Nominations are Open for Administrator of the Year and Practice of the Year

Annually, the North Carolina Medical Group Management Association (NCMGMA) recognizes outstanding performance by an individual and a medical practice with our Administrator of the Year Award and our Practice of the Year Award. For 2019, both awards will be presented at our Annual Meeting, to be held May 8-10 in Wilmington, NC. Nominations for both awards are now open.

NCMGMA-Medical Mutual Administrator of the Year Award

medical-mutual-medEach year, NCMGMA and Medical Mutual recognize a healthcare administrator, affiliated with the NCMGMA, who has exhibited exceptional leadership management proficiency and enhanced the effectiveness of healthcare delivery in his/her practice and community through recent, noteworthy achievements.

If you wish to learn more about this award and/or nominate a colleague, follow this link to fill out a complete form or email our offices at info@ncmgm.org to nominate an administrator. The deadline for nominations is March 8, 2019.

NCMGMA-First Citizens Bank Practice of the Year Award

First-Citizens-HorizontalThe North Carolina Medical Group Management Association (NCMGMA) is proud to partner with First Citizens Bank to present the 7th Annual Practice of the Year Award. This award recognizes a medical group practice that has made a significant contribution to their community, patients and/or staff through volunteer work, indigent clinics, fundraisers, staff wellness programs, community clean ups, community screenings and education (internal & external), etc.

Follow this link to learn more about the award or to begin the nomination process. The deadline for submissions is March 8, 2019.

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact the NCMGMA offices at info@ncmgm.org or 800-753-MGMA (6462).

January 15th HR Updates Webinar is Next Week

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January Lunch & Learn Webinar: HR Updates

January 15, 2019 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Sponsored by Medical Mutual

Program

Dee Brown, HR Advisor for Medical Mutual’s HR|Experts program, can help you with any human resources issue, from wage and hour situations to leadership development. Join us on January 15th as Dee discusses the essential points of operating successful medical practice personnel management. Plenty of time will also be devoted to answering your various HR questions.

Speaker

DeeBrown162aDee Brown
Human Resources Advisor
HR|Experts
Dee Brown is the HR Advisor for the Medical Mutual HR|Experts’ program. With significant HR experience, Dee is a dedicated, on-call resource for all Medical Mutual members. HR|Experts is a benefit of membership in Medical Mutual, provided at no additional cost.

Dee has been an HR professional and consultant for more than 30 years, with business experience in both the private and public sectors. She spent the last decade running her own HR consulting firm, Brown Human Resources Consulting. Over the course of her career, Dee has worked with small, mid-size, and large global companies, such as MCI, ReEnergy Holdings, Glaxo, CCME, and BASF.

Dee provides sound advice and guidance through email, phone calls, and live chat. She monitors trends and current events and provides resource guides, compliance e-alerts, quarterly newsletters, and monthly webinars to provide practical advice on HR topics related to the business of running a medical practice. She is based in Raleigh but serves all Medical Mutual members.

Registration

This webinar is complimentary for NCMGMA members and $50 for non-members. Space is limited so make sure to register early! After you register, you will receive an emailed confirmation with webinar and phone-in instructions.

Continuing education credit may be granted through your professional organization (MGMA, PAHCOM, AHIMA, etc.). Please self-submit for these organizations.

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Questions

For questions or more information please contact the NCMGMA offices at info@ncmgm.org.

January 15th Lunch and Learn Webinar: HR Updates

ncmgma18-wbnrhdr600a

January Lunch & Learn Webinar: HR Updates

January 15, 2019 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Sponsored by Medical Mutual

Program

Dee Brown, HR Advisor for Medical Mutual’s HR|Experts program, can help you with any human resources issue, from wage and hour situations to leadership development. Join us on January 15th as Dee discusses the essential points of operating successful medical practice personnel management. Plenty of time will also be devoted to answering your various HR questions.

Speaker

DeeBrown162aDee Brown
Human Resources Advisor
HR|Experts
Dee Brown is the HR Advisor for the Medical Mutual HR|Experts’ program. With significant HR experience, Dee is a dedicated, on-call resource for all Medical Mutual members. HR|Experts is a benefit of membership in Medical Mutual, provided at no additional cost.

Dee has been an HR professional and consultant for more than 30 years, with business experience in both the private and public sectors. She spent the last decade running her own HR consulting firm, Brown Human Resources Consulting. Over the course of her career, Dee has worked with small, mid-size, and large global companies, such as MCI, ReEnergy Holdings, Glaxo, CCME, and BASF.

