Does Your Practice Have the Right Legal Structure?

Legal Structures for Medical PracticesFor physicians who are starting a medical practice and trying to decide on their legal structure, the main issues to consider are liability, taxation, and disposition of ownership.

“When selecting a business entity for their practice, physicians and their advisors often think that the only issues are taxes and ease of administration and reporting, believing that malpractice insurance will address the threat of liability to the business,” says Patricia Farrell, an attorney for Meyer, Unkovic & Scott based in Pittsburgh, PA, who has more than 24 years of experience advising medical practices and other small businesses.

She says many forget that, in addition to the fact that insurance coverage is sometimes denied, there are other kinds of liability not covered under their insurance—such as lawsuits from vendors or employees, malfunctioning office equipment or software, issues with landlords and cash flow challenges.

Taking some of these issues into consideration, below are the three types of legal structures to consider for your practice—sole proprietorship, partnership, or a corporation. [Read more…]

TIPS from The Service Line Experts – Growing Vascular Market Share

Amy Newell11Amid the ongoing changes of healthcare reform and the inherent competitive culture of today, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the sustainability of cardiovascular programs.  Specifically, where does opportunity lie for program growth?  For years, Corazon has recognized vascular services as the “diamond in the rough,” advising clients to focus on this “untapped” service in many markets across the country.  Our team consistently finds that vascular market share is not keeping pace with cardiac market share and this is surprising with the lack of regulation surrounding vascular care (compared to cardiac). Especially as Baby Boomers have reached the age where many, whether aware or not, are likely to have some form of cardiovascular disease.

Hospital leaders typically understand the need to grow market potential and/or position for a re-engineering of services, but aren’t sure how to do so successfully.  By no means does that indicate a decision to cease to offer services, but rather, Corazon advocates re-engineering as a means to re-assess a program’s offerings in the context of the local/regional market and evaluate the best options – clinically, operationally, and financially. 

Corazon has worked with numerous programs across the country focusing on the strategic planning process.   It is through this effort that we act as the catalyst in assisting programs to think about what has been a sustaining factor over the past several years, along with what has been formally evaluated or made a focus.   In our experience, we often find that the reason for not focusing on a particular program area or subspecialty is a lack of understanding of the market potential and/or HOW to take advantage of that potential, which is especially true with vascular services. [Read more…]

Sharp HealthCare: A Need to Standardize on Scanning Hardware for Efficiency, Cost Effectiveness

Sharp HealthCare is a not-for-profit regional healthcare system that serves a population of about 3 million people in San Diego County, California. It includes four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, two medical groups, and a range of other facilities and services. Sharp has 2,087 beds and about 16,000 employees—in addition to nearly 4,200 staff and medical group physicians—and reported $3 billion in revenue in its latest fiscal year.

Sharp is not just a large medical presence in the San Diego area, it’s also a technology leader. The organization’s pursuit of leading-edge technology has earned its widespread recognition, including accolades from sources such as Computerworld, InformationWeek, Healthcare IT News, and Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

One critical aspect of operating such a sprawling, information intensive enterprise is capturing all of the information related to patient care—information that often takes the form of paper documents and identification that has to be scanned and incorporated into Sharp’s business and electronic medical records (EMR) systems.

For years, Sharp used a variety of scanner brands and models, but that strategy became increasingly problematic, especially as the number of scanners used by the organization grew into the hundreds.

Read more.  

Zeta Interactive Releases New Research Report conducted by The Relevancy Group

Confirms Email as Most Effective Channel in delivering ROI: Cites High Value in Multi-Channel Real-Time Segmentation and Scoring

Zeta Interactive, the leader in data-driven Marketing across the Customer Lifecycle, today, announced the release of a research report conducted in partnership with The Relevancy Group. The new report, which surveyed 300 marketing executives, “The Value of Multi-Channel Real-Time Segmentation” underscores the value of capitalizing on real-time data.  According to the report, marketers that utilize real-time multichannel data generate nearly three times more revenue in their marketing programs than their peers that do not utilize real-time data. Adding automation pushes those results even higher. Marketers that automate customer lifecycle messaging through tactics such as rules-based triggers, drive 133% more revenue than those that don’t.

David A. Steinberg, CEO of Zeta Interactive says “The research we do is critical to keeping our clients up to date on the latest trends and findings and furthering Zeta’s position as a thought leader in real-time scoring and ‘fast data’. Strong partners like The Relevancy Group help us create compelling research that enables our clients to move their businesses and customer relationships forward.”

“The challenges explored in this survey get to the heart of topics that many marketers find critical to driving their businesses. We are proud to partner with Zeta on this research and look forward to watching these results help drive marketing impact'” said David Daniels, CEO and Founder of The Relevancy Group. [Read more…]

Upcoming SWPPA Meetings

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 5.56.32 AMPlease join SWPPA leaders for a timely networking and education event to discuss the significant changes planned for Pennsylvania’s system of aging and disability services, including the proposed plan for managed Medicaid LTSS, efforts to create an online registery of homecare workers, and pressing state budget issues.

SWPPA policy chair Ray Prushnok will be joined by Vicki Hoak, CEO of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association, AARP leaders and others to share the latest news out of Harrisburg. The free and open meeting will take place from 8:30-10:00am at Longwood at Oakmont in the Pruitt Conference Room, Grandview Building (500 Route 909, Verona, PA 15147).


SWPPA Annual Meeting 

Save the Date – December 2, 2015

Transforming the Future of Aging: Innovations, Technology and Policy

Please click here for Sponsorship Opportunities

And if you haven’t already, please renew your individual or organization’s SWPPA membership for 2015.

Position Available in Pennsylvania: Medical Director

Medical Director needed for administrative position with non-profit federally designated organ procurement organization with headquarters in a major metro area.  Candidates must have at least 3-years of experience in transplant surgery/transplant medicine or critical care medicine and be licensed in the state of Pennsylvania.  

This Medical Director will provide leadership to the highly qualified staff already in place in a state-of-the-art facility providing services for six million people living in three contingent states and connected with 155 hospitals.

The Medical Director will work to enhance the efforts of the organization in its primary goal of procuring organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation as well as research throughout its service area.  For further information and a full job description please contact Daniel Stern at Daniel Stern & Association at 800-438-2476 or sternd@danielstern.com.  All replies will be strictly confidential.

7 Tips for Avoiding Potential Billing Disputes

frugalcheapwebBilling disputes are a common complaint that medical practices face today. While many physicians are trained in medicine, few do not how to run a business properly. Oftentimes, if you can clearly communicate your billing policies ahead of time and educate your patients on how their insurance plan works, you can often avoid any potential conflict.

We spoke with two billing experts who offered some helpful advice on how to better interact with your patients so you can minimize patient complaints about billing errors.

Help your patients understand their bill

According to Joshua Greenberg, chairman and President of San Mateo, Calif.-based HealthCPA, a provider of personal health care financial advocacy services, many billing disputes are due to the fact that medical bills are hard to read and most people do not understand how their insurance plan works. Because of this they could become confused by the various numbers they see on their bills and insurance statements.

“Therefore, many times billing disputes can be easily cleared up when billing office staff walks patients through the numbers they see on their bills, using plain language,” he says.

Additionally, many patients see the billed amount on the invoice and think that is what they are being charged. Greenberg advises that your billing office staff can explain to patients that they receive a discount through their insurance company and then explain any insurance payments that were made and why the patient owes the final amount charged. [Read more…]

Lynn George Named Inaugural Dean of Carlow University’s College of Health and Wellness

Lynn George, PhD, RN, CNE, has been named inaugural dean of the College of Health and Wellness at Carlow University effective July 1, 2015. She has been serving as Associate Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Robert Morris University since 2006 and as a faculty member there since 2003.

“It’s Carlow’s vision to build on the excellence of our nursing programs and extend our reach into new health care careers needed for the workforce in this region and beyond. Key to our success is the founding dean of the College of Health and Wellness,” said Carlow University President Suzanne Mellon, PhD. “Dr. George is an exceptional leader and educator who has a firm understanding of the landscape of health care and health care education needed to address this critical area in our region.”

A passion for high quality education that is transformational and learner focused, George was instrumental in growing enrollment and providing academic leadership and direction for all programs in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences during her tenure at Robert Morris University. Her many accomplishments include the development and administration of the RN-to-MSN online program and the curriculum revision for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Additionally, she was part of the administrative team that launched the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, worked to transition a hybrid undergraduate program in Health Services Administration (HSAM) to a fully online program, and secured funding for student scholarships and research.
[Read more…]

Could Highmark, UPMC Health Plan be in play down the road?

While the nation’s largest publicly traded health insurers continue an elaborate five-way mating dance, physicians groups worry that a winnowing of the carrier field will lead to lower payments for hospitals and higher premiums for patients.

“Everybody should have serious concerns about that,” said Dennis Olmstead, chief strategy officer and medical economist at the Pennsylvania Medical Society, the state physicians’ lobbying group. “Competition is usually good … that’s why we have federal antitrust laws.”

The combination of any two of the “big five” public insurers — UnitedHealth, Anthem Inc., Aetna, Humana and Cigna — could indeed invite the scrutiny of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, particularly any merger involving UnitedHealth, which is already the largest health insurer in the country with more than $130 billion in 2014 revenues.

Read more.