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.

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.

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Questions

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

Reducing Medical Errors by Improving the Diagnostic Process

2018 Alliance sponsor article courtesy of MagMutual

By Marshaleen King, MD

Introduction

Medical errors remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Recent estimates indicate that medical error is likely the third leading cause of death in the US, [1] with some sources reporting an incidence of 210,000 to 400,000 deaths annually due to medical errors among hospitalized patients.[2] Although diagnostic errors have received less attention over the past decade compared to medication errors and procedural errors, diagnostic errors account for a significant number of preventable medical errors. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report published in 2015, titled, “Improving Diagnosis in Health Care,” placed a spotlight on diagnostic errors and emphasized the fact that diagnostic errors serve as a major source of avoidable medical errors. The IOM attributes the failure to recognize diagnostic errors as a significant cause of medical harm, due in part to the fact that diagnostic errors are often recognized in hindsight.[3]

Factors Contributing to Diagnostic Errors

Several aspects of the diagnostic process are vulnerable to mistakes, thus addressing diagnostic errors warrants a multifaceted approach. Analysis of medical errors over the years has revealed that medical errors are often the result of cognitive factors and/or system-related factors. Due to the numerous factors contributing to diagnostic errors, many institutions have had difficulty in developing tools to reduce these errors and improve the diagnostic process. A recent publication by investigators from Houston, Texas, outlined a multifaceted framework for improving the measurement of diagnostic errors in order to enhance system-wide safety measurement and monitoring and to reduce diagnostic errors.[4] The authors proposed that systematically studying diagnostic errors and paying closer attention to the factors contributing to these errors will enable us to devise strategies to prevent diagnostic errors and improve the diagnostic process.

Sources of diagnostic errors include:

  • Breakdown in physician-patient communication; including taking an incomplete patient history and/or obtaining necessary tests
  • Failure to utilize cognitive support tools such as information resources, risk-assessment tools, and consultations
  • Failure to properly use the chart/EHR to review and document data
  • Failure to clearly designate the patient responsibility to follow up on test results
  • Lack of a reminder system to ensure follow-up on test results

Enhancing the Diagnostic Process

Mechanisms for avoiding diagnostic errors may be categorized based on the primary area of focus. Strategies targeting both cognitive and system-based errors are necessary to effectively reduce diagnostic errors.[5]

Recommendations for improving the diagnostic process include:

  • Implementing a teamwork approach in the diagnostic process and employing methods that enhance communication between patients and medical professionals in order to improve on the quality of information gathered in making a diagnosis
  • Keeping an open mind when investigating a problem, (instead of narrowing down the differential too soon), in order to avoid anchoring bias
  • Ensuring healthcare professionals receive high-quality education and training in the diagnostic process
  • Paying attention when things don’t add up, such as when test results don’t coincide with a suspected diagnosis: an alternative diagnosis should also be considered
  • Following up on tests and ensuring that the responsibility to act on test results has been clearly designated in order to avoid delays in making an accurate diagnosis
  • Consulting specialists when appropriate/necessary in order to guide the diagnostic process particularly for complex or uncommon conditions
  • Involving patients and their family members in their care in order to ensure that follow-up tests/procedures occur as planned and changes in the patient’s condition are not missed
  • Developing a system that permits near misses and errors to be identified and reported without fear of retaliation, then utilizing the information to improve on the system in order to avoid future repetition of errors

Reducing the healthcare burden caused by diagnostic errors warrants a team approach with participation from physicians, patients and other members of the healthcare team. Although it is unlikely that diagnostic errors will ever be totally prevented, implementing the strategies and recommendations outlined above will likely lead to improvements in the diagnostic process and lessen the likelihood of diagnostic errors.

[1] Makary M, Daniel M. Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US. The BMJ. 2016;353(2139):10.1136/bmj.i2139.

[2] James JTA. A new, evidence-based estimate of patient harms associated with hospital care. Journal of Patient Safety. 2013;9:122-8.

[3] Institute of Medicine. Improving Diagnosis in Health Care. National Academies Press. 2015.

[4] Singh H, Sittig DF. Advancing the science of measurement of diagnostic errors in healthcare: the Safer Dx framework. BMJ Quality & Safety. 2015;24:103-10.

[5] Singh H, Zwaan L. Inpatient Notes: Reducing Diagnostic Error—A New Horizon of Opportunities for Hospital Medicine. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Oct 18;165(8):HO2-HO4. doi: 10.7326/M16-2042.

Streamlining Payables to Improve Cash Flow

2018 Alliance Sponsor Article Courtesy of First Citizens Bank

The way a company such as a medical group manages its payables has a direct impact on its cash flow. Refining your approach to accounts payable can strengthen your firm’s overall financial health.

