Category Archives: Healthcare Reform

Medical Office Compliance and Risk Management

You may have not planned your practice around compliance and risk management, but you know what they say? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Compliance programs are new to many private practices. What does a compliance program mean for your practice? The program is meant to be a series of checks and balances to ensure the practice is meeting standards. Why do you I need a compliance program?

A compliance program can prove to anyone that practitioners are making a reasonable attempt to comply with all regulatory requirements and have established the necessary procedures to do so. One reason why you might need a compliance program is to ensure staff applies the appropriate billing guidelines correctly. Medical documentation is important from a financial point of view. If a healthcare provider forgets to write something down in a patient’s chart, whether it regards to treatment, surgery, or a minor procedure, the facility will not be paid for it. Without documentations there is not proof that a patient received any services. Documentation and easy access to medical records can ensure patient confidentiality as well as a patient’s life in dire situation. If standards of care are being met then there will be thorough documentation. An important aspect of documentation comes from setting a standard for employees to follow including:

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Continuing Medical Education

Becoming a physician, nurse or other health care specialist requires many years of education, but the learning doesn’t stop once a license and board certification have been earned. Learning continues by way of continued medical education, or CME. Private practices know that continuing medical education plays a critical role improving patient outcomes, reducing healthcare costs and enhancing the overall quality and efficiency.

The primary purpose of continuing medical education is to maintain and improve clinical performance so it is important that practices make this available to physicians and nurses. If it is possible to plan CME activities for your staff then you should do so. CME credits are required for most healthcare professionals and allocating money to these events is important. Look into whether or not you could host an even in-house or offsite event. Your employees will appreciate this because they won’t have to search for CME lectures that fit into their already busy schedule. Employees who are up-to-date on evidence-based practices and the latest clinical developments lead to better patient outcomes and compliance.

When a nurse or physician join your practice it is important to setup a timeline for CME activities throughout the year. Whether you financially reimburse employees for CME credits or give them days to attend courses (separate from vacation and sick days) it must be discussed at the beginning or their employment. When, where and how the medical staff obtains their credits should be just as important to you as it is to them.

Utilization of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants in specialty practices

With the advent of health care reform, both multi-surgeon spine practices and solo practitioners are faced with the challenge of managing the over 32 million Americans that will now have access to health care and remaining both profitable, and efficient while doing so. Part of the solution will be further incorporation of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants into specialty practices to accommodate a larger patient volume in addition to allowing specialists more time to focus on complex conditions. See link to Spine-Health for full article: http://www.spine-health.com/physicians/utilization-nurse-practitioners-and-physician-assistants-your-spine-practice