Shrift Earns HCISPP Certification

Precision Business Solutions, PrecisionBS, IT solutions provider, Brian Shrift, certification as a HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner, PittsburghPrecision Business Solutions (PrecisionBS), an IT solutions provider, is pleased to announce that Brian Shrift, President, has earned his certification as a HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP).

HCISPPs provide the front-line defense in protecting health information. Backed by (ISC)², a global not-for-profit organization that delivers the gold standard for information security certifications, the HCISPP credential confirms a practitioner’s core knowledge and experience in security and privacy controls for personal health information.

“As we developed a more extensive clientele within the healthcare industry, it became apparent that these customers had needs requiring a more specialized skillset,” Shrift said. “When it comes to healthcare practitioners, the safety and security of the Protected Health Information (PHI) they maintain is a real concern for all of us, myself included.

By gaining this specialized knowledge, we’re raising the bar when it comes to IT Security, which applies to all of our Clients.  And in this age, when every day you hear about a company losing its data or you receive that letter in the mail stating your credit card was compromised, more IT Security is good.”


Shrift earning HCISPP certification is also part of a more than year-long process in which PrecisionBS has engaged in order to create a comprehensive solution for healthcare organizations and their vendors, such as their accountant or attorney, to become compliant with HIPAA Security Rule. This effort included engaging with HIPAA compliance experts within the legal field to assure that all aspects of HIPAA Security Rule were met by one comprehensive solution.

“These laws affect everyone in the healthcare field – from the largest hospital group down to your single-physician, hometown practices,” Shrift said. “The way these laws are written and the requirements they enforce make it necessary to engage specialist within the legal and IT fields to assure compliance. That’s the gap we’re striving to fill.”

For more information contact Precision Business Solutions at (814) 471-0206 or visit us on the Web at


ICD-10 Training Online

PTI is now offering ICD-10 training online.

This course is designed to assist the experienced medical coder in transitioning from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM. The course will provide an Introduction ICD-10-CM, highlight the differences between the two coding systems, and provide guidance for individual chapters. Students who attend all four sessions of this course will be awarded eight continuing education credits which have been approved by the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). Click on the image to learn more or to register today.

ICD-10, ICD-10 Training, ICD-10 Training Online, AAPC Certified Instructors, ICD-10 Training in Pittsburgh, AAPC CEU Approved

This course will be delivered as a Webinar from 10:00am to 12:00pm on the following dates:

  • Saturday, March 21, 2015
  • Saturday, March 28, 2015
  • Saturday, April 11, 2015
  • Saturday, April 18, 2015

Please note that all four sessions must be attended to earn AAPC approved CEUs. No partial credit will be awarded.

Local Entrepreneur Honored for Dedication to Improving Access to Health Care While Reducing Cost

ZamagiasThe Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation (ACMSF) will present the 2014 Benjamin Rush Individual Award to Michael G. Zamagias, board chairman and CEO of Pittsburgh-based TeleTracking Technologies, Inc., during its annual community awards and fundraising gala, Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Heinz Field – East Club Lounge.

Established in 1947, the Benjamin Rush Individual Award recognizes non-healthcare professionals who devote time, skills or resources to assisting others and contribute to the advancement of healthcare.

Mr. Zamagias, majority owner of TeleTracking, has guided the firm from a small startup two decades ago to the world-leading producer of healthcare operations management software solutions and services, which relieve hospital overcrowding, improve patient access and save money. TeleTracking solutions connect to 350,000 beds in over 850 client hospitals in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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Northside Common Ministries Honored for Providing Quality Social and Healthcare Related Services to Low Income and Homeless

The Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation (ACMSF) will present Northside Common Ministries with a 2014 Benjamin Rush Community Organization Award during its annual community awards and fundraising gala, Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Heinz Field – East Club Lounge.

Established in 1947, the Benjamin Rush Community Organization Award recognizes a company, institution, organization or agency that is successfully addressing a community health issue.