Dee provides sound advice and guidance through email, phone calls, and live chat. She monitors trends and current events and provides resource guides, compliance e-alerts, quarterly newsletters, and monthly webinars to provide practical advice on HR topics related to the business of running a medical practice. She is based in Raleigh but serves all Medical Mutual members.

Registration

This webinar is complimentary for NCMGMA members and $50 for non-members. Space is limited so make sure to register early! After you register, you will receive an emailed confirmation with webinar and phone-in instructions.

Continuing education credit may be granted through your professional organization (MGMA, PAHCOM, AHIMA, etc.). Please self-submit for these organizations.

mm-wbnr550

Questions

For questions or more information please contact the NCMGMA offices at info@ncmgm.org.

Cyber Survival Guide Webinar is December 17th

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NCMGMA-NCMSF December Lunch & Learn Webinar:
Pings, Penalties & Posts:
A Cyber Survival Guide for the Modern-Day Practitioner

December 17, 2018 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Sponsored by Medical Mutual

Program

Cybersecurity as a patient safety issue:

  • OCR’s current investigation and enforcement priorities
  • Cyber risk assessment tools and cyber resources
  • NIST’s latest guidance on password advice
  • Current varieties of phishing attacks

Basic steps health care providers and their staff should be taking for good
cyber-hygiene:

  • “Distracted Doctoring” claims
  • Consequences of audio/video recordings in the clinical setting
  • Risks of filing un-redacted proofs of claim in bankruptcy court

Speaker

jason newtonJason Newton, Sr.
Vice President & Associate General Counsel
Medical Mutual Group

Jason graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and obtained his law degree from Wake Forest University. After a 14-year career in private law practice defending doctors, APPs, and hospitals, Jason came in-house with Medical Mutual – a longstanding client – in 2013.

At Medical Mutual (one of the 15 largest professional liability carriers in the country), Jason oversees the Risk Management and Claims departments in offices in Raleigh, NC, as well as in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA. Medical Mutual provides coverage for and/or services claims for nearly 13,000 physicians and over 4,000 CMNs, CRNAs, PAs and NPs in a territory with an infrastructure to accommodate large practice and national alternative risk programs in over 20 states. The claims department handles claims and oversight of outside defense counsel in over 18 states.

Organizations regularly request Jason to speak and he has presented to nearly 5,000 healthcare providers, lawyers, and medical liability industry professionals. He is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, has received the Presidential Award from the North Carolina Medical Society, and early in his career was recognized among North Carolina’s best lawyers for four years as a “Rising Star” by North Carolina’s Super Lawyers annual publication and for three years as a “Young Gun” in NC Business Magazine’s annual “Legal Elite” edition.

Registration

This webinar is complimentary for NCMGMA members and $50 for non-members. Space is limited so make sure to register early! After you register, you will receive an emailed confirmation with webinar and phone-in instructions.

Continuing education credit may be granted through your professional organization (MGMA, PAHCOM, AHIMA, etc.). Please self-submit for these organizations.

mm-wbnr550

Questions

For questions or more information please contact the NCMGMA offices at info@ncmgm.org.

NCMGMA-NCMSF December Lunch & Learn Webinar

ncmgma18-wbnrhdr600a

NCMGMA-NCMSF December Lunch & Learn Webinar:
Pings, Penalties & Posts:
A Cyber Survival Guide for the Modern-Day Practitioner

December 17, 2018 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Sponsored by Medical Mutual

Program

Cybersecurity as a patient safety issue:

  • OCR’s current investigation and enforcement priorities
  • Cyber risk assessment tools and cyber resources
  • NIST’s latest guidance on password advice
  • Current varieties of phishing attacks

Basic steps health care providers and their staff should be taking for good
cyber-hygiene:

  • “Distracted Doctoring” claims
  • Consequences of audio/video recordings in the clinical setting
  • Risks of filing un-redacted proofs of claim in bankruptcy court

Speaker

jason newtonJason Newton, Sr.
Vice President & Associate General Counsel
Medical Mutual Group

Jason graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and obtained his law degree from Wake Forest University. After a 14-year career in private law practice defending doctors, APPs, and hospitals, Jason came in-house with Medical Mutual – a longstanding client – in 2013.

