BMN Blog

OCT 18
Dangers of Halloween Cosmetic Contact Lens By Caroline Pate, OD, FAAO with UAB school of Optomerty in Clinical, Uncategorized

With the Halloween season upon us, it is a good reminder to bring up the discussion on the dangers of cosmetic contact lens abuse. Today, nearly 41 million adults in the U.S. (16.7%) wear contact lenses as an option for their vision correction.  There are also options available for patients who, in addition to wishing to correct their refractive error, can change the look of their eyes with cosmetic contact lenses. 

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OCT 11

2017 was the first year for participation in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), a Quality Payment Program (QPP) implemented by CMS, to award or penalize participating clinicians with regard to future Medicare reimbursements based upon reporting under four categories:

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SEP 25
Children’s at Lakeshore collaborative marks new day in patient care By Drew Davis, M.D. UAB Associate Professor and Medical Director, Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at Children’s of Alabama in Clinical

On Sept. 6, representatives of Children’s of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine and the Lakeshore Foundation gathered to cut the ceremonial red ribbon for the grand opening of Children’s at Lakeshore – the latest chapter in a partnership among the institutions.

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SEP 18
Neuropsychology: Understanding Cognition By DeLisa A. West, Ph.D., ABPP (CN), West Neuropsychology, LLC in Clinical

How often do you walk into a room and completely forget why you went into the room? Or do you struggle with remembering someone’s name a few seconds after they introduce themselves to you? It seems that these “senior moments” occur more frequently as we all get older. As a clinical neuropsychologist, I am often asked if this is normal aging or if it is a sign of a bigger problem such as Alzheimer’s disease. The field of neuropsychology is uniquely skilled to answer this very question. Clinical neuropsychology is a sub-field of psychology which examines the relationship between the brain and behavior. It uses neuroscience, neuroanatomy, cognitive psychology, cognitive science and clinical psychology to understand the structure and function of the brain in relation to behavior and the information processing aspects of the mind. Neuropsychologists help to assess, diagnosis and treat individuals with neurological, medical, developmental or psychiatric conditions across the lifespan. Neuropsychological testing can aid in understanding how different areas of the brain are working. Neuropsychologists use various standardized tests to objectively examine a person’s strengths and weaknesses in all areas of thinking or cognition. Tests may be paper-and-pencil, answering questions, computer-based or task oriented. Areas of cognitive impairment or deficit can be identified and placed within the context of the individual’s medical and psychological history in order to determine what condition may be impacting a person’s functioning and thinking. 

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SEP 10
Big Changes Proposed for Evaluation and Management Services By Tammie Lunceford, CMPE CPC with Warren Averett in Business

It’s been more than twenty years since the 1997 revisions to Evaluation and Management guidelines, which focus mainly on physical examination. The 2019 proposed changes provide practitioners a choice in the basis of documenting E/M visits; alleviate the burdens, and focus attention on alternatives that better reflect the current practice of medicine.  The implementation of electronic medical records has allowed providers to document more information, yet repetitive templates, cloning, and other workflows have pushed the envelope on compliance in documenting the traditional elements of the visit.

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SEP 04
Let’s Learn about Venaseal By Alabama Vein Center in Clinical

As the summer months are a time when many people take vacations, it is a good time to get veins treated. So, today, we are decoding the facts about one of the latest minimally invasive technology offerings at the Alabama Vein Center: VenaSeal™ closure system.

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AUG 28
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) Signs and Treatment Options By Jason Burrus, MD – Urology Centers of Alabama in Clinical

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is a common condition that a lot of men will experience as they age. The prostate, which is involved in male sexual function, sits at the neck of the bladder. I tell my patients that, as it enlarges, it’s like putting your thumb on the end of a water hose. It requires more force to push the urine out effectively. Symptoms can arise as early as our 30’s and perhaps 50% of us will have issues by our 60’s. It causes all sorts of symptoms including slowing of the urinary stream, incomplete bladder emptying, frequent or urgent urination, urinary retention and nocturia. Unfortunately, a large percentage of men will simply ignore these symptoms and just chalk it up to “old age.” Not only can these symptoms be bothersome but, in some cases, it can lead to significant bladder dysfunction, kidney issues, infections, etc

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AUG 14
Percutaneous Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation By Nirman Bhatia, MD, FACC, RPVI Interventional/Structural Heart Cardiologist with HeartSouth Cardiovascular Group, PC in Clinical

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common abnormal heart rhythm which can cause adverse clinical outcomes such as stroke and heart failure. An estimated 2.7 to 6.1 million people have AF in the United States. As the prevalence of AF increases with increasing age, with an aging population, prevalence of AF is expected to double in the next 2-3 decades. People above the age of 40 years have a 1 in 4 chance of developing AF in their lifetime. Patients with AF are 6-7 times more likely than general population to suffer from a stroke.

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JUL 30
EHR in the Cloud? – Make sure the I’s are Dotted and the T’s are Crossed By Curtis Woods President at Integrated Solutions, LLC in Technology

Is your EHR application in the cloud or are you considering moving to a cloud based provider? If so ensuring that you know the providers processes for data backup, disaster recovery and overall security are extremely important.

