BMN Blog

AUG 14
What Makes a VoIP Phone System HIPAA Compliant?By Christina Southern, C Spire Business in Technology

VoIP is a game-changer for the healthcare industry’s communication landscape, allowing for quicker, more reliable communication. However, it also brings with it a multitude of HIPAA concerns that can be confusing to navigate.

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AUG 06
The Amazon-ification of HealthcareBy Joni Wyatt, MHA, MHIA, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, Healthcare Advisor in Business

Yesterday, I received a text from my eye doctor informing me that I have not scheduled my yearly exam and need to make an appointment. The notification was an electronic version of the Annual Patient Postcard reminders. But unlike the old postcards, the text included links to automatically call the office or direct me to visit self-scheduling. Booking that appointment has been on my to-do list for weeks, but I seem to only remember to do it after the office has closed. Yet, with one click and about two minutes of my time, the mission was accomplished. That’s when it dawned on me – healthcare is going “Amazon.”

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AUG 02
PIRC: One Year Later By Cynthia “Cindy” Jones, LPC-S Director, Psychiatric Intake Response Center at Children’s of Alabama in Clinical

The Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC) at Children’s of Alabama has completed its inaugural year of operations, assisting more than 5,000 patients and callers seeking mental health expertise for children, adolescents and their families in central Alabama. The PIRC, established in March 2018 as a collaboration between Children’s and the Anne B. LaRussa Foundation of Hope, is one of only three centers of its kind in the U.S. We are dedicated to identifying the right care at the right time and at the right place.

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JUL 17

While it’s easy to shop around for the best price on a car or the cheapest gallon of milk, it can be nearly impossible to predict what your medical bill will be following a procedure or hospital visit, regardless of your health insurance coverage.

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JUL 15

It is that time of year again - pool parties, camping, hiking, yard work, and picnics. Along with increased time outdoors comes the risk of an insect sting. While insect stings occur regularly, only about two to three percent of patients will experience an anaphylactic reaction. These anaphylactic reactions occur more commonly in adults than in children. A majority of these patients do not seek medical care. 

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JUL 11

As financial advisors, we help our clients to consider and plan not only for their own goals, but also for some of life’s serious “what ifs.” What if you want to retire early? What if you want to buy a vacation home? What if your child is planning to attend graduate school? What if you need long-term care?  What if you are raising a young family and you get cancer?

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JUL 10

There is no one simple solution that will eliminate all business security risks. However, organizations can build a robust internal culture of security that can profoundly decrease those risks. This approach starts from the top down.

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JUL 08

The “just right” theme repeated in the classic fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears hits close to home at Children’s of Alabama’s Pediatric Imaging Center (PIC), where services are tailored especially for kids. Every inch of the PIC, located at Children’s South Pediatric Outpatient Center in Birmingham, is designed with children in mind to ensure their experience is “just right.”

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JUN 26
I have a meniscus tear, now what?By Dewey Jones, IV, MD in Clinical

One of the most common operations in orthopaedics and sports medicine is surgery for a torn meniscus. I get a lot of questions about what this surgery involves, how long it takes to recover, and when it should be done.

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JUN 20
What is Endometriosis? By Cecil A. Long, MD in Clinical

Many of the patients I see at the American Institute for Reproductive Medicine have endometriosis.

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JUN 19

Sound processes are essential to the success of any business. This is even more important in healthcare, where the ever-changing environment makes process improvement vital in order for a practice to prosper.

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JUN 17

Recently, a friend in the pharmaceuticals business asked me about SGLT-2 Inhibitors. He wanted to know what a nephrologist thought of the drugs, and I expressed strong misgivings about potential complications.  

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JUN 13
Are your Portable Devices Safe?By Curtis Woods, President at Integrated Solutions, LLC in Technology

Over the last few years, cell phones have become computers, capable of much of the functionality that your office computer has. This is also true for small portable devices such as iPads, Windows and Android tablets. Are these devices and applications as secure as those you use from your clinic? In most cases, the answer is no.

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JUN 11
Treatment for ArrhythmiasBy Krishna Kishore Gaddam, M.D. in Clinical

Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms that are often under recognized cardiac problems and can lead to dangerous consequences if ignored or not treated appropriately. Typical symptoms can mimic those of other cardiac conditions like a heart attack, and often include palpitations (abnormal sensation in the chest, feeling like your heart is racing or beating abnormal). Sometimes symptoms may be associated with chest discomfort, shortness of breath at rest or with exertion, dizziness, near passing out or passing out, and/or fatigue.