At Medical Mutual (one of the 15 largest professional liability carriers in the country), Jason oversees the Risk Management and Claims departments in offices in Raleigh, NC, as well as in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA. Medical Mutual provides coverage for and/or services claims for nearly 13,000 physicians and over 4,000 CMNs, CRNAs, PAs and NPs in a territory with an infrastructure to accommodate large practice and national alternative risk programs in over 20 states. The claims department handles claims and oversight of outside defense counsel in over 18 states.

Organizations regularly request Jason to speak and he has presented to nearly 5,000 healthcare providers, lawyers, and medical liability industry professionals. He is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, has received the Presidential Award from the North Carolina Medical Society, and early in his career was recognized among North Carolina’s best lawyers for four years as a “Rising Star” by North Carolina’s Super Lawyers annual publication and for three years as a “Young Gun” in NC Business Magazine’s annual “Legal Elite” edition.

Registration

This webinar is complimentary for NCMGMA members and $50 for non-members. Space is limited so make sure to register early! After you register, you will receive an emailed confirmation with webinar and phone-in instructions.

Continuing education credit may be granted through your professional organization (MGMA, PAHCOM, AHIMA, etc.). Please self-submit for these organizations.

mm-wbnr550

Questions

For questions or more information please contact the NCMGMA offices at info@ncmgm.org.

Building and Maintaining a Positive Online Reputation

2018 Alliance sponsor article courtesy of Medical Mutual

According to new data from the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg’s Digital Future Report, the average American spends roughly 24 hours each week online. Given that 20 percent of a person’s waking life takes place on the Internet, it’s not surprising that individuals often rely upon information available online when making important decisions – including which healthcare provider to trust.

A 2012 survey from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that 59 percent of respondents agree that rating sites such as Yelp are important, 35 percent have selected a physician based on good ratings, and a staggering 90 percent believe reputation is one of the top factors to consider when selecting a new healthcare provider. For these reasons, the importance of a positive online presence cannot be understated for today’s physicians.

When physicians work to directly build and enhance their online presence, there are two key areas of focus: personal positioning and reputation management. By creating and maintaining a positive online presence, providers have the ability to influence the decision-making processes of potential patients, ultimately encouraging growth and success within the competitive healthcare industry. That is, if they know how to do it effectively.

Establishing an Online Presence

By creating their own online presence and staying engaged by publishing new content and sharing unique professional perspectives, physicians will have a part in writing their own stories, making it more likely for potential patients to encounter this carefully curated information first.

So, what might this look like? Physicians can easily leverage common social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to build the foundation of a positive online reputation. It’s important to be very careful with the information included on these pages, and physicians should always maintain a high level of professionalism on all public profiles. Most importantly, providers should be careful to never disclose protected health information to the public, which could potentially put them at risk of HIPAA violation.

As an added bonus, these social media profiles can provide physicians access to an excellent platform to discover new learning and networking opportunities. When doctors discuss information online, their knowledge base collectively grows.

Responding to Reviews: Proceed With Caution!

The easiest way to get positive online reviews is to provide patients with a positive experience. That includes paying close attention not only to the medical services provided, but also front office interactions, billing procedures, and general bedside manner. Unfortunately, physicians cannot always control how their care is perceived, and unforeseen, unavoidable circumstances can leave both a bad taste in a patient’s mouth and a bad review online.

An excellent way to combat this negative press is to appropriately respond to criticism, both publicly and privately, in a way that is non-combative and respectful. If you try to fight fire with fire, you’re likely to get burned. When wrongfully criticized, it’s common for people to automatically become reactive and defensive but responding with grace and dignity goes a long way, and website visitors will take notice. When receiving criticism, responses should be kept short and apologetic, while simultaneously thanking the reviewer for their constructive criticism.

Libel and Defamation

When a physician feels as though he or she has been wrongfully accused of providing poor, neglectful, or even harmful care by an online reviewer, it’s possible that this post violates the laws of defamation and libel.

Defamation is a false statement of fact concerning the plaintiff published to third-party platform that causes injury. In most cases, it is very difficult to prove whether or not the statement is wholly false or is simply an opinion.

For libel, to put it simply, a statement must be meaningfully and materially false. Minor inaccuracies do not fall under libel statutes, as there must be a significant difference between the meaning of what was said and the actual truth.

So in cases of defamation and/or libel, who’s to blame? Websites that host reviews from visitors are in no way liable for defamatory or libelous statements published on their platform; rather, the posters themselves are responsible for their claims. Unfortunately, figuring out the exact person who posted the review is extremely difficult, and pursuing a lawsuit against their remarks can create a negative public reputation.