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JUL 25
Growing Embryos in the Vagina By Beth A. Malizia, MD with Alabama Fertility Specialists in Clinical

Dr Beth Malizia and Alabama Fertility Specialists are thrilled to announce the first pregnancy in the state of Alabama from a new technology that allows for the intra-vaginal culture of embryos. This new technique using a device (INVOcell) cultures embryos within a patient’s vagina rather than utilizing the complex incubators of an IVF laboratory.

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JUL 23
The Hippocratic Oath and the Fiduciary Standard By Jeris Gaston, CFP® with Bridgeworth Financial in Business

I find it intriguing that physicians are one of the only professionals who pledge an oath before practicing their craft. Other notable “oath” moments in our country focus mainly on Nationalism and Service (Military, Law Enforcement, Public Servants and Naturalization among others). How different might some professionals behave, if included in their daily duties, was the acknowledgement that they are working under an assumed set of values and principles that help guide their tasks? For CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals this exists, not in an oath form however; but within principles expressing ethical and professional ideals.

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JUL 18
Concussions By Katherine Weise, OD, Professor of Optometry Director, Pediatric Optometry Services at UAB in Clinical

“We’re all wearing our team colors, but colors don’t matter when it comes to concussion,” says Dr. Jimmy Robinson, University of Alabama lead team physician. This year, at the Children’s of Alabama Annual Concussion Summit, a special science, vision, and engineering breakout session featured the insight of Dr. Robinson and others in the trenches of Division I sidelines. Led by UAB’s director of medical athletics, Dr. Heath Hale, and UAB Team Eye Doctor, Dr. Kathy Weise, lead team physicians and scientists from Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Clemson joined forces to weigh in on UAB’s advancements in concussion expertise. What if a contact lens could determine how much the eye sloshes around in the orbit to predict how much the brain moves in the skull when exposed to impact? What if retinal blood flow could predict cerebral blood flow following concussion? What if an objective pupil test could help predict prolonged concussion recovery?

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JUL 11
Combatting fraud in the Medical Industry By Sarah Propper, CPA with Pearce, Bevill, Leesburg, Moore, P.C in Business

Fraud. It’s an ugly thing and it’s everywhere, the medical industry is no exception.  When most people think about fraud, they think about white collar criminals stealing millions of dollars from big name companies, or the “dark web” where most of our social security numbers and credit card numbers are floating around just waiting for a buyer.  The truth is most businesses will experience some type of fraud during their operation.  It is so important for owners and business managers to be constantly vigilant to protect their practices.

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JUL 10
How connectivity Powers Rural Care and Telehealth By Theresa Dudley, Healthcare Programs with Spectrum Enterprise in Technology

One of the greatest challenges facing the healthcare industry isn’t a political issue, it’s a geographic issue. What if I told you that approximately 50 million Americans (17 percent of the total population of the US) have limited access to high quality healthcare because they live in rural communities? Rural healthcare has a unique set of challenges including not only geographic but also economic and lifestyle factors.

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JUL 09
Can you go blind from diabetes? By Lindsay A. Rhodes, MD Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at UAB in Clinical

Unfortunately, yes! Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults ages 20-74 in the U.S.  African Americans are two times more likely to have diabetic eye disease than Caucasian patients. Despite the risk of vision loss, only about half of people with diabetes follow the recommendation to receive a dilated eye exam every year.

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JUL 03
6 Tips for Dealing with Extreme Heat By Total Skin & Beauty Dermatology Center in Clinical

Those of us who live in the South are pretty familiar with hot weather, but as we get into the dog days of summer, the heat can become excessive and oppressive. All the normal rules for heat and sun safety apply, but as temperatures soar, you may need to take more extreme measures to stay cool and safe.

 

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JUL 02
Lifelong Limb Preservation: An Update on Peripheral Artery Disease By George Hipp, MD, RPVI with Alabama PVD Center in Clinical

Over 10 million people in the Unites States and over 200 million worldwide have peripheral arterial disease (PAD).1 Critical limb ischemia (CLI), defined as ischemic rest pain or tissue loss resulting from arterial insufficiency, affects approximately 1% of the adult population, or 10% of patients with PAD.2 Further increasing the impact of CLI is the poor prognosis it carries. Major amputation occurs in 33-67% of patients with ischemic tissue loss at 4 years.3,4 Mortality at 2 years in CLI patients is as high as 40%, and appears to be even higher in those with tissue loss. The vast majority of these deaths are due to cardiac events, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, rather than PAD.4,5

 

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JUN 26
Outpatient, and Radial Access Evolution in Interventional Cardiology By Jan Skowronski, MD with Cardiovascular Associates in Clinical

Where are the old (and not so good) days when a patient with myocardial infarction was staying in hospital bed for a week?

 

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JUN 20
Prostate Cancer: Understanding Your Treatment Options By Bryant Poole M.D. & Andrew Strang M.D. with Urology Centers of Alabama, P.C. in Clinical

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. Although it is common, it is still one of the least well-known cancers and a diagnosis can cause confusion about treatment, symptoms, and potential side effects. In search of a minimally-invasive treatment for your prostate cancer? Through our partnership with Vituro Health, Urology Centers of Alabama is the first and only in the state to offer High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU treatment.