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JUN 07
Heat Injury By Norwood Clinic in Clinical

As the temperatures spike this summer, the risk of heat-related injury such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion also rise. While the temperatures are hard to avoid, there are ways to recognize symptoms and prevent heat-injury. People who tend to be more at risk are young children and infants, people over the age of 65 and those who are overweight or have a preexisting illness. It is important to note that some medications can also make you more sensitive to sun exposure and heat.

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JUN 05

Physical health, mental health, and substance abuse problems often are more apparent in prisons than in the community, and many incarcerated men and women are often only diagnosed with these problems after receiving care from a correctional health provider. Correctional health care is also tasked with providing experienced management, technologically advanced services, and programs that control costs while ensuring quality of patient care.

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JUN 03
Scleral Lenses Change Lives By Andrew D. Pucker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FSLS in Clinical

 

Millions of patients around the world wear contact lenses to correct their vision.1In fact, research suggests that contact lenses provide patients with benefits such as better perceived cosmetic appearance, better social acceptance, and a better ability to play sports compared to glasses.2-4While most contact lens wearers use soft contact lenses for cosmetic reasons, some patients wear specialty hard contact lenses because they are the only way that they can achieve functional vision without undergoing surgery to correct a visually debilitating eye disease like keratoconus (a degenerative disease that results in an irregularly shaped cornea).5In other cases, patients who suffer from moderate to severe dry eyes wear specialty contact lenses because they have the ability to make their eyes comfortable enough to effectively function.6While there is more than one type of specialty contact lens that can help patients with these conditions, scleral lenses have emerged over the past few years as the contact lens treatment of choice for these difficult-to-treat patients.7

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MAY 17
HIPAA Myths and MisconceptionsBy Loretta Duncan, FACMPE in Business

Trying to comply with HIPAA can be a challenge for healthcare providers, especially when there is so much confusion about specific aspects of the rules. Policyholders contact SVMIC almost every day for assistance with HIPAA-related issues. In fielding those calls and emails, we have identified some commonalities.

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MAY 14

Teen Health Week, a global campaign to raise awareness of the unique health issues adolescents and young adults face, is observed every year during the first week of April. However, raising awareness is an everyday reality for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s of Alabama, where our team of specialists provides a comprehensive array of services to help patients transition into a healthy adulthood.

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MAY 08
Listening to Improve Relationships and Outcomes By Margaret Cook, CMPE – Healthcare Advisor, Kassouf & Co., P.C. in Business

As our society transitioned to mobile phones, a frequently overheard question and related advertising theme was “Can you hear me now?”

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MAY 06

Check-ups, tests, and results. Doctors provide, measure, and deliver data to patients every day, often with profound implications. Financial advisors, at least the diligent ones, offer the same to their clients. Much of our data focuses on helping people have confidence that they can do what they want to do and not run out of money at the same time. Approaches and technical tools may vary, often with significant differences in degrees of sophistication. It has been common practice for advisors to use these tools to help project a portfolio’s ability to provide income for retirement. Rates of return are calculated, spending requirements input, withdrawal rates assumed, and end-of-life portfolio values projected.

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MAY 03

What if a microscopic amount of food protein you accidentally ingested quickly resulted in life threatening symptoms such as hives, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing? This is a serious reality for patients with food allergies and results in a constant anxiety and fear of accidental ingestion. Many are never able to eat out at restaurants, go to baseball games, fly on planes, attend movies, or simply have the option to eat at any table in a cafeteria without fear. This not only affects the patients, but their families as well.

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MAY 01

Over the past several years the healthcare industry has become the number one target of cyberattacks. These attacks have exposed tens of millions of customers’ identities worldwide, costing an estimated $1 billion USD in losses.

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APR 18

The field of oncodermatology has emerged as a result of remarkable advances in cancer treatment. Unlike traditional chemotherapy, targeted anticancer agents such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors are associated with decreased systemic toxicities.

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APR 17

The Apple Watch and other wearables are now able to monitor your heart rhythm. The Apple watch can detect irregular heart rhythms, and if it does so five times, it will prompt you to record your rhythm. In that way, it can also be used to diagnose atrial fibrillation.

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APR 09
Sciatica Treatment OptionsBy Jeffrey D. Wade, MD in Clinical

One of the more common complaints evaluated by health care providers on a daily basis is Sciatica which is described generally as pain in the lower back or buttock that radiates into the leg and the foot along the path of the sciatic nerve. Patients will sometimes complain of associated numbness, tingling and even weakness in their lower leg with difficulty sitting. Symptoms can appear suddenly or gradually, and with or without a preceding precipitating event such as lifting or other back straining activities.