Should a physician feel that the statements warrant a lawsuit and the person can be identified within the parameters of HIPAA, his or her medical malpractice insurer may be able to help. At Medical Mutual, we provide members with broad regulatory protection coverage, reimbursing defense costs, fines, and penalties. We also provide network security and privacy coverage, including multimedia liability, security and privacy liability, and privacy regulatory defense and penalties.

Putting Online Reputation Management Into Action: PSMR

The fundamental action items to keep in mind when focusing on online reputation creation and management can be summed up with a simple acronym. PSMR: Post, Solicit, Monitor, Respond.

  • Post: Writing, posting, and sharing relevant educational information can help establish a physician’s expertise to the online community. In addition, by regularly publishing, physicians can dilute the presence of negative comments and reviews in searches.
  • Solicit: Physicians should actively solicit feedback and reviews from patients to provide positive, accurate examples of care to online researchers. To do this, the providers must be sure to give patients detailed information, including URLs for important rating sites.
  • Monitor: Physicians should set up Google alerts to be notified when something is posted that mentions their name.
  • Respond: All practices should have a designated individual who will regularly review key sites to quickly respond to negative reviews and minimize the damage they may cause. When responding to feedback online, this person should always remember to listen, be empathetic, and be respectful. Remember: the Internet is forever. Anything that is written online may be repeated or reposted elsewhere.

For further guidance, Medical Mutual members are encouraged to contact our Risk Management Department at 800.662.7917.

Human Resources for the Small Practice: An Overview of Common Challenges and How to Address Them

By Dee Brown, HR Advisor, HR|Experts

2018 NCMGMA Alliance feature article courtesy of Medical Mutual

Most small businesses, including small medical practices, assign human resources responsibilities to a cross-functional manager or to a single, in-house HR administrator. In either scenario, a single person generally has to focus on tactical HR-related tasks, such as payroll and benefits, time tracking, employee complaints, disciplinary action, hiring, and promotions. As a result, there’s little to no time for more strategic HR initiatives, and a lack of time and resources can also translate to costly HR-related mistakes.

Here are some of the most important HR tactics that smaller practices should be sure to follow:

  1. Hire the Right People for the Job: There are no shortcuts when it comes to hiring the right people. Regardless of the reasons, hiring the wrong person can be costly. Not only may the individual not be qualified for the job, but they will eventually need to be replaced, which creates another expense. In addition, smaller practices cannot afford to have any “seats” occupied by poor performers.
  2. Create Clear Job Descriptions: Taking time to create clear job descriptions is important for attracting the right people for the organization. Job descriptions should include the skills, training, and education that an ideal candidate should possess, and practices should only accept interviews with candidates that meet those basic requirements. Sound job descriptions also help to protect the organization from possible legal implications.
  3. Address and Document Performance Issues: Because small employers do not always have formal performance management processes in place, there’s a tendency to “work around” performance issues. Practices should never ignore concerns around employee performance. Instead, they should utilize performance improvement plans (PIPs) for anyone underperforming, so that employee knows how to improve and understands the consequences for not doing so. By having all of the issues in writing, practices can also back up their decision if they ever need to terminate that employee due to his or her performance.
  4. Gain an Understanding of Basic Employment Laws: There are numerous HR management laws that many small business leaders simply are not aware of, or don’t have time to review in detail. However, ignoring these laws could be detrimental to a practice. HR|Experts can provide information and guidance on a variety of laws, including those related to discrimination, overtime and minimum wage requirement (FLSA), family leave (FMLA), disability (ADA), immigration, and more.
  5. Classify Employees Correctly: It is important to know the difference between contract workers, full-time employees, and part-time employees. Some small practices will classify employees as “contract workers” to save money or to appease the worker. However, the U.S. Department of Labor has strict guidelines on different types of employees, as does the Internal Revenue Service. The duties and pay of the employee determines whether or not they are an actual employee or not.
  6. Develop Staff: Another critical mistake is allowing employees to fend for themselves when it comes to professional development. Leaders at smaller practices sometimes believe that because there’s limited upward mobility, they just need to keep people “happy” in their current role. The truth is that employees want to feel as though they are learning and growing. Once that stops, team members tend to become stagnant and disengaged. To combat those feelings, HR leaders should invest in developing staff and consider creative ways to inject new challenges into employee roles.

For more information on this topic, including more ideas for addressing common challenges and enhancing the strategic capabilities of HR, Medical Mutual members may listen to our webinar on HR for the Small Business, or contact Dee Brown at dee.brown@callhrexperts.com or 919-431-6096.