Thank you to Doctor Betty Chu, Michigan State Medical Society President, for her opinion article in the July 1st issue of The Detroit News on the opioid prescribing laws. We would appreciate any comments you have on this topic, especially how it has affected your practice of medicine. (please click on Comments in the upper right corner of this article)
Here is the link to the article -
We live in a world where a business’ confidential information is just as important, if not more so, than the money it makes. We all take extensive measures to protect money but when it comes to data and information, like patient documentation, things often tend to slip through the cracks. The mindset of, “It won’t happen to me” just won’t cut it anymore. Not in a day and age where over 43 percent of cyberattacks in 2015 were targeted toward small businesses according to Symantec, who also said that the number of cyberattacks were expected to rise. Symantec’s report added, only 14 percent of small business believe that their current ability to guard against cyberattacks is effective.
While this information is frightening, it informs us the importance of being proactive versus reactive. Here are a few proactive methods you can use at your practice to predict, isolate, and minimize the attack, as well as provide visibility into the type of attacks that may place.
Network monitoring and alerting
Actively monitor your network 24/7 using software and services that look for any potential hardware or network faults. They also enable practices to act before you’re at risk and experience downtime.
Keep your software and operating systems up to date
It’s important to now when security and enhancement updates are released for your systems and to apply those updates when needed. This is important to your practice because it’s another layer in keeping you safe, secure, and compliant. When practices use a legacy software, it makes them vulnerable for cyberthreats.
Use anti-malware, spyware, and antivirus software
Each of your servers, workstations, and laptops need security software installed, configured, and continually updated. As with the operating system updates, this adds an additional layer to keeping your practice protected from threats like viruses, malware, spyware and other harmful programs. In a world where your patients’ information needs to stay protected and confidential this will be a key piece in keeping you HIPAA compliant.
Backup your information locally and in the cloud
It’s vital to your practice that server information and critical files are backed up locally and remotely in a secure destination, every day. This is like a security blanket for your practice. That is, if your office experienced a cyberattack, caught fire or flooded you wouldn’t lose all the information that is the lifeblood of it.
Firewall and security appliance
You need a good solid firewall and security appliance. In this age of ransomware, malware, and other threats, a good solid firewall and security appliance is a critical component. A SonicWall is considered the top of the line firewall for keeping small-medium sized business secure. It’s a critical component to your IT network infrastructure.
If this all sounds like too much, or it’s just gibberish, you need a managed IT service. This is a provider that is managing your system – servers, workstations, firewalls, anti-virus, etc. - on a continual basis. Someone that is essentially acting as your IT department.
Imagine your practice and computer system – Secure, Supported and Stable. That’s Hassle-Free IT, that is Advantage Technologies. If you would like to learn more contact…….
Trevor Turner | Technology Consultant
877-723-8832 x633 (Desk / Mobile)
Advantage Technologies is the premier provider for Hassle-Free technology integration solutions for the Medical Community. Our array of strategic partnerships allows us to design an innovative solution customized for your needs. Our highly skilled information technology team understand your practice management programs and clinical treatment technology. The training and experience we have allows us to truly deliver a "Hassle Free I.T." experience to your entire practice. More information can be found online at www.adv-tech.com or by calling 877-823-8832 x633
In honor of our Community Partner, the Gift of Life Michigan, we are repeating a blog from April 2016.
In 2003, April was declared National Donate Life Month to create awareness for the men, women, and children that are awaiting organ transplants to save their lives. Currently nationwide, this amounts to nearly 116,000 people and thousands more are in need of tissue and cornea transplants to restore their mobility and sight. National Donate Life Month features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.
Here in Michigan, OCMS Community Partner, the Gift of Life Michigan, will be sponsoring Donate Life Day on Wednesday, April 11th, where they encourage everyone to go to their local Secretary of State office to register to become a donor. By adding the red heart to your driver’s license you have the ability to possibly help over 3,000 Michigan residents that are waiting for a transplant. To find out more about Gift of Life Michigan please click here.
Nationwide, everyone can support this cause on Blue & Green Day, Friday, April 13th. During this day, you are encouraged to wear blue and green, hold events and fundraisers, and partner with local restaurants, malls, media, and community organizations in an effort to promote the success of organ, eye and tissue transplantation and the extreme need for registered donors. For more information on Blue & Green Day, click here.
OCMS was proud to be a co-sponsor with the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) medical student section for a night that included networking and a program on human trafficking. This program was instructed by Stephanie Krieger, certified T3 trainer by the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force and co-founder and vice-president of Agnes’ Light, an emergency, short term shelter for human trafficking victims. The program was very informative and thought-provoking for all those who attended.