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APR 05
A Sideways Look at Spinal FusionBy Christopher Heck, MD-Spine Surgeon in Clinical

While there are seemingly countless spinal surgical approaches and techniques, all spinal surgeries fall into one of two categories: decompression or stabilization. Decompression involves taking pressure off neurologic structures including the spinal cord and, more commonly, nerve roots to improve function and relieve pain. Stabilization involves restoring structure to one or more spinal segments, i.e. two adjacent vertebra and the intervening disc, by creating an environment for bone to grow from one vertebra to the next. This may be performed to treat gross instability from a traumatic fracture or chronic instability from a degenerative spondylolisthesis.

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MAR 20

 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) regulates pharmaceutical hazardous waste. Under the EPA, unused and disposed of pharmaceuticals are evaluated, managed and disposed of as potential “hazardous waste” under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Regulations. The RCRA establishes procedures and standards for hazardous and solid waste material management and disposal. Under the RCRA, solid waste includes “solids, liquids and gases and must be discarded to be considered waste.”[i]

 

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MAR 19
Healthcare Staff: Are You Prepared for an Active Shooter?By Teresa Fields, Debbie Franklin, Marie Howatt, and Lisa Rawlings. in Business

We have heard a lot from the media on active shooter events throughout the U.S., but how many of these include healthcare facilities? The Homeland Security and the FBI define “active shooter” as “an event where one or more persons actively engage in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.” Statistics show active shooter incidents involving healthcare facilities are less common than other events, but they can occur, so planning may save lives.

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MAR 13

Like customers in most other industries, patients are turning to the internet to learn about physicians before seeking treatment. The following tips will help your practice manage your physician’s online identity in order to maximize the benefit and reduce the risks associated with online information.

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MAR 11

The numbers tell the story.

 

  • 176 pediatric heart transplants since 1981
  • 59 pediatric heart transplants since 2012
  • Zero deaths since 2014
  • A 97 percent one-year survival rate over the last decade; considerably higher than the national rate of 90.2 percent
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FEB 27
Rising Trends in AFIB By Corey M. Coleman, MD in Clinical

Atrial fibrillation (AFIB), a condition in which the heart fires so rapidly that the upper chambers quiver instead of beating in a normal rhythmic pattern, is the now most common arrhythmia condition worldwide and is recognized as a global health problem with its burden of morbidity and mortality resulting from embolic stroke. AFIB is expected to double by 2030.

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FEB 22

Vince Lombardi once said football is not a contact sport. Dancing is a contact sport. Football is a collision sport. He was right. And when you or your family members are involved in collision sports like football (or soccer, wrestling, basketball, mountain biking, etc.) your shoulders may pay the price. Contact injuries to the shoulder are a common cause of down-time and occasionally result in surgery. What is the best management for these injuries?

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FEB 21

Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, is a disease process in which plaque buildup causes the arteries to narrow, resulting in reduced blood flow to the limbs. This can lead to a variety of medical emergencies: Claudication, stroke, uncontrolled hypertension, and possibly amputation.

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FEB 12

In 2012, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) became commercially available in the US to treat high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis. It offered effective, minimally invasive, and often lifesaving treatment to tens of thousands of patients who previously had no option for aortic valve replacement surgery.

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JAN 25

A recent global study by the Ponemon Institute finds that the financial damage caused by a data breach has risen by 6.4 percent in the last year and now costs companies an average of $3.86 million each.

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JAN 22
Hyper Adoption – Too Many Options, So Little TimeBy Joni Wyatt, MHA, MHIA, CPHIMS, FHIMSS in Business

In 2016 Forrester Research analysts focused their attention on emerging social phenomenon in consumer behavior. They identified several key social trends that are impacting our industry’s ability to adapt to changing policy, market trends and patient needs. One trend they observed was the rapid adoption of new solutions and the abandonment of solutions that didn’t immediately provide value. This trend was seen across all industries.

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JAN 18

When I speak with a patient regarding knee replacement or hip replacement surgery, he/she often asks in detail about the post-surgical rehab. In my specialty of orthopaedics, rehabilitation is critical to the success of the surgery. However, one of the major risks, although uncommon, facing surgery patients is the formation of a blood clot within a deep vein. This complication is often overlooked, and can be fatal when symptoms are ignored. 

