Celebrity HIPAA – good example of what not to do

Click here to view an article about a HIPAA violation related to celebrity Kim Kardashian. This is a perfect example of what curious healthcare workers should not do.

There are only 3 valid reasons for accessing protected health information:
1. Direct patient care
2. Billing
3. Administrative reasons (audits, quality assurance, medical record requests, etc.)

FYI – Curiosity is not an administrative reason!

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The Art of Medicine

Medical practices spend a significant amount of time, effort, and money on advertising each year (websites, Internet ads, newspaper ads, mailers, health fairs, etc.). The most effective advertising, however, is the interaction doctors have with patients in the exam room. The style in which doctors present medical care is just as important as the medical care itself. The article at the link below offers suggestions to improve interaction with patients (i.e., bedside manner). We encourage doctors to read this article, complete a self-evaluation, and try these suggestions. Ultimately, medical practices want patients to have a positive experience at their offices and then go tell their family, friends, neighbors, and even the doctors that referred them.

“Resolve to Improve Your Bedside Manner”

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One Opinion of ACOs

Click on the link below to read an opinion article about ACOs from professors at Harvard’s business and medical schools. This article was originally published in the Wall Street Journal. ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations) seem to be a hot topic lately in the healthcare industry. There are a number of large medical groups and insurance companies around the nation that are running pilot ACO programs or are creating their own ACO-like programs. Are ACOs the way of the future? It’s anyone’s guess, but physicians (especially those in private, independent practice) should be actively involved in the discussion and understand how it could affect their current practices.

WSJ ACO article

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Any $1 Billion Ideas?

Medicare recently offered $1 billion for new health care innovation ideas. Click HERE to learn more.

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Common Characteristics of Practices Needing Our Help

Every doctor and practice faces unique challenges or has varying motivations for seeking help; however, we’ve noticed the following common characteristics. Any of these sound familiar?

  • The office manager is overwhelmed.
  • The practice has grown from a small, family-oriented office to a large, multi-office group.
  • Administrative matters are piling up and not being addressed.
  • “Seems like we should be making more money”
  • The office is chaotic.
  • Nobody takes the lead in pulling together all the different aspects of the practice.
  • The practice functions like several, independent practices under one roof instead of as a unified group.
  • “It seems like we have too many employees. Are they really needed?”
  • Staff meetings are not constructive and turn into gripe sessions.
  • Poor communication both within and between offices.
  • The EMR system is underutilized and the practice is struggling to get Medicare’s “meaningful use” money.
  • Doctor: “Why am I handling administrative duties? Shouldn’t I be focused on patients instead?”

Contact us if some of these characteristics pertain to you.

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Value of an Evaluation

MPA’s relationship with new clients usually starts with a medical practice evaluation, which is a short-term engagement lasting approximately 4 weeks. Over this time period, we gather information from practice management/EMR systems, review financial statements (income statement and balance sheet), interview doctors and office staff, and observe the inner workings of the practice.

The engagement ends with a sit down meeting with the doctors to go over a list of problems and recommendations. This list becomes the road map for increased physician compensation and improved practice performance. Practices have wisely taken the approach to use the evaluation as a way to “test drive” what MPA knows and can do. There’s obviously a cost to an evaluation (cost depends on the size of complexity of the practice). Our evaluations are proven to provide great value.

An ENT practice in Utah is one good example of the value of an evaluation. We identified 35 problems during the evaluation. One of those problems involved the practice overlooking a few billing items related to its in-office CT scanner. This single finding now generates more than $10,000/year for the practice. This practice recouped more than the cost of the evaluation in less than one year.

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Our History and Backgrounds

The idea behind Medical Practice Administrators (MPA) was created in 2007 by its founders, Ed Rasmussen and Tim Prusse. Our experience, though, goes back even further. After graduating from Brigham Young University with bachelors and masters degrees in accounting, Ed served various tax clients of the firm Alexander Grant.

In 1990, Ed’s brother-in-law, an OB/GYN doctor, asked him to come manage his practice in Kissimmee, Florida. And there began the accumulation of medical practice knowledge and success. After 15 years and after becoming one of the top performing OB/GYN practices in the country, Ed was lured by a General Surgery practice to Provo, Utah where the success continues.

In 2007, an ENT practice in Provo also sought Ed’s expertise. Ed performed an evaluation and recommended that Tim Prusse be brought on as the practice administrator. Tim had received bachelors and masters degrees in accounting and worked as a financial statement auditor at the accounting, tax, and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. With the great results continuing at the ENT practice, Ed and Tim developed the concept of a medical practice management and consulting company that delivers the same results to other practices. MPA has now grown to include administrators at many medical practices.

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