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General Medical Practice
Can Medicare fraud recovery really cover health care reform?
Written by Ardena L. Flippin, MD, MBA   

The word on the street is that the estimated 10-year cost of expanding health insurance coverage is about $1 trillion.  President Obama, in repeated discussions, has indicated that the cost would be covered by re-covering monies that have been identified as sources of fraud, abuse and waste - in short, by turning up the heat on corporate compliance violations.  In theory, this should work.  In reality, not so much.

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New regulation requires medical practices to protect against identity theft
Written by Patricia King, JD   

Editor's note Oct. 30, 2009: The FTC today announced "At the request of Members of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission is delaying enforcement of the “Red Flags” Rule until June 1, 2010, for financial institutions and creditors subject to enforcement by the FTC." Source: FTC

Identity Theft "Red Flags":  How Healthcare Providers Can Protect Themselves and Patients from Identity Theft.

On November 9, 2007, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), along with the banking regulatory agencies, published final rules entitled "Identity Theft Red Flags and Address Discrepancies Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003"[1].  Perhaps because health care providers don't ordinarily track actions of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve System and the other bank regulators, it came as a surprise to the health care industry to learn that the FTC thought that hospitals, physicians and other providers could be "creditors" subject to the Red Flags Rule.  When the industry did learn of this interpretation, there was great concern. 

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Tort reform is the missing piece in the health care debate
Written by Ardena L. Flippin, MD, MBA   

It’s difficult to complete a puzzle when pieces are missing. A recent AMA webcast indicated that a significant piece missing in the health reform puzzle was tort reform, and one of the acknowledged factors in the “rising cost of health care in the US is caused by … unlimited malpractice rewards….” (1) Yvonne Mart Fox, Practice Management Consultant, 2009.

H. R. 3200 is designed “(To) provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending…”, but how can this happen if physicians continue to practice “defensive medicine”, the response to the lack of caps on medical malpractice awards?

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The iPhone leads in the healthcare niche
Written by Naoum Issa, MD, PhD   

Smartphone use in the healthcare setting is changing quickly - both in terms of the technology and its adoption by healthcare providers. While a variety of companies provide medical software for the PDA, the burgeoning class of smartphones have opened a new market for portable software solutions.

Chris Thorman at SoftwareAdvice.com now reports on a survey of smartphone use by healthcare providers. The results of the smartphone survey are pretty clear: among anyone associated with a hospital - with the notable exception of hospital administrators - the iPhone is the smartphone of choice.

 

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Do we want fries with that shake?
Written by Ardena L. Flippin, MD, MBA   
Burgers, fries and shakes
Attention to health care reform is really revving up and the final model hasn’t been determined. But one thing we do know is that secondary to access, prevention will be a major focus. My question is, How do we make the American people know that “prevention” involves behavioral change?
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