Podcast

Fined for Actual and Potential HIPAA Violations! – Podcast

Chasing down HIPAA violations isn’t just about enforcing compliance, it’s about the government collecting big bucks.

Listen in as we discuss a recent settlement of an actual HIPAA violation. And even more troubling, learn about another HIPAA breach settlement that didn’t even involve am actual HIPAA breach . . . only a potential one.

Scared? You should be.

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

www.weisspc.com

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Podcast

CVS, Aetna and Your Practice – Podcast

The Wall Street Journal portrays it as causing panic in the streets.

I’m taking about the pending acquisition of Aetna by CVS Healthcare. It’s stoking fear of the combination of a ubiquitous retail delivery platform, CVS, with the health insurance, managed care, and huge patient database of Aetna.

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

www.weisspc.com

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Strategy

Take A Minute (Clinic) to Consider the Future of Your Medical Practice

Many physicians bemoan the fact that we have retail, corporate run walk in clinics, such as the Minute Clinics run by CVS, staffed with nurse practitioners and PAs.

But, like it or not, the Minute Clinic and other variants of a consumer-friendly model are going to become an increasing part of the way healthcare is delivered in the U.S. And, they’re going to become an increasing force as the gateway to physicians (especially to specialists), to facilities, and to ancillary service providers.

The reality is that that’s the future. The question is whether you’re going to attempt to stop it or whether you’re going to do something to align your practice and the way it operates with that type of future.

Note that I don’t mean that you have to align with CVS (or any other drug store chain) in particular. I’m simply using CVS as an example, but with its coming combination with Aetna, expect that they’ll be pushing hard to assemble their own, integrated provider network in an attempt to crush competition from hospital-centric healthcare.

Instead, I’m urging that you pause to consider how the increasingly consumer friendly model will impact your practice. And, better yet, that you consider how you can participate, whether as a direct operator, a co-venturer, or simply as a referral-receiving provider, in the future of the retail healthcare market.

When you’re doing this thinking, consider that there’s no one, single model. The concept isn’t limited to the in-retail-store model. It’s as varied as app-based portals, to walk-in clinics, to “surgery center centers of excellence,” to wellness centers, and on and on.

I’m sure that carriage manufacturers took one look at the Model T and thought “we should pass laws to keep these things off the road.” But saying that, or even screaming that, didn’t stop cars from running over their business.

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

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Manage Your Practice

CVS, Aetna and Your Practice

The Wall Street Journal portrays it as causing panic in the streets.

I’m taking about the pending acquisition of Aetna by CVS Healthcare. It’s stoking fear of the combination of a ubiquitous retail delivery platform, CVS, with the health insurance, managed care, and huge patient database of Aetna. More traditional health insurers and large scale pharmacies are afraid that their days are numbered.

But there’s another lesson here for physician practices, and it’s not directly related to either CVS or Aetna. Instead, it’s something that I touched on before on the blog in the post The Pharmacy Will See Your Patients Now, which discussed the fact that pharmacies are beginning to encroach on physician practice.

Healthcare is increasingly becoming less “silo-ized.” The pretty and neat silos of the pharmacy, insurance company, hospital, medical practice, and so on – the walls between types of entities, organizations, silos have been breaking down over time. And, the walls between healthcare entities and other retail business, too, have become permeable.

Over many decades, retail pharmacies morphed into convenience stores and more recently into platforms for employment of, or collaboration with, physicians, PAs, and nurse practitioners. So, too, have physicians morphed into pharmacies, either via direct ownership or direct dispensing. And, of course, physician practices and medical groups have morphed into retail care – the walk in clinic, the urgent care facility, and, in some states, the freestanding E.R.

The opportunity for physicians and other players smaller than the CVSs of the world is to understand that the membranes between types of organizations and types of professions which were completely impermeable are not only now becoming semi-permeable, they’re becoming almost completely permeable.

The question to ask is how can you take advantage of that in your own business structure.

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

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