Lessons Learned

After a year of preparation, we had the opportunity to participate in the EPI Compliance & Healthcare Innovation Conference. The event as you will hear from attendees was intense and well worth attending. There was so much information crammed that there is no way for any one person to retain all of it yet there are some lessons learned we can share with all.

Cannabis. This presentation was given by Dr. Joseph Rosado who cover benefits, licensing and medical benefits of cannabis. Among some of the benefits discussed included:

  • Marijuana helps veterans suffering from PTSD.
  • It can be used to treat Glaucoma.
  • It can help control epileptic seizures.
  • Eases the pain of multiple sclerosis.

HIPAA Security Risk Assessments. Dr. Jose Delgado covered HIPAA’s Security Risk Assessments, lessons learned from audits and proliferation of this report in multiple scenarios. Some of the highlights of his presentation included:

  • Security Risk Assessments (SRA) should be conducted yearly.
  • It is highly recommended to have these assessments be conducted by a third party.
  • Not all Security Risk Assessments are the same and the fact that you go through the motion or contract someone to do it for you doesn’t warranty it was completed properly.
  • SRA are required by Federal Law and are also used to calculate MACRA reimbursements.

Medical Record documentation.  Dr. Tessy Dieguez spoke from the standpoint of documentation, coding and payment. While she concentrated from the standpoint of billing and compliance we also learned that good medical documentation:

  • Is vital to claims processing,
  • Improves quality assurance,
  • Improves patient outcomes,
  • Is a defense against malpractice.

IT Innovations and Security. Paranoia was the feeling Mr. Richard Nader shared with the audience. In a world where cybercrime rules he provided options that could be implemented in every environment.

  • Application Server Security goes above and beyond password and login.
  • Advantages of edge security.
  • Documents and data security.
  • Encryption -different methods at different levels.

MACRA. Dr. Jose Delgado explained the basic of MACRA and the two basic payment models. During this presentation he focused on MIPS and among his recommendations included:

  • Do not fail to report measures for 2017, even if is only one measure for one patient.
  • Due date to report 2017 measures is March 31, 2018.
  • Use CMS website to calculate and select measures,
  • Use the Quality Payment Portal Website t

Cultural Competency and Quality Care: Dr. Maria Colavito addressed Human resource management and Human capital in an innovative and unique manner.

  • Colavito shared her maxims for increasing employee effectiveness
  • Addressed different personality types and how to handle conflict
  • Educated how to understand based on action of management what issues lie there consciously, or sub-consciously.

Combating the Opioid Epidemic. Mr. Peter Beltran, President/CEO of Neuromed, presented an interesting discussion regarding the pain management epidemic and options to consider outside of prescription alternatives. Additional tidbits of his presentation included:

  • “Opioid abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and often begins with a prescription for a pain medication.”- The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA)
  • Drug Overdoes is the leading cause of accidental deaths in the USA
  • Using electroanalgesia as a pain management tool.
    • The Electroanalgesia (EA) technology essentially depolarizes the cells in the nerve responsible for carrying the pain signals. Normally treating patients with electroanalgesia results in a significant reduction or total elimination of the pain.
  • Key information to consider when considering electroanalgesia:
    • The technology is 30 years old in the USA and has been widely used in Europe
    • FDA cleared in US for treatment of acute/chronic pain and circulatory disorders
    • There has never been a recorded death or injury from its use. At higher levels of energy and pps a minor skin burn could develop, but this is extremely rare.

Cybersecurity. Dr. Karen Bovell covered this topic and among the lessons learned we were able to capture included:

  • Top Threats
    • Phishing
    • Spyware
    • Ransomware
    • Trojans
  • Information/data is one of the most valuable assets
  • Lack of understanding increases possibilities for attacks
  • HIT Barriers to interoperability
    • Different technical standards
    • Lack of business incentives
    • Deficits in trust
    • Differences in state laws and regulations

Financial tools for Healthcare Professionals: Mr. Jose Delgado presented some complex financial concepts and strategies in easy to understand examples and terminology.

  • How a 401(k) works and who benefits
  • How alternatives to Health Insurance work
  • How to implement golden handcuffs employment strategies
  • How to Retain skilled employees
  • Expanding on alternative, flexible and cost-effective benefits for all types of employees
  • How to treat the owner/partners of the practices as employees benefits wise

Telemedicine. Mr. Jose Delgado presented this topic and the same was very instructive in terms of background, emphasis and applications. Some of the take away from this presentation included:

  • Telehealth alternatives
  • Interactive, real time, two-way communications between patient and provider.
  • “Store and forward;” patient data shared between patients and providers and in consultations among providers
  • Remote monitoring of patient data (such as by intensivists of critical care patients in a distant hospital.)
  • Medicare Approved Originating Sites for telehealth
    • Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) located either outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or in a rural census tract;
    • County outside of an MSA.
    • Must also be one of 8 types of health care facilities
      • The Offices of physicians or practitioners
      • Hospitals
      • Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)
      • Rural Health Clinics
      • Federally Qualified Health Centers
      • Hospital-Based or CAH-based Renal Dialysis Centers (including satellites)
      • Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs)
      • Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs)

The MSO IPA Advantage in the MACRA Era.  Ms. Samantha Prokop provided us with information regarding the payment challenges we currently face in the healthcare arena and potential strategies we can take advantage of such as:

  • Potential partnerships based on services and specialties
  • Management Services Organizations (MSO) and how to successfully create and take advantage of the same
  • Services that could be offered under and MSO
  • Independent physician association models (IPA) and its benefits
  • Key issues of both type of organizations
    • Governance and distributions
    • Fee schedules and negotiation techniques
    • Implementation of policies and procedures
    • Purchase or lease of office space and other real estate matters
    • Group purchasing opportunities

Disruption of Business Operations  Ms. Michelle McCorvey, Senior Vice President, Fidelity Bank, covered topics regarding business disruptions which result in problems with cash flow issues and how financial organizations can assist healthcare professionals and organizations.

  • Disruption events in recent past and its effects in business operations
  • Key findings and examples of disruptors during past 5 years
  • Impact on healthcare
  • Expected disruptors in the future

Diabetic care. This topic was covered by Ms. Lavern Dowell who among other things covered the current regulations affecting the need to offer diabetic care to patients. Ms. Lavern also mentioned the possibility of creating an internal diabetic program in response to legislation and current regulations and how to make this program a cash generating alternative for healthcare organizations and businesses.

Overall, there was a lot of useful information provided and the lessons learned are but a beginning of the benefits attendees obtained.