OCMS wanted to provide our physicians with some of the valuable information that was discussed at the program, so we located an article from the Association of American Medical Colleges entitled, “Physicians Can Play Crucial Role in Identifying Human-Trafficking Victims.” This article talks about the statistics, the signs to look for and where to go for further information.
A course in human trafficking is also a requirement when renewing a medical license. MSMS offers an on-demand webinar that meets the state requirement. For more information, go to https://www.msms.org/Education/On-Demand-Webinars
Written by Aaron J. Beresh, Esq., The Health Law Partners, P.C.
On January 5, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a Memorandum to State Survey Agency Directors advising that: i) texting is a permissible means of communicating patient information among Hospital and Critical Access Hospital (“CAH”) team members (whom are involved in the patient’s care) if such team members use a secure and encrypted platform; and ii) texting patient orders—irrespective of the platform used for texting—remains impermissible as such actions are violative of the hospital/CAH Conditions of Participation (“CoPs”).
Texting of Patient Information:
On December 28, 2017, CMS issued its initial Memorandum that was broadly written to permit healthcare team members (in general, without limitation to specific healthcare settings or entities) to utilize secure/encrypted text messaging for exchanging patient information. However, on January 5, 2018, CMS revised (and limited) its initial December 28, 2017 Memorandum to specifically clarify that its policy only recognizes secure/encrypted text messaging among Hospital and CAH team members. While CMS’ initial Memorandum provided helpful guidance (given CMS’ prior position on the impermissibility of texting patient information), the revised Memorandum creates further ambiguity as it relates to CMS’ policy, in general, as it now bifurcates the permissibility of exchanging patient information via secure/encrypted text messaging among Hospital and CAH team members (which is permitted) and the remainder of healthcare covered entities (to which CMS’ Memorandum does not apply). Additionally, CMS’s Memorandum does not specify the providers it considers to be within the Hospital and CAH “healthcare team” or whether such providers need to be in a Hospital or CAH at the time the messages are exchanged. Thus, CMS may provide additional clarification regarding its policy in the future.
For Hospitals, CAHs, and Hospital/CAH team members intending to exchange patient information via secure/encrypted text messaging platforms based on CMS’ revised Memorandum, CMS advises that in order to remain compliant with Hospital CoPs, providers must utilize secure and encrypted platforms that maintain patient confidentiality (and otherwise comply with HIPAA and CoPs) and implement policies/procedures to routinely assess the security and integrity of the secure texting platform. While CMS’ Memorandum “recognizes that the use of texting as a means of communication with other members of the hospital and CAH healthcare teams has become an essential and valuable means of communication among the team members”, it requires that such communications be conducted through an encrypted/secure platform.
CMS reiterated its position that texting patient orders is impermissible, regardless of the platform utilized. In fact, CMS states that orders should be entered via hand written order or Computerized Provider Order Entry (“CPOE”) (which is the preferred method for order entry) with an immediate, dated, timed, and authenticated entry in the patient’s medical record.
Aaron J. Beresh, Esq. is an attorney with The Health Law Partners, P.C., and represents healthcare providers and practices in almost all areas of healthcare law with a particular focus on corporate/transactional matters, regulatory, and privacy/security matters. Aaron can be reached at (248) 939-0463.
This blog post is for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.
Happy new year! We wanted to let our physician members and their staff know about our upcoming educational events and committee meetings we have scheduled for the beginning of 2018.
To start off, on Tuesday, January 23rd, our winter practice manager meeting will have special guest, Jodi Schafer from Human Resource Management Services, LLC. Jodi will help provide you with solutions to manage your staff, comply with regulations and best of all, help you create a work environment that attracts and retains high quality staff. The meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. at the OCMS office in Bloomfield Hills. Please email OCMS if you would like to attend at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following week, Tuesday, January 30th, we will have a presentation on MACRA/MIPS, updating you on the latest changes for 2018. This will be presented by Holly Standhardt and Tesia Lopper, Quality Program Managers at Michigan Peer Review Organization (MPRO). The event will be held at Schoolcraft College in Livonia from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. Click here for more information.
In February, the medical students from Oakland University will be sponsoring a CME presentation on Human Trafficking. This will be Friday, February 16th at The Iroquois Club in Bloomfield Hills from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Medical students from across the state will be attending and OCMS physicians can attend free of charge for the program and networking with the students. This program would meet the Michigan license requirement. To register, please email OCMS at email@example.com.
We have several committee meetings also –
Delegation Committee Meetings - Wednesday, January 24th & February 28th – 6:00 p.m. – OCMS Office, Bloomfield Hills, meet to discuss resolutions to take to the MSMS House of Delegates in April.