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JAN 16

The dawn of a new year is often a time to reflect on what has been and what is to come. At the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, we are excited about the opportunities to improve patient care, and we never cease to be amazed by a community determined to change things for the better.

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JAN 09

Regulation Background

The False Claims Act (“FCA” or “Act”) is a federal anti-fraud statute that protects against persons and companies defrauding the government. The Act has been dubbed the government’s “primary litigation tool for recovering losses resulting from fraud.”[1] The FCA imposes civil liability on any one who “knowingly presents…a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval” to the federal government.[2] It is used extensively to protect against fraud in healthcare.[3]

 

 

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DEC 12
Big Changes Coming with Microsoft SystemsBy Curtis Woods, President at Integrated Solutions, LLC in Technology

January 14, 2020 is a special day for Microsoft Corporation (you know that little company that controls 82.88 percent of the computer software market share). On that date, Microsoft will end the life of some of the major software that businesses use. End of life means that the manufacturer will no longer support the product. This list includes:

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DEC 05

At this point, nearly every American has heard about the opioid crisis. With increasing scrutiny from governing bodies regarding opioids, pain physicians are tested in treating patients in the challenging chronic pain population. While non-opioid medications, therapy and procedures have their place in treating chronic pain, what are physicians to do when patients fail all of these options? One treatment to consider is spinal cord and peripheral nerve stimulation.

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DEC 04
Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Units Coming to AlabamaBy Daniel R. Crumby, Esq., MBA, MHA, CHC & Andrew C. Knowlton in Regulatory

The Department of Justice designated 12 federal prosecutors across the country as part of the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Units. These Units are assigned to areas where the most opioid drug-related deaths have occurred: California, Nevada, Alabama, Central Florida, East Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Maryland. Members of these Units also includes numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement and governing entities including the DEA, FBI, HHS, and other federal and state agencies (Medicaid Fraud Control Units, FDA, IRS, State Pharmacy Boards, etc.). These Units have a specific mandate to target physicians, pharmacists, and ancillary services (addiction treatment centers, etc.).  

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NOV 26
COACHES Program Brings Pediatric Training to Community Hospitals By Chrystal Rutledge, MD, Kristen Waddell, MSN, CRNP, CCRN & Stacy Gaither, MSN, RN Children’s of Alabama Community Healthcare Education Simulation Program in Clinical

Two years ago, the Children’s of Alabama Community Healthcare Education Simulation Program, or COACHES, launched with a mission of improving pediatric care in community hospitals throughout Alabama.

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NOV 19
What is the future of Private Equity in Healthcare?By Jerry Callahan, CPA with Pearce, Bevill, Leesburg and Moore, P C in Business

During my 30 years in healthcare consulting, I have seen several reform initiatives come and go.

 

In many cases, the initiatives have enhanced the ability of consumers to access insurance coverage and ultimately healthcare. In 1993, President Clinton proposed legislation that led to growth in Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and also the HIPAA privacy standards which are still in place today. In the 2000s, President George Bush proposed changes to the Medicare program that led to the implementation of Medicare Part D coverage.

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NOV 05

A look at the calendar tells us that we only have a short time left in 2018. That means many practices will be looking to complete their Security Risk Assessments in order to either qualify for the 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or to simply fulfill their obligations to comply with the HIPAA Security Rule.

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NOV 05

Earlier sunsets and dropping temperatures can lull us all into the false sense that the sun isn’t as intense and therefore, not as damaging in the fall and winter months. Because of this, many choose to forgo the most important skincare product of all- sunscreen. In fact, the clouds only slightly lessen one of the two UV types that cause skin damage and skin cancers, UVB. UVB causes sunburn and damage that leads to cancers, but ironically, in the absence of this warning sign, people can be less aware that they’ve had too much sun.

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OCT 30

I work with Chris Heck, MD an orthopaedic spine surgeon. We have developed an interest in treating osteoporosis, as a result of patients with have seen with broken bones.

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OCT 30

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month was created in 2004 by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance to remind us that each we all have the power to make the Internet safer.

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OCT 29
Peripheral Artery Treatment Made EasyBy Robert E. Foster, MD, FACC, RPVI Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist Diplomate American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine in Clinical

Peripheral angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed now in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia for the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD). Medical technology has played a significant role in furthering this trend. PAD is a common circulatory problem in which the narrowed arteries reduce blood flow in the legs causing leg pain, numbness and/or discoloration.

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