Improvements to your payables process can result in easier expense tracking, reduced risk for error and increased access to vendor discounts. An optimized process also tends to save employees time and strengthen vendor relationships.

North Carolina-headquartered First Citizens Bank offers the following four steps to gain improvements:

1. Reduce manual touches

A manual approach to accounts payable means multiple people may be involved in opening invoices, checking their accuracy, entering them into an accounting system, and approving and sending payments. Each link in the chain introduces risk — for lost bills, mistakes in data entry and delayed or missing payments. Manual processes also keep staff from higher priority strategic tasks.

To reduce inefficiencies and chokepoints, consider accepting electronic invoices and exploring software that automatically checks invoices against purchase orders to ensure that prices, quantities and other key details match. Automating these steps can free up accounts payable staff to focus on reviewing exceptions and other priorities.

2. Tap payment tools

Consider tools and tactics that can help to speed up accounts payable processing. These include:

  • Making electronic payments. Paying bills through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network or via wire transfer lets clients receive payment more quickly, and it mitigates the risk of tampering and loss that can come with using checks. Paying electronically can also dramatically lower transaction costs: Sending a paper check is 10 times more expensive than sending an ACH payment, according to research from the Association for Financial Professionals and Bottomline Technologies.
  • Issuing purchasing cards. Providing purchasing cards to employees for certain types of expenses cuts down on invoices and purchase orders, potentially saving time and reducing the risk of error. Using purchasing cards also simplifies expense tracking and allows for tighter control over spending, through the ability to set per-employee limits.
  • Fine-tuning account management. Banking services are available to help you gain greater visibility into cash outlays and manage cash more effectively. For example, controlled disbursement services provide notification each morning for checks that will clear against an account that day. You can then move funds into the account to cover the payment or use excess funds for other purposes.

3. Time payments to your benefit

Automating your accounts payable process can result in shorter invoice processing and approval times, which in turn makes it easier to capture early payment discounts. Ensure you take these opportunities by establishing a payment-timing system that alerts you to when payments should be sent. For example, when bills are entered into your accounting system, include a note with the date you’d need to send payment to capture the discount. You can also use an online bill pay tool to schedule payments.

Pursuing these discounts may not always make sense — in some cases, you might want to keep cash available for other purposes. Yet capturing them when you can yield substantial savings.

4. Gain visibility through reporting tools

Using the reporting features included with some payments tools not only simplifies expense tracking and reconciliation but can also help you spot broader trends in your spending and make better-informed decisions. For example, examining your purchase card data can give you a clearer sense of the categories your company spends most on, helping you decide where adjustments may be needed. It can also help you quickly spot any duplicate or suspicious charges. Regularly running and reviewing reports on payables — for example, in your accounting software — can give you a big-picture view of your finances that help you better time purchases and forecast cash flow.

Need help streamlining your accounts payable process or tightening control over business spending? First Citizens can help. Learn about our payable solutions that can save you time and improve visibility.

For more information, contact Andy Shene, Charlotte Metro Area Executive for First Citizens Bank, 704.338.3926. First Citizens Bank. Forever First. ® Member FDIC.

NCMGMA-NCMSF November 20th Webinar: Practice Transformation Project

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Practice Transformation Project:
Step Ladder for Success and Resiliency

November 20, 2018 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Program

In June 2017, The North Carolina Medical Society engaged in a partnership with Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) to provide professional services to design and manage a pilot program to help rural, independent practices build capacity to survive in a value-based reimbursement environment. This webinar will highlight the pilot program and the tools and processes used to engage practices in creating a tailored plan for improvement, the steps to implement the plan and a description of achievements.

Speakers

lln18-mcdowellDr. Leslie McDowell DNP, ANP-BC, RN is an Adult Nurse Practitioner who has years of experience in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology and Primary Care settings. She earned a Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Florida and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama. As a practice facilitator and quality improvement professional and Patient Centered Medical Home Certified Content Expert, she has supported practices in their efforts to provide patient-centered high quality care while managing the multiple challenges they face in today’s health care delivery environment. Leslie is passionate about engaging patients in their care, assisting providers who feel overwhelmed and ensuring safe effective health care for everyone

lln18-robertsTerri Roberts MS, PCMH, CCE, has extensive knowledge of electronic health records and current healthcare reform, regulations and trends. She currently provides consultation and support services to medical practices in the 16-county NC MAHEC region in the effective utilization of EHRs, practice redesign/operations, data analysis, outcome reports, revenue cycle management and Quality Improvement including PCMH and QRUR. In her role at MAHEC, she has served the NC western practices as a CMS Regional Extension Center for MU and now MACRA under the CMS QIO. Terri has more than 30 years of management experience with hospitals, physician practices, ambulatory care services and marketing. She has served as practice administrator for both specialist and primary care providers, was the Medicare Systems Administrator for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC and was Program Director of a regional wound care and hyperbaric center.