Legislative Committee Meeting – Monday, February 5th – 8:00 a.m. – OCMS Office, Bloomfield Hills, get the latest updates from MSMS staff and Michigan legislators on legislation that affects physicians and the healthcare environment.
Medical/Legal Committee Meeting – Thursday, February 1st – 7:45 a.m. – Oakland County Bar Association, 1760 Telegraph Road, Suite 100, Bloomfield Hills. This committee is composed of physicians and attorneys who deal with inter-professional relationships and matters of concern to both professional groups.
OCMS members are always welcome to attend any of the committee meetings. For more information, please contact Cindy Dady, OCMS Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Cindy Dady, OCMS Executive Director
Boy, what a year 2017 was! If you watched or listened to the news or overheard your co-workers, you can agree there was a lot going on. At the Oakland County Medical Society, we also had a busy year: collaborating with other organizations, bringing education to our members, and continuing our support of public health issues like the opioid crisis. For our last blog of 2017, we wanted to give you a final legislative update and plans for 2018.
Auto No-Fault – House Bill 5013, supported by Major Duggan, was defeated in the House in November. The bill sought to end Michigan’s law requiring motorists to purchase unlimited medical coverage for injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Opponents of the bill, including the Michigan State Medical Society and Michigan Health & Hospital Association felt it would leave patients vulnerable if they did not have full-coverage and were involved in an accident. For more information, click here.
Opioid Crisis – Oakland and Wayne County executives filed a joint lawsuit in October against 12 pharmaceutical companies for alleging they are a main driver in the opioid epidemic because of their deceptive marketing and sale of opioids to treat chronic pain which they have greatly profited from. For more information on the lawsuit, click here.
Senate Bill 274 – Introduced by Sen. Marty Knollenberg, this bill limits prescription written for acute pain to 7-days. Click here for more information.
Senate Bills 166 and 167 – Would require all prescribers who prescribe Schedule 2 through Schedule 5 controlled substances to review a Michigan Automated Prescription System, or MAPS report prior to issuing a prescription for a controlled substance. Click here for more information.
Events for 2018
We’re going to start 2018 off with two events for our practice managers. The first one will be our quarterly meeting on Tuesday, January 23rd with Jodi Schafer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP from Human Resource Management Services, LLC. She will talk about solutions to help you manage your practice, comply with regulations and create a work environment that attracts and retains high quality staff.
Next is a MAP/MIPS Update for 2018 on the morning of Tuesday, January 30th. This will be presented by Michigan Peer Review Organization (MPRO). For information on this event and the practice manager meeting, click here.
Other possible offerings in 2018 include:
We will also be sending out in January a member survey to see what benefits such as education, you would like OCMS to offer. Please either look for the survey link in your email or a paper copy if we do not have a current email for you.
Lastly, a reminder that as we commence the year 2018, we hope that you will continue your membership with us by renewing your dues. We truly appreciate your commitment to organized medicine and value the trust you put in us to assist you in the practice of medicine.
So, from all of us at the Oakland County Medical Society, we wish you a wonderful holiday and many good things to come in the new year!
HUMAN RESOURCES: Donovan Miske, President of Kona Medical Consulting, contributed an article all about managing an employee master list. "To most, Human Resources sounds like such a daunting task. Like any other role in the practice, it is a series of workflows that when broken down into their constituent parts are rather simple. These workflows begin and end just as the name suggests, with the resources in your practice that our humans. We encourage all of our clients to manage what we call an 'Employee Master List" which is a simple platform that keeps a core duty of Human resources organized."
FINANCIAL: In our new section, we share a list of The Best Financial Books for Doctors, curated by James Dahle, MD, The White Coat Investor.
LEGISLATIVE: We interview Michigan Rep. Jeremy Moss for our "Meet Your Representative" section.
OCMS 2018 MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL - In this issue, we've included our membership rewards form. With this form, if you renew your 2018 membership dues with the Michigan State Medical Society (which includes renewal for OCMS), you can choose between an Amazon card or an education certificate for MSMS classes. Membership in a society such as ours that truly represents physicians is so important right now. We can help you with many issues you face everyday such as human resources, third party payers, or legal questions. We are always here when you need us. To renew your membership today, click here.
In honor of National Diabetes Month, we'd like to highlight two resources for healthcare providers. The first is a webinar from MSMS: "Diabetes Care Begins with Diabetes Prevention". This webinar is an opportunity for practices and health systems to initiate clinical practice change and prevent diabetes in their populations. This session will review the evidence base for clinical approaches to diabetes prevention and describe how physicians and care teams can implement a diabetes prevention initiative within their practice. Kate Kirley, MD, MS, Director of Chronic Disease Prevention and Janet Williams, MA, Senior Program Manager will be presenters.
