
* Train all staff on acceptable social media use as part of HIPAA training and conduct refresher training sessions annually
* Provide examples to staff on what is acceptable – and what is not – to improve understanding
* Communicate the possible penalties for social media HIPAA violations – termination, loss of license, and criminal penalties
* Ensure all new uses of social media sites are approved by your compliance department
* Review and update your policies on social media annually
* Develop policies and procedures on use of social media for marketing, including standardizing how marketing takes place on social media accounts
* Develop a policy that requires personal and corporate accounts to be totally separated
* Create a policy that requires all social media posts to be approved by your legal or compliance department prior to posting
* Monitor your organization’s social media accounts and communications and implement controls that can flag potential HIPAA violations
* Maintain a record of social media posts using your organization’s official accounts that preserves posts, edits, and the format of social media messages
* Do not enter into social media discussions with patients who have disclosed PHI on social media.
* Encourage staff to report any potential HIPAA violations
* Ensure social media accounts are included in your organization’s risk assessments
* Ensure appropriate access controls are in place to prevent unauthorized use of corporate social media accounts
* Moderate all comments on social media platforms
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights has issued guidance on HIPAA social media regulations, detailing the specific aspects of HIPAA that apply to social media networks.
Have questions? Reach out to us today
Arthritis of the big toe joint is one of the most common foot problems affecting millions of Americans. There have been multiple methods to treat this common condition, from removing arthritic bone spurs to joint replacement to joint fusions. The latest procedure to treat this condition is the insertion of a synthetic cartilage like implant known as Cartiva. At Chicago DPM, I am thrilled to have this revolutionary treatment to help get people back on their feet and end pain. This FDA approved surgery involves placing a small jelly-bean sized implant between the joint to act as a shock absorber and as pseudo cartilage.
NBC’s Lester Holt recently reported how this treatment can be a ‘Game-Changer.’ For those with excruciating arthritis that even have difficulty in most shoes, it offers hope. Previous treatment required the big toes to be fused together with screws and plates, but that limits movement. Cartiva is simply an insertion of a synthetic cartilage offering comfort, flexibility and function.
Being able to do this treatment is exciting because most of my patients want motion in that joint along with pain free movement than with joint fusion. I encourage everyone to explore at www.cartiva.com to learn more about this state of the art procedure. Visit us for further in-depth discussion at www.chicagodpm.com
-Tayeb Hussain, DPM
Medical mistakes, according to popular news sources, may be the third largest leading of death in the U.S. Why are medical errors so prevalent? Is there a culture among physicians in which errors are covered up or not questioned?
In a new Fox television series, “The Resident,” a young doctor and colleagues are aware of the error rate of a senior supervising physician and as the storyline goes, the young docs fear career and reputation damage if they were to report the senior doctors’ surgical error rate.
Common medical mistakes:
- Patient identification errors;
- Treating the wrong patient;
- Failure to timely treat a patient;
- Operating on the wrong body part;
- Leaving medical equipment inside a patient;
- Anesthetic failures causing patients to awaken;
- Failure to prevent infections by hand washing; and
- Incorrectly identifying medical tubing and equipment
With so much attention and reporting about medical mistakes and malpractice, it is fair to say that efforts are made to help healthcare professionals prevent medical errors. Some physicians have unique methods to incorporate systems they use to prevent mistakes. Something as simple as a redundant system to double check information accuracy can lead to the discovery of a mistake before it happens.
Medical staff and administrators must also use care in working as a team to ensure the efficient delivery of quality medical services without error. Just as school students practice fire drills, healthcare professionals can practice mistake prevention drills.
Licensing attorney: Preventing medical mistakes
Chicago healthcare and licensing attorney, Michael V. Favia, frequently recommends all doctors, dentists and nursing professionals be prepared to answer questions about how they actively seek to prevent medical mistakes. If they cannot offer suggestions, there are clear opportunities for improvement and loss mitigation.
Relying on physician malpractice and hospital insurance and policy is insufficient to protect one’s medical license and career. Knowing how and what to say in documentation to a variety of regulatory boards and agencies is vital. What may feel straight forward and matter of fact to one doctor, may cause another to be reasonably alerted, and often for good reasons such as personal experience.
Favia frequently reminds healthcare professional client that every decision and action can reach further downstream than we usually anticipate. Simply settling a malpractice claim without any admission of liability, can come back to haunt any licensed healthcare professional, especially when licensed in multiple states.
About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law and litigation firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.
With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.
Today’s interview with Michael Erin, a dental valuation and practice consultant and broker, focuses on how Dentists prepare for retirement and a succession plan for the transition and sale of the work and interest in their dental practice.
Topics covered in this 30-minute interview:
- About Progressive Management and dental brokerage generally;
- Preparing for retirement, when to start selling your practice;
- Different types of buyers you may identify well in advance;
- Understanding the timeline and process of dental practice valuation.
Michael Erin is a management consultant, valuation specialist and practice broker in the Chicago hospital and health care industry. Mr. Erin, with Chicago’s Progressive Management & Associates, the Chicago dental practice brokerage, works with dental specialists in transition with their private practice. He works with sellers, buyers and valuation services to keep the transition out of practice in the fast lane, to maximize profits for his clients. Michael Erin is a colleague with our host, Michael V. Favia, through the Health Practice Advisors network group in Chicago.
# # #
Michael V. Favia & Associates are available to advise and represent healthcare professionals and the general Chicagoland community with a variety of legal issues. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburbs, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion.
For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates’ professional licensing work, please call (773) 631-4580, visit www.IL-Licensing.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You may also connect with Attorney Michael V. Favia on LinkedIn and on Avvo.com where you may also read client endorsements and reviews.