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JUN 14
Malware Detection and Prevention: the never-ending battle By Ron Prevatte, Director of Sales and Business Development with Integrated Solutions in Technology

Malware are created with the intent to damage or disable our mobile devices, computers or servers. These attempts can include disrupting computing or communication operations, trying to steal sensitive data, accessing our private networks, or hijacking our systems to exploit their resources. With the tremendous growth in email and internet use over the last couple of decades, we have seen a corresponding explosion of growth in malware

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JUN 11
Front Office Transformation – First Impressions Are Everything By Tammie Lunceford, CMPE CPC, Healthcare Consultant with Warren Averett in Business

I recently visited a specialty practice at a major health system. As I approached the registration desk a posted sign directed me to a standing kiosk to sign in. The family member I accompanied to the visit was unable to stand at the kiosk, so I provided the needed information and signed her in.  Although it was a quick and seamless process, I was concerned because if I needed assistance, there were no employees to ask.  Many practices have implemented kiosk sign-ins and have someone to assist a patient with the process if needed.  Practice administrators have made the decision to implement kiosk to assure verification of the current insurance policy and prompt the patient to pay any out of pocket expense before they see the doctor.  Many of the kiosk solutions allow a pre-registration via email to allow the patient to populate data and upload information from their own device at their convenience.  Benefits of Kiosk Sign-ins include: reduction in the staffing at the front desk, decrease in patient wait time, and most impressively is the increase of time of service collections.

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JUN 07
Work-Arounds are Jeopardizing Your Patient Data By Christina Southern with TekLinks in Technology

One of the greatest challenges healthcare organizations face today is clinical application interoperability – the communication between computer systems, applications, or software to allow them to work in conjunction with one another.

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MAY 30
Pediatric neurology division continues growth By Leon Dure, M.D. UAB Professor and Director, Division of Neurology & William Bew White, Jr. Chair in Pediatric Neurology in Clinical

Medical advancements through specialized programs and essential personnel are vital to the continued growth of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Neurology at Children’s of Alabama. Expansion is underway while the unremitting needs of patients are met.

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MAY 17
Total Joint Replacement By Daryl Dykes, MD with Alabama Bone & Joint Clinic in Clinical

The question is often asked, at what point should a patient and his or her physician begin to consider a total joint replacement?

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MAY 15
Mitral Valve Regurgitation By Hosakote Nagaraj M.D. with Heart South in Clinical

 Mitral valve regurgitation has been described as a very common cardiac valvular abnormality which is under recognized and under treated even in industrialized countries

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MAY 10
Annual Wellness Visits By Carrie Gulledge RHIA, Director of Electronic Health Records and Jennifer Woodward, Director of Operations with MediSYS in Business

As today’s healthcare drive pushes practices even further down the path of pay for performance versus the older models of pay for volume, administrators and executives throughout healthcare are researching and implementing ideas to provide an overall better experience for patients.

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APR 30
Burnout Proof – Healing the Healers By Lori M. Quiller, APR Director of Communications and Social Media Medical Association of the State of Alabama in Business

According to a recent study by the Cleveland Clinic, more than one-third of physicians are in a silent battle with professional burnout. Physicians dealing with mental, emotional and physical exhaustion become less able to provide quality care to their patients and find themselves leaving the medical profession altogether…or worse. It’s the “or worse” scenario that worries Dr. Debbie Kolb of Madison.

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APR 18
Are you sleeping well? By Sunil Goli, MD sleep medicine with Medical West in Clinical

Are you sleeping well? One in three Americans suffer from sleep-related issues. If you or someone you know suffers from a sleep disorder, there has never been a better time to find a solution. Lack of good sleep can be detrimental to one’s quality of life in many aspects. Untreated sleep disorders make it difficult to control other health conditions such as migraines, anxiety, depression, pain, and more. Poor sleep due to a disorder such as sleep apnea can also have negative effects on your social life, as you are too tired to participate in social activities. People who snore could also interrupt the sleep of their bed-partners!  Finally, sleep issues can lead to poor concentration, job performance, and lack of productivity.

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APR 16

In 2012, I read this article that made me question much of what I thought I knew about my profession of serving clients as a guide for their financial decisions. The designation following my name for which I had worked so hard at obtaining? Good, but not enough. The incredible technology –from complex financial forecasting to automated investment management?  Lacking. 

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APR 03

According to the Ponemon Institute – www.ponemon.org  - the average cost of a data breach was $3.62 million dollars. This breaks down to $141 dollars per stolen record. International Data Corporation – www.idc.com – estimates that globally data storage will grow ten-fold by 2025 total of 163 zettabytes (a trillion gigabytes) by 2025. Data is stored in a vast range of devices including your smart phone, laptops, notebooks, workstations, tablets and even on your smart TV. Most businesses focus on the technical aspects of how to avoid data breaches (firewalls, anti-virus, security patches, etc.) and often how physical technical assets are destroyed at the end of their life are often overlooked or do not have a set process in place.

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APR 02

Lipedema (Lip- fat, edema- swelling) is a disease of abnