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Staying up to date on Healthcare Compliance is crucial for physicians and dentists managing a practice. While compliance isn’t always the most entertaining topic, you don’t want to bury your head in the sand about the rules and regulations that govern healthcare practices today – the cost of doing so can be major. In this episode of the Doctors Business Management Show, I speak with Bryan Roberts from Healthcare Compliance Pros about:
- Overall Healthcare Compliance Matters
- HIPAA Omnibus Update – What Doctors need to consider
- How to handle patient communications – E-Mail and Texting
- Compliance Audits – What’s happening and how to prepare for an audit
- Credentialing your Medical Assistants for purposes of Meaningful Use
Bryan Roberts provides insight into what is occurring in the business of healthcare and offers up tips and resources to…help doctors mind their own business.
To obtain a sample “Bring Your Own Device” policy that is discussed in the Podcast – Click Here
To learn more about Healthcare Compliance Pros checkout this Video – Click Here. You can also view HCP’s website – Click Here
If you would like to learn more about Compliance Plans and Training Modules for your Practice – Click Here
Do you have questions regarding Healthcare Compliance that you would like discussed on a future episode of the Business Management Show? Please submit your questions or topical suggestions in the comments section below.
Mike DeVries is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™, Enrolled Agent, and a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant focusing on helping healthcare professionals. If you would like to learn more about becoming a client, contact Mike at www.vmde.com.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final ruling, which requires healthcare providers, including dentists, who treat Medicare beneficiaries to either enroll in Medicare or opt out in order to prescribe medication to their qualifying patients with Part D drug plans. Dentists will need to take action on this requirement by June 1, 2015.
Not many dentists are enrolled in the Medicare program because the plan only covers a limited set of dental procedures. I don’t see any advantages, at this point, for a dentist to enroll in the program. The government, however, has a different prospective. CMS projects that regulations, such as requiring providers to enroll, will save the federal government an estimated 1.6 billion dollars over the next 10 years. Based upon perceived cost savings, the government is working to gain a foothold in the door of Dentistry, which will bring about additional regulations and increase the costs of doing business as a Dental professional.
The new regulations offer up a couple of business obstacles to the doctor opting out of the Medicare program:
- A doctor that chooses to opt out of the Medicare program will be subjected to a 2-year waiting period before they can get back into the program.
- Patients or pharmacies may not receive Medicare reimbursement of the prescriptions that an “opt-out” doctor prescribes. This will be the biggest issue for dentists who decide to opt out. Dentists will not see an impact until after they opt out and patients begin to complain of not being reimbursed for the prescriptions ordered. Or, the dentist may find pharmacies will not accept their prescriptions because they have opted out.
The American Dental Association has voiced a concern over this legislation, but CMS moved forward anyway. Even though the implementation of this new regulation will not take place until next year, I think dentists would do well to begin planning for the effects of this legislation.
- Start by looking at the demographics of your practice. How many of your patients would be affected if you were to opt out of the Medicare plan?
- If you were to participate with Medicare, how would this impact your billing practices and required compliance programs?
- Begin to investigate this further. Educate yourself, educate your staff, and educate your patients who may be affected by the choice you make. Good communications will provide for an easier transition.
- Consider establishing an alliance with physicians and pharmacists in your area that also treat your patients. Should you opt out of the Medicare program and find yourself with unhappy patients, having a friendly physician on your side may prove beneficial.
Over the past several years, we have seen government regulations and compliance become a bigger factor in running a healthcare business. In fact, healthcare is fast becoming a very regulated business. It is second, only, to the financial industry. Doctors and other healthcare professionals who wish to run a profitable business will need to make healthcare compliance a regular component of their business. As your business advisor, we continue to stay attuned to the regulations that affect you and look for ways to help you mind your own business.
Mike DeVries is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™, Enrolled Agent, and a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant focusing on helping healthcare professionals. If you would like to learn more about becoming a client, contact Mike at www.vmde.com
Many provisions of the Affordable Care Act that will expand access to health coverage become effective beginning in 2014. Included in these provisions is health insurance coverage that will be offered through a Health Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment for this “Marketplace” health insurance coverage, available for Individuals and employers of small businesses, will begin October 1, 2013.
This past May, the Department of Labor issued regulations that you provide your employees with a 2 page notice informing them of their health insurance options by October 1, 2013. I suspect that many independent physician and dental offices are not ready to meet this obligation with their employees. To assist you with this, I have provided an executive summary, copies of model notices provided by the Department of Labor, and the technical notice issued by the DOL in the following link:
I suspect that being a healthcare provider and offering good medical or dental care to your patients is your goal each day when you arrive at your office. Taking the business hassles out of Healthcare and keeping you in the business of caring for your patients is mine.
Keep Practicing on Purpose.
I recently had a client contact me about a check that had been issued to a participant in their retirement plan which had not been cashed – “My investment company said that I needed to file some report regarding this check, can you help me?”
I wrote a post a few years ago on the subject of the State of Michigan’s Unclaimed Property Reporting that discussed the filing requirements. While many of our clients are now reporting, I’m sure that this is still a law that many overlook. Given the recent notice sent out be the State of Michigan, I thought I would post an update:
Beginning in 2011, changes to the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, mandate a new due date to file the unclaimed property holder report as well as a shortened dormancy period for most property types. Every business or government entity incorporated in Michigan must report to the Michigan Department of Treasury abandoned property belonging to owners where there is no known address.
Medical and Dental practices will have unclaimed property from time to time resulting from normal business operations. The retirement plan distribution check noted above is just one example. Others would include – uncashed payroll checks, payments to vendors, and patient refund checks. Based upon the dormancy period, the business would have the obligation to report and submit this payment to the State of Michigan assuming the original owner could not be found. Taking the effort to find the person and contacting them regarding their outstanding matter seems to be the best “first step”, in my opinion. However, if you can’t find the person, then you need to file with the Michigan Department of Treasury. They have recently changed the compliance rules and here is what you need to know:
- New date for reporting Unclaimed Property is July 1.
- Dormancy periods for most property types have been shortened to three years (payroll items are one year).
- A 25% penalty may be levied for those failing to comply, in addition to being responsible for interest charged on the amount you were holding.
- Those voluntarily reporting the preceding four years are exempt from the penalty
To obtain additional information on filing requirements, forms, or to utilize available software go to this link – www.michigan.gov/unclaimedproperty