Northside Common Ministries (NCM) is a non-sectarian, non-profit, community based organization that was established in 1982 by a collaboration of 30 independent, local churches.  These individual congregations recognized the plight of economically disadvantaged people in urban communities that became so evident in Pittsburgh after the decline of the steel industry.  These concerned individuals pooled their creative, financial and human resources to form NCM with the purpose of addressing the needs of the hungry and homeless in Pittsburgh and on the Northside in particular. 

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ACHIEVA’s Disability Healthcare Initiative Honored for Improving Access to Health Care for Individuals with Disabilities 

The Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation (ACMSF) will present ACHIEVA and its Disability Healthcare Initiative (DHI) with a 2014 Benjamin Rush Community Organization Award during its annual community awards and fundraising gala, Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Heinz Field – East Club Lounge.

Established in 1947, the Benjamin Rush Community Organization Award recognizes a company, institution, organization or agency that is successfully addressing a community health issue.

ACHIEVA is a not-for-profit organization and is Southwestern Pennsylvania’s largest provider of comprehensive services and supports for people with disabilities and their families.  ACHIEVA serves more than 14,600 individuals with disabilities and their families and is the only agency of its type in Southwestern PA that provides lifelong supports.  ACHIEVA provides a full spectrum of services for people of all ages and abilities and their families, from early intervention therapies for infants to in-home support for medically fragile senior citizens.

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Physician Honored for Contributions as Compassionate Physician and Outstanding Mentor

Ronald L. Thomas, MD,

Ronald L. Thomas, MD,

The Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation (ACMSF) will present Ronald L. Thomas, MD, with the 2014 Ralph C. Wilde Leadership Award during its annual community awards and fundraising gala, Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Heinz Field – East Club Lounge.

The Ralph C. Wilde Leadership Award recognizes a physician who demonstrates exceptional skill in their clinical care of patients and dedication to the ideals of the medical profession as a teacher or profession leader.

Dr. Thomas, who specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as Maternal and Fetal medicine, began his career as a high school teacher of physics and mathematics at McDowell High School near Erie. He became interested in medicine through tutoring hospitalized students. In 1981, he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  Dr. Thomas completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Naval Hospital, Bethesda, and was sponsored by the U.S. Navy for fellowship training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, in Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr. Thomas served 14 years in the U.S. Navy. 

Since 1991 Dr. Thomas has been affiliated with Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital. He is currently the Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Allegheny Health Network. He is also Director of Ob/Gyn Ultrasound at the tertiary obstetric site at West Penn Hospital.

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Physician and Wife Team Recognized for Outstanding Volunteerism at Local Clinic and Beyond

Dr. Markle and wifeThe Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation (ACMSF) will present William H. Markle, MD and Mary Markle, RN, with the 2014 Physician Volunteer Award during its annual community awards and fundraising gala, Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Heinz Field – East Club Lounge.

The Physician Volunteer Award, established in 2001, recognizes a physician for the donation of their time or talents for charitable, clinical, educational or community service activities, domestically or internationally.

Dr. Markle, specializing in family medicine, began his career starting a rural clinic in Mannboro, Virginia in a medically underserved area. The clinic operates today as a federally qualified health center. After several months caring for refugees in Thailand in 1981, he sought ways to serve others internationally and worked as a medical missionary in Indonesia from 1987 to 1994.  During that time, Dr. Markle and his wife Mary, a registered nurse, shared a commitment to caring for the most vulnerable and dedicated their lives to caring for the most-needy in society. 

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Physician Honored for Commitment to Patient Care and Mentoring in Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Oncology


Mark A. Goodman, MD

The Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation (ACMSF) will present Mark A. Goodman, MD, with the 2014 Richard E. Deitrick Humanity in Medicine Award during its annual community awards and fundraising gala, Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Heinz Field – East Club Lounge.

