MIPS Risk Assessment – What, How, Why?

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HIPAA is an annual exercise, which, like our taxes, come back to haunt us if we don’t carry it out rightly. The risk assessment for MIPS and Meaningful Use is needed for getting a practice its reimbursement check. Whether it is required for MIPS or Meaningful Use, the practice has to do it anyway, for its own good, i.e., both if it wants to be reimbursed, and if it does not want to be hounded by HIPAA for violations, which result in extra penalties.

John Brewer, Founder of Med Tech USA, LLC and a former Air Force Computer Security Officer, will show, at a webinar that is being organized on December 3 by MentorHealth, a leading provider of professional training for all the areas of healthcare, the proper ways by which to carry out a MIPS risk assessment in a way that complies with HIPAA requirements.

Please enroll for this valuable learning session by visiting Mentorhealth.

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MIPS and Meaningful Use are deliberately tied to a practice’s reimbursement money to ensure that it certainly carries out this already required risk assessment. The CMS has kept it this way because it believes that practices would probably ignore this requirement otherwise.

It is important for such practices to avoid making mistakes, which, even if innocent by nature, could still invite all the unnecessary and avoidable penalties that come with these violations. Not only that; it is almost certain that one violation could invite the CMS to probe into past records and dig up something out of the rubble to impose fresh penalties!

So, the way out for healthcare practices is to ensure that no matter how complicated and uneasy it feels for a while, it is best to complete the risk assessment in the manner prescribed by HIPAA.

This webinar will show just how to do this. In the course of this learning, John will cover the following areas:

  • Recent HIPAA Changes
  • Fines
  • The Audit Process
  • New Patient Legal Items
  • Portable Devices
  • Ransomware
  • Business Associates Increase Burden
  • Breach Notification Process
  • Paperwork Updates
  • Risk Factors for Being sued or Audited

This webinar is of immense use to personnel who are involved in MIPS risk assessment, such as security officer, practice manager or Business Associate.

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About the speaker: John’s unique background in technology and experience in dealing with government regulations gives him the edge in HIPAA implementation and training. His organization takes the complicated volumes of HIPAA regulations and breaks them down into simple to understand nuggets.

 

 

Developing a Physician Compensation Strategy Focused on Quality and Value

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It is imperative for healthcare executives to master vital concepts relating to the sector, if they have to lead their organizations towards excellence in today’s hypercompetitive, value-based healthcare arena. These are some of them:

  • Understanding the quality and value metrics into new federal health care programs and commercial payment systems
  • New delivery models
  • What needs to be done by providers for developing a value-based strategy, and
  • Applying the Stark Law and other fraud and abuse laws to new models aimed at population health, quality of care and cost control.

A set of refined and comprehensive value-based strategies helps healthcare organizations achieve many important goals:

  • These strategies enhance the quality of care and improve patient outcomes
  • They promote safe medical practices
  • Implementing such practices helps them to share best clinical practices with their employees and peers
  • They lead to a measurable increase in efficiencies in care delivery
  • They bring about appropriate utilization of services
  • They help align the practice’s financial incentives.

How do healthcare organizations go about achieving these? This will be imparted at a webinar that MentorHealth, a leading provider of professional training for all the areas of healthcare, is organizing on December 3.

At this webinar, Joseph Wolfe, an attorney with Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C., the largest healthcare focused law firm in the country, will be the expert. Please visit Mentorhealth to participate in this learning.

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The objective of this webinar is to offer the participants a clear understanding of the legal issues surrounding paying for quality and value, which will help them to refine their current strategy and identify new delivery models and potential opportunities in the future.

He will cover the following areas at this meaningful session:

  • Provide a general overview of new quality and value-based payment trends
  • Discuss potential strategies for incentivizing physicians in connection with the rollout of the new value-based programs
  • Discuss the application of the existing regulatory framework (e.g., AKS, Stark, CMP, beneficiary inducement, etc.) to new models aimed at incentivizing population health, quality of care and cost control

About the expert: Joseph Wolfe provides advice and counsel to some of the nation’s largest health systems, hospitals and medical groups on a variety of healthcare issues. He regularly counsels clients on a national basis regarding compliance-focused physician compensation and alignment strategies.

He is a frequent speaker on issues related to the physician self-referral statute (Stark Law), hospital-physician transactions, physician compensation governance and healthcare valuation issues.

 

Nurse to Nurse Bullying: A Sepsis in Healthcare

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One of the serious, yet often overlooked issues in the healthcare sector is the bullying that nurses suffer at the hands of the others in their own profession and from others. This aspect is not usually seriously considered by the concerned persons, as this can be subtle and not very easy to detect or investigate.

However, nurse bullying is a very real issue that can be termed as nothing short of being an epidemic. Nurses are often victims of bullying, both by members of their own profession, and others such as doctors, other hospital staff, patients, visitors, their own family, etc.

The extent of the prevalence of this terrible habit can be gauged from the fact that it forces at least six out of 10 nurses to leave their first nursing jobs, and no fewer than a third to quit the profession itself. What is even more surprising is the fact that although the Joint Commission makes it mandatory for healthcare organizations seeking accreditation to address the misconduct; precious little is being done. The healthcare sector has been continuing to neglect nurse bullying.

A webinar from MentorHealth, a leading provider of professional training for the areas of healthcare, will set this issue in fresh perspective. MentorHealth brings Susan Strauss, a national and international speaker, trainer, consultant and a recognized expert on workplace and school harassment and bullying, as the expert for this webinar. Please log on to MentorHealth to gain valuable insights into this delicate, yet real topic.

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At this sixty-minute webinar, which is being organized on November 25, Dr. Strauss will explain a nurse leader’s responsibilities in preventing and intervening with the bullying that happens in their healthcare organization. She will go on to describe why nurse bullying happens, who is the most likely target and what can be done by the hospital administration, nurse executives, and nurses themselves to prevent the abuse.

She will also look into the role of gender in nurse violence and will seek to examine if it plays a role in nurse bullying. This session, which is aimed at the benefit of personnel who deal with this issue, such as Human Resources Professionals, Nursing Supervisors, Chief Nursing Officer, Director of Nursing, VP of Nursing, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Hospital Administrators, Dr. Strauss will cover the following areas:

  • To define bullying
  • To discuss misconduct within nursing practice incorporating The Joint Commission’s Disruptive Behavior Standard, Nursing Social Policy Statement, Nursing Code of Ethics and the Scope and Standards of Nursing Practice
  • To identify theories, causes and contributing factors of bullying in nursing
  • To list the steps to follow when bullying occurs
  • To discuss nursing leadership’s role in the prevention and intervention of bullying

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About the expert: Dr. Susan Strauss conducts harassment and bullying investigations and functions as an expert witness in harassment and bullying lawsuits. The popularity of these exercises can be gauged from the vast spectrum of sectors that her clients hail from: business, education, healthcare, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sector.

She has conducted research, written over 30 books, book chapters, and journal articles on harassment, bullying, and related topics. She appears on television and radio programs and is frequently interviewed for newspaper and journal articles.

 

Structuring and Auditing Physician Medical Director and Administrative Arrangements: Key Stark Law Considerations

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Developing administrative arrangements diligently is a key requirement for healthcare organizations and physicians that choose to work with each other. Ensuring that any of their new arrangements are defensible under the Stark Law is a must for managing their compliance and enterprise risk.

It is imperative for the parties to carefully evaluate whether the proposed structure and financial terms are in compliance with Stark’s technical requirements and key tenets of defensibility. This should be done before they go ahead with any arrangement. This is the only means to ensure that they have a strong defense if the arrangement gets challenged at some point of time.

At a webinar that MentorHealth, a leading provider of professional training for the healthcare areas, is organizing on November 27, Joseph Wolfe, an attorney with Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C., the largest healthcare focused law firm in the country, will explain how to ensure all these.

Please join in for this valuable learning by visiting  MentorHealth.

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The primary focus of this presentation is an elucidation of the Stark Law, with particular reference to its 2016 update. Joseph will discuss the best practices for negotiating and drafting administrative arrangements on behalf of health systems, hospitals, medical groups and physician practices.

He will explain the regulatory requirements, key provisions, and valuation considerations. He will also show which kind of potential pitfalls should be avoided.

A key part of the Stark Law consists of a few underlying technical requirements and key tenets of defensibility that relate to the medical director and administrative arrangements. At this webinar, Joseph will explain these points.

This webinar is of immense benefit for those who deal with these arrangements, and these include In-House Counsel, Healthcare Compliance Officers, Healthcare Human Resources, Healthcare CFO’s and Healthcare Executives.

Joseph will cover the following areas at this session:

  • Provide a general Stark Law overview
  • Examine critical regulatory requirements related to medical director and administrative arrangements
  • Discuss best practices for drafting medical director and administrative agreements and the related financial terms
  • Describe best practices for auditing medical director and administrative agreements
  • Review processes for documenting fair market value and commercial reasonableness
  • Discuss best practices for auditing existing arrangements and potential pitfalls.

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About the expert: Joseph Wolfe provides advice and counsel to some of the nation’s largest health systems, hospitals and medical groups on a variety of healthcare issues. He regularly counsels clients on a national basis regarding compliance-focused physician compensation and alignment strategies.

He is a frequent speaker on issues related to the physician self-referral statute (Stark Law), hospital-physician transactions, physician compensation governance and healthcare valuation issues.

 

Dealing with the Disruptive Practitioner in a Legally Compliant Manner

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A medical practitioner who is disruptive in his behavior is a headache for a healthcare provider. Disruptive behavior affects everyone in the organization and beyond: the healthcare provider, the colleagues who work with this kind of practitioner, the patients, and the other stakeholders.

It is very important for healthcare originations that employ such disruptive practitioners to rein them in and ensure that their behavior does not affect the working of the organization and its reputation.

The ways by which to do this will form the learning from a webinar that MentorHealth, a leading provider of professional training for all the areas of healthcare, which is being organized on November 25. MentorHealth brings the president of Executive & Managerial Development Group, William Mark Copeland, to be the expert at this session.

Please enroll for this valuable learning by visiting  MentorHealth

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There is no one definition of what constitutes disruptive behavior. It could come in different shapes and forms. No matter what reasons trigger this kind of behavior, one thing that the healthcare setting should do unhesitatingly is to make sure that such behavior does not disturb people, either in the hospital or those outside it. It can take a few steps to curtail such behavior. It could:

  • Clearly define what in the hospital’s viewpoint is disruptive behavior
  • State and emphasize the organization’s policy in writing and publish it with every practitioner it hires
  • Put in place the proper documentation practices, which will give it the opportunity to ensure that it goes about dealing with such behavior in the legally prescribed manner.

At this webinar, the expert will show how to draft and implement each of these policies. Participants will be able to understand how to explain and show to the authorities in what way disruptive behavior is a problem and what steps the organization is putting in place to handle it.

He will place the core areas of dealing with disruptive behavior in proper context. He will help the participants get a proper idea of dealing with core issues of disruptive behavior. These include when it becomes necessary to terminate such a practitioner’s privileges and medical staff membership, what all should be the constituents of an effective policy, and the progressive discipline and/or sanctions that should be developed and implemented before initiating action under the corrective action procedures.

At this session, William will cover the following areas:

  • Disruptive practitioner policies
  • Corrective action procedures
  • What constitutes disruptive behavior
  • Steps the hospital and/or the medical staff should take to see that the disruptive activity does not affect patient care or disrupt operations

This webinar is aimed at helping personnel that routinely face disruptive practitioners at work, such as Hospital Executives, Medical Staff Officers, Physicians who serve on Peer Review Committees, Medical Support Staff, and Attorneys Representing Medical Staffs.

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About the speaker: William Mack Copeland, who practices health care law in Cincinnati at the firm of Copeland Law, LLC, is also president of Executive & Managerial Development Group, a consulting entity providing compliance and other fraud and abuse related services. He is a frequent author and speaker on health law topics.  He was awarded the American College of Health Care Executives Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award in 2007.

 

Email & Text Messages – New HIPAA Rules & TCPA Dangers

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Unencrypted, or what are called regular email and text messaging services, have come to gain widespread acceptance among the healthcare community. The reason for this is their suitability and effectiveness for being strong engagement and communication tools. And, HIPAA gives patients the right to use them. Yet, although this is a patient right, using it in a compliant manner, as laid out by HIPAA is important, because not doing so puts them at risk of audit, from which penalties of various kinds could follow.

The easiest way by which Providers and Business Associates can communicate with patients is a HIPAA-prescribed, simple three-step safeguard. This easily implementable three-step safeguard also protects against dangerous and expensive The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action.

Although HIPAA-governed entities that implement and document their email and text messaging service in a manner that complies with this three-step method are assured that their service meets the compliance requirements set out by HIPAA; the HIPAA and TCPA electronic healthcare messaging compliance aspect of HIPAA regulation is misperceived among most HIPAA-regulated entities. This widely misunderstood rule is often the subject of Internet postings that are inaccurate, misleading, and dangerous.

It is to clarify on all the aspects of email and text messages under the new HIPAA rules and to highlight the dangers associated with inviting TCPA class action that MentorHealth, a leading provider of professional training for all the areas of healthcare, is organizing a webinar on November 25. Paul Hales, an expert on HIPAA Privacy, Security, Breach notification and Enforcement Rules, will be the expert at this ninety minute learning session. Please visit  MentorHealth to register for this webinar.

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The main area of focus at this webinar is an understanding of the new HIPAA Rules and guidance from the Office for Civil Rights and CMS that have come into being following passage of the HITECH Act. Paul will explain both how to communicate with patients by unencrypted email and text messaging and also when to encrypt electronic transmissions.

He will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • Your Key Takeaway
  • HIPAA & TCPA Danger – Text Message Class Action
  • Key Definitions
    • Unencrypted Email – Text Message – Electronic Transmission
    • Protected Health Information (PHI)
  • New HIPAA Rules – Email & Text Message – 3 Step Safeguard “Duty to Warn”
  • Prevent TCPA Danger – “Healthcare Text Message Exemption”
  • Wrap up – Questions & Answers

Personnel that will benefit from this webinar include HIPAA Compliance Official, HIPAA Privacy Officer, HIPAA Security Officer, Health Information Technology Supervisor, Practice Manager, Risk Manager, Compliance Manager, General Counsel, Patient Engagement Coordinator, and Member, Board of Trustees Compliance Committee.

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About the speaker: Paul R. Hales is an expert on HIPAA Privacy, Security, Breach notification and Enforcement Rules with a national HIPAA consulting practice based in St. Louis. He is the author of all content in The HIPAA E-Tool, an Internet-based, Software as a Service product for health care providers and Business Associates.

 

 

 

 

How to Conduct a HIPAA Security Risk Assessment for the Small Practice or Business Associate

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It is vital for the small practice or Business Associate to know exactly how to do a HIPAA security risk assessment. Why? Because this is the first thing that the federal authorities look for in an audit, and the security risk assessment is the most sought-after activity from the authorities.

This makes the proper knowledge of how to carry out a HIPAA security risk assessment in a manner that satisfies the federal authorities an imperative for the small practice or Business Associate. In particular, they need to have written policies for each and every of the implementation specifications set out by the HIPAA Security Rule, even if the specification doesn’t apply to the practice or Business Associate!

This perhaps explains the criticality of carrying out a HIPAA Security risk assessment in the manner prescribed by HIPAA, as this is the only way by which to avoid penalties that can be damaging, to say the least.

The ways of carrying out the HIPAA security risk assessment in the proper manner can be learnt. A webinar being organized on November 21 by MentorHealth, a leading provider of professional training for all the areas of healthcare, will show how.

Brian Tuttle, a senior healthcare IT professional, will be the expert at this webinar. Please enroll for this valuable learning by visiting MentorHealth

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The risk assessment being the first and most important item the OCR looks out for, Brian will offer a thorough understanding of how to conduct a proper risk assessment point by point. Knowing to do this in this manner is the ideal means to avoid becoming targets of scams in the market.

The expert will explain the method of writing proper policies and procedures which are to be based upon the findings of the risk assessment. He will show the exact wordings to use in the policies, so that they satisfy the OCR. The importance of having policies that are consistent with the small practice’s or Business Associate’s procedures will be explained. He will also explain how negatively the federal government views templates that are simply copied and pasted from other sources with no bearing on their own procedures.

At this webinar, which is being organized for the benefit of Practice Managers, any Business Associates who work with medical practices or hospitals (i.e. billing companies, transcription companies, IT Companies, answering services, home health, coders, attorneys, etc., and MD’s and other medical professionals, Brian will cover the following areas:

  • Updates for 2019
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Risks
  • Business Associates and the increased burden
  • Conduct a NIST-based HIPAA Security Risk Assessment for a hypothetical organization.

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About the expert: Brian Tuttle is a Certified Professional in Health IT (CPHIT), Certified HIPAA Professional (CHP), and Certified Business Resilience Auditor (CBRA), who brings over 15 years’ experience in Health IT and Compliance Consulting. He carries with them the experience of having carried over 1000 risk assessments as well as having directly dealt with the Office of Civil Rights HIPAA auditors.

He has served in multiple litigated court cases serving as an expert witness offering inputs related to best practices and requirements for securing and providing patient access to Protected Health Information. Brian has also worked directly with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) both in defending Covered Entities and Business Associates as well as being asked by the Federal government to audit covered entities and business associates on behalf of the OCR.