Even stronger controls have just been set out for HIPAA. They come in the final regulations for the Omnibus Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or the HIPAA rule. The new rules became effective March 26. However, medical offices and business associates have until September 23 to comply. Mostly, the changes affect patient requests and approvals, breach reporting, and business associates. Along with that, the penalties for noncompliance have gone up. ...

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People are people, whether they are identified by their career or their role in the healthcare process. So, whether you’re working with a referring physician or a patient, it’s important to consider emotions, their role in the sales process and how they drive and destroy value.  One of the most valuable emotions to have in our business is loyalty. Loyalty is what providers work towards with referring physicians and what ...

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First I believe our health care system must be better so I’m always curious to hear how others might propose to fix it. I recently had the opportunity to listen in two conversations with businessman David Goldhill about how healthcare might be made better. Goldhill lost his father to a hospital acquired infection and witnessed multiple errors during his hospitalization which compelled him to write not only a piece in ...

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Ensuring that Americans who live in rural areas have access to healthcare has always been a policy priority.  In healthcare, where nearly every policy decision seems contentious and partisan, there has been widespread, bipartisan support for helping providers who work in rural areas.  The hallmark of the policy effort has been the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) program– and new evidence from our latest paper in the Journal of the ...

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I’m sure that many of you have read the New York Times post  titled "Job Prospects are Dimming for Radiology Trainees." I don’t know about you, but this article made me feel more than ever that in order to choose the right specialty, you have to predict the future of the field. Don’t choose a field that’s going to be heavily affected ...

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We are frequently reminded by the General Accounting Office and CMS that a great proportion of Medicare health costs are incurred in the last three months of a patient’s life. Health care policy experts have tried to reduce these costs by encouraging end of life planning.  Living wills, health care directives and the availability of hospice and palliative services will not put a dent in these costs because of human ...

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Several months ago, as I was in the last few months of my private practice, I watched the Joy Luck Club with my wife.  I had seen the movie many times before, but somehow at that moment in time, when I was grieving for my practice and my profession, I began to have some startling clarity. Specifically, I was particularly struck by this dialogue:

I tell you the story because I was raised the Chinese ...

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We recently marked the third anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act by reflecting on the positive changes it has brought about and by mulling over the multifaceted challenges that stymie our efforts to build more accessibility, equity, quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness into one of the most complex healthcare systems in the world. Reining in healthcare costs, a central element in the reforms we seek, is inextricably linked to ...

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I recently wrote about some of the unintended, but positive, consequences that could result from employers dropping employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI). Following that post, many weighed in about various other consequences of such behavior from employers and what that means for health care coverage for millions of families in the US. One issue in particular caught my attention; not only because of the touching stories associated with the ...

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A dark wind is beginning to blow through the tortured landscape of health care in America. At the confluence of the corporate cold front with the warm front of technology innovation, a storm is brewing. A storm that may grow into gentle and much needed rain showers, or the grandest tornado ever experienced by mankind, and unlike the wondrous works of nature, the path taken here is completely within our ...

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