The Richard E. Deitrick Humanity in Medicine Award, established in 2012, honors a physician who has improved the lives of patients by caring for them with integrity, honesty, and respect of their human dignity, and serves as a role model for other physicians.

Dr. Goodman, who specializes in orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal oncology, graduated from the State University of New York – Health Science at Brooklyn in 1974. He completed his residency at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as well as Fellowship programs at the University of Florida College of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

“For more than 30 years Dr. Goodman has demonstrated his commitment to orthopaedic surgery,” says Freddie Fu, MD, D.Sc. (Hon), D.Ps. (Hon), Distinguished Service Professor and David Silver Professor and Chairman, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “As an excellent clinician, educator, and researcher, Dr. Goodman demonstrates the qualities associated with the Richard E. Deitrick Humanity in Medicine Award and is most-deserving to receive this award in recognition of his dedication to patient care and teaching.”

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Primary Care Physician Recognized for Outstanding Dedication and Attention to Underserved Patient Population

Mark W. Guy, MD

Mark W. Guy, MD

The Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation (ACMSF) will honor Mark W. Guy, MD, with the Nathaniel Bedford Primary Care Award, which recognizes a primary care physician for exemplary, compassionate, comprehensive and dedicated care of patients, during its annual community awards and fundraising gala, Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Heinz Field – East Club Lounge.

Dr. Guy has lived in, and provided primary care services to, the North Side and Northern Boroughs of Pittsburgh for 20 years. A 1990 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Dr. Guy spent the following year working in a mission hospital as a clinic and hospital physician at Matru Jong Hospital in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Upon his return to Pittsburgh, he completed his residency in family practice at St. Margaret’s Memorial Hospital in 1994.

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Veritex Healthcare Solutions Launches RIO℠ Nationally

Veritex Healthcare Solutions, RIO, revenue integrity tool, reduce compliance risks, optimize net revenueNew revenue integrity tool assists medical practices in reducing compliance risks and optimizing net revenue

Veritex Healthcare Solutions recently announced its national launch of RIO (Revenue Integrity Operations), a complete revenue integrity tool for physician and physician extenders services.

Today more than ever healthcare providers face unprecedented focus by regulators.  The combination of the Affordable Care Act requirements, new HIPAA mandates and pressure to reduce healthcare costs make the effort of complying with rules a nearly impossible task.

“Physician practices are especially vulnerable to this level of scrutiny. They do not have the resources to implement and maintain steps necessary to implement an effective compliance program,” says Jim Dowdell, CEO of Veritex. “We developed RIO as an efficient, effective and economical tool to focus on their highest risk area, coding and billing.”

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How You’re an Enabler of Your Team’s Poor Performance

By Mike Figliuolo

If you’re frustrated with your team members not delivering high-quality work to you, you might be the root cause of the problem.  It’s time to stop being an enabler of bad behavior.

The following is an excerpt from Lead Inside the Box: How Great Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results (you can get your copy here). This post focuses on how you need to change your behaviors if you want your team members to change theirs.

Alan leads a team of highly-intelligent scientists. While most of their time is spent on scientific work, a portion of their roles is administrative. Before Alan took over the team, many of these scientists hadn’t been trained on these responsibilities because their previous leader tended to do all this administrative work himself. Alan fell into that same habit when he took over the team.

During a hectic period, Alan and I spoke about how stressed out he was. “I don’t have enough hours in the day to get all this stuff done.”

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Managing the Risks of Treating Chronic Pain with Opioids

Mock_Jane_20121113_138_rv2[2]By Jane Mock, Risk Management Specialist

Physicians need to be especially careful when managing chronic pain with opioid medications. Medical practices often seek risk management advice when they suspect a patient is misusing prescription medications, is not complying with treatment, or when the patient is making unreasonable demands for more opioids. If a patient suffers harm as a result of opioid medication use, a physician may find himself the target of a lawsuit alleging negligent treatment of chronic pain. 