lln18-holmstromMark Holmstrom MSHA, FACHE, CMPE, has extensive experience in physician practice operations, hospital operations, strategic planning, business development and process improvement. His professional experience of over 20 years has taken him throughout the southeast into different settings and types of organizations. He has worked in academic and community health systems, a community hospital, a large not-for-profit health system, and a private physician practice. His current work as a MAHEC QI Consultant involves assisting practices to identify opportunities for improvement and helping them implement change to achieve positive results. He enjoys interacting with healthcare professionals and finding new and more efficient ways of providing high quality and high value healthcare. He feels that good data analysis can lead to great decision making and he has not found a spreadsheet that he doesn’t like. Mr. Holmstrom earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, and a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Registration

This webinar is free but you must be registered to attend. Space is limited so 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.

Questions

For questions or more information please contact the NC Medical Society offices at ncmsfoundation@ncmedsoc.org.

NCMGMA-NCMSF September 18th Webinar: Understanding Student Loan Debt

September NCMGMA-NCMSF Webinar:
Understanding Student Loan Debt

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Wondering how you can get your student debt under control? In this complimentary webinar, speaker Alex Macielak from Laurel Road will help you gain a greater understanding of federal repayment options, including loan forgiveness and refinancing.

Speaker

Alex Macielak manages business development and partnerships for Laurel Road, an FDIC-insured bank offering student loan refinancing, mortgages and personal loans. He has over seven years of experience in the student loan industry and has helped thousands of physician borrowers determine their optimal repayment strategy. He has a degree in Economics and Finance from Bentley University.

Registration

This webinar is complimentary but space is limited! 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.

Questions

For questions or more information please contact the NC Medical Society offices at ncmsfoundation@ncmedsoc.org

NCMGMA-NCMSF August 28th Webinar: Team Building and Leadership

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Lunch & Learn Webinar:
Team Building and Leadership

Tuesday, August 28, 2018
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Working in teams has been shown to improve organizational effectiveness and increase employee engagement and motivation. But what makes a team successful and how do you, as a leader, build those teams? In health care, a good team means all members understand, believe in and work towards the shared purpose of caring and working for patients, whether as a clinician or non-clinician. Because strong teams do not develop and evolve by themselves, leadership is crucial to their success.

In this webinar we will talk about some core team characteristics and how all teams move through different stages of development. Teams are at their most productive where there is openness and trust, with members working to their own strengths. But how do they get there?

Speakers

Dag150Kristina Natt och Dag, PhD, MA
Kristina Natt och Dag has a PhD in Educational Research and Policy Analysis from North Carolina State University. A native Swede, she has a Master in Human Rights from Lund’s University in Lund, Sweden. She has been working in the field of training and organizational development in the corporate as well as the non-profit sector for the past two decades. She has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the George Washington University and has been affiliated with the Executive Education at Poole School of Management at North Carolina State University. She is a scholar-practitioner member of the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) and is also Chair of the Leadership SIG.

Mattson150Gerri L. Mattson, MD, FAAP, MSPH
Dr. Mattson has almost ten years of experience with using data, systems and policy approaches in North Carolina in collaboration with multiple key state and non-profit health care agencies and individuals to optimize women’s and children’s physical, mental and social well-being.

Currently she works in the North Carolina Title V agency within the North Carolina Division of Public Health to provide medical consultation, public health guidance and leadership. Dr. Mattson has worked to build valuable linkages among public health staff with multiple women’s and children’s health champions across the state. She has also assisted with program and policy development, implementation, and evaluation of multiple statewide, regional and local public health efforts, programs, and data for the Children and Youth Branch and in the Women’s and Children’s Health Section.

Dr. Mattson has completed a pediatric internship and residency and an MSPH in Maternal and Child Health at the University of North Carolina. She has over fifteen years of experience in practicing pediatrics in a variety of culturally diverse health care settings that serve our most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations as well as serving in the US Public Health Service as a member of the active and the inactive reserve. Dr. Mattson continues to practice part time in a public health department.

Registration

This webinar is complimentary but you must be registered to attend. Space is limited so register early!  To register today, follow this link:

After you register, you will receive an emailed confirmation with webinar and phone-in instructions.

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation at (919) 833-3836.