Keep Employees COVID-19 Free: An Employer’s Guide From OSHA

June 23, 2020

Naturally you care about the health and safety of your employees, and don’t need a federal agency to tell you that you should be concerned. Still, it’s helpful to know what the overall position of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) is on COVID-19. In a recent “alert,” OSHA urged employers to take the following three steps:

  1. Assess the hazards to which workers may be exposed,
  2. Evaluate the risk of exposure, and
  3. Select, implement and ensure workers use controls to prevent exposure.
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Closing a Practice Doesn’t End Patient Responsibilities

June 23, 2020

For most small business owners, closing up shop is relatively simple — perhaps they take down their signs, get rid of inventory and turn the lights off. But for a health care practitioner closing a practice, the issues are more complex.

You have a duty to preserve medical records and ensure your patients have access to them. There may even be liability issues after your death that must be addressed in your estate plan.

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Investigate Operations Before Signing an Employment Contract

June 23, 2020

When considering joining or merging with a medical practice, you need to perform a due diligence investigation into the operations of the practice, as well as the finances.

Much of the due diligence you perform in checking into a practice’s finances will overlap with the operations due diligence. For operations information, it’s important to interview current and former practice employees. It’s not uncommon for many of the policies of a practice to be unwritten. The more aspects of the agreement you understand and can incorporate into a written document, the better. At the very least, you want to know the situation you’re getting into. For example, here are some considerations:

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Breaking the Cycle of Broken Appointments

February 4, 2020

Awkward. That’s likely the word that comes to mind when you or members of your staff think about confronting patients who have a habit of arriving late — or not at all. Discussing a patient’s penchant for no-shows takes a bit of fancy footwork at the very least. Mishandle the situation and you may lose a loyal patient.

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Facing a HIPAA Audit

February 4, 2020

Early in the history of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), violations typically involved receiving a warning letter from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It was basically toothless and carried no penalties. In 2009, Congress passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), which supplied the government with a range of tools to support enforcement. In short, HIPAA grew fangs.

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A Clear Policy Improves Billing Results

February 4, 2020

You may have heard about the Vermont doctor who was fed up with way medicine is practiced today and opened an office she calls “Simply Medicine.” The sole practitioner doesn’t accept insurance. Her fee is listed on a board in the waiting room: $2 a minute for labor, plus the cost of supplies.

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Tread Carefully When Renting Space

December 12, 2018
Medical fraud

Office spaces being rented between physicians and medical suppliers are getting more attention for potentially fraudulent activity and kickbacks.

As you know, medical practitioners are subject to a federal law that makes it a felony to influence the referral of federal health care business, including Medicare and Medicaid.

For example, if a physician refers a patient to a specialist and receives part of the specialist’s Medicare payment in exchange, the doctor has committed a felony under the Anti-Kickback Statute and could be subject to criminal and civil charges. The physician could also be excluded from Medicare and other federally funded health care programs. Read more