The second resource comes from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, "Guiding Principles for the Care of People with or at Risk for Diabetes". This PDF aims to identify and synthesize areas of general agreement among existing guidelines to help guide primary care providers and health care teams to deliver quality care to adults with or at risk for diabetes. We've included the introduction below, you can download the entire PDF here.
Today, 29.1 million people (9.3 percent of the U.S. population) have diabetes, including 8.1 million who are undiagnosed. A major cause of blindness, renal failure, amputation, and cardiovascular disease, diabetes also increases the risk of cancer and dementia and more than doubles individual health care costs. The total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity.
Twenty-one million U.S. adults have diagnosed diabetes, and of this population, about 90 to 95 percent have type 2 diabetes. Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Proper nutrition and physical activity are the cornerstone of treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes. In addition to lifestyle modifications, controlling blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol dramatically improves health outcomes. As a result of improved risk factor control, rates of complications, particularly for cardiovascular disease, have declined.
The National Institutes of Health–sponsored Diabetes Prevention Program clinical trial proved that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented in high-risk individuals with prediabetes through lifestyle changes, such as improved nutrition and physical activity that result in modest weight loss, or the drug metformin. An estimated 93 percent of Americans with prediabetes are unaware of the condition. People at high risk for type 2 diabetes must be identified and targeted for ongoing diabetes primary prevention efforts if society is to realize the benefits of therapies proven to delay or prevent the disease. Otherwise, diabetes prevalence will continue to rise; one study projected the lifetime risk of diabetes diagnosis for Americans adults is 40 percent, meaning 2 out of every 5 American adults may be diagnosed if current trends continue.
Because type 2 diabetes comprises such a large proportion of people with or at risk of diabetes, these Guiding Principles focus primarily on prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in adults. While much of the material is also relevant to type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes in children, and other rarer forms of the disease, specific management of these forms is outside the scope of this resource. The principles highlight the generally agreed-upon elements of current evidence-based diabetes management and prevention. Continue reading.
At the beginning of October, we welcomed our new president, Christopher Milback, MD, MBA and two new board members, Monika Grewal, MD and Vashali Bhargava, MD. When welcoming or searching for new board members or volunteers for our society, I always reference this article written by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA).
OCMS values all our physicians who volunteer and donate hours out of their busy days to assist OCMS in achieving its mission. But we also feel that the relationship is a two-way street and there are many benefits they can receive from participating.
Here’s what the AICPA has to say about getting involved -
Take your pick: Rotary, Kiwanis, college alumni groups … the sky's the limit on the number of organizations you can get involved in, but how do you know which group is a good fit?
Getting involved can benefit you in many ways—from networking, to the feel-good aspect of volunteering, to developing lasting personal and professional relationships. Yet, time is limited, and with a busy career and social life, you can’t possibly get involved with all the organizations in which you might be interested or with those who want you as a volunteer.
How do you decide which organizations are right for you? You have to think about your objectives in terms of how your service helps fulfill your own professional development goals, your personal objectives, and the kind of service you want to give.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you looking for professional contacts?
Do you need a mentor?
Are you looking for educational opportunities, certifications and seminars that will further your industry knowledge?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to join and get involved in a professional organization. Professional and trade organizations offer development and connections with others in your field and enhance your business profile. Having an industry association on your resume says you are very committed to your profession and actively participating in its advancement. Clients, customers, and employers like that.
Here’s a tip that you can use all your life: Don’t just show up; volunteer! Attending a monthly meeting is great for face time, but it may also mean that you’ll get a reputation as an observer instead of a participant. If you really want to get to know people and showcase your own abilities, get involved. Serve on a committee, volunteer for an event, and/or become a board member. These volunteer activities build long-lasting relationships and potential business opportunities.
Find Your Passion
There is no quicker pick-me-up than becoming involved with something you feel passionate about, whether it is advocating for your profession, rescuing animals, helping sick children, or protecting the environment. For example, service organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis or Lions Club meet weekly and raise money for a specific cause. These meetings also give you access to like-minded business people and allow you to serve the community.
Last Word: Take the Time
Regardless of your objective, becoming involved in any organization is about developing meaningful relationships from which you will learn and hopefully grow. This means a commitment of personal time and, oftentimes, resources in terms of membership fees or fundraising. The bottom line is that consistent and active involvement is the key to successfully developing relationships and business opportunities.
OCMS would welcome your involvement - we are physician organization whose purpose is to empower our physicians, so they can focus on providing the best quality care for their patients. If this matches your purpose, consider joining our Board of Directors, our committees, or participating in our community partner events. For more information, please contact Cindy Dady, OCMS Executive Director at email@example.com.