How Does the Management of Opioids Create Potential Liability?

  • Claims against physicians for negligent treatment and/or management of opioid medications frequently arise from the following:
  • Prescribing opioids without performing any diagnostic examinations
  • Prescribing an excessive quantity of opioids
  • Prescribing additional narcotics when not indicated
  • Failing to consider, screen for, or suspect narcotic addiction, and failing to refer the patient for treatment of drug addiction
  • Negligent monitoring
  • Failing to consult or refer to a pain specialist

Is the Story Clear?

The physician might think that he or she has managed a patient’s pain appropriately, but if the medical record documentation does not reflect that, defense of care is difficult. Examples of poor documentation include: 

  • No indication that the treating physician reviewed the patient’s prior medical records or studies
  • No physical exam results
  • No quantitative assessments of the patient’s pain
  • No indication that the treating physician discussed the risk of opioid addiction
  • No pain medication agreement
  • No evidence of assessment of effectiveness of the pain medications
  • No rationale for the physician’s medication choices
  • No copies of narcotic prescriptions

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Triage Systems – What Type Is Best for Your Hospital?

Tracey Graham_StantecBy Tracey Graham, MSN, NP-C

Triage comes in many forms, and hospitals across the globe approach it differently. Triage can involve one or two stages or go up to even five levels. The most common approaches to triage in the US are the “traffic director” or quick look, spot check and comprehensive methods, which cover a range of intensity.

No matter the process, the most widely accepted standard is that triage should take a maximum of 5 minutes (the Emergency Nurses Association advises 2-5 minutes). Studies show that triage times increase as the age demographic rises and when vital signs are completed as a part of triage (2). However, nursing experience levels did not affect triage times, presumably because triage protocols and algorithms map the course of every patient seen, regardless of the staff involved. Hospital design also plays role; the design of the space ultimately affects the movement of patients, staff and materials.

The triage process is fairly simple. Concerns arise, however, when a queue of patients waiting to be seen starts to build.  Then the question becomes how long is too long for the last patient to be seen? If 10 people are waiting, is a door-to-triage time of 50 minutes acceptable? Is there a way to improve that time through better facility design?

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5 Ways to Help Prevent Senior Hospitalization Guide

5-Ways-GuideMost families would agree that keeping a senior out of the hospital is an important goal. That’s because professionals who work with older adults know that some seniors who are hospitalized don’t always go home the same. Or, they don’t go home at all.

And yet, research reveals that many of these hospitalizations could be prevented, according to a survey of 400 North American nurses who specialize in senior care and conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network. In fact, this new research showed that nearly half (48.5%) of these hospitalizations could be avoided if the proper preventative steps are taken.

In fact, these five preventative actions can help reduce the potential risk that an older adult will end up in the hospital:

1. Follow doctor’s orders

2. Don’t ignore symptoms

3. Reduce risks of falls and accidents

4. Stay active physically and mentally

5. Maintain a healthy diet

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Understanding the Future of Drug Therapy, Pharmacogenomics

Influencers in genetics and genomics team up for new STTI book

Managing debilitating conditions like cancer, asthma, or depression can be challenging for patients and health care professionals, but new research shows that the pain of these conditions can be minimized through individualized drug therapy. Recent developments in a new study called pharmacogenomics could help identify the best strategy for a more individualized drug plan for certain health problems. According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, pharmacogenomics combines the science of how drugs work — pharmacology — with the science of the human genome — genomics.

Four of the top leaders in genetics, genomics, and pharmaceutical research — Dale Halsey Lea, MPPH, RN, CGC, FAAN; Dennis J. Cheek, PhD, RN, FAHA; Daniel Brazeau, PhD; and Gayle Brazeau, PhD — have put their minds and research together to create an informational guide to the inner workings of pharmacogenomics and how it could help prevent many diseases and relieve side effects of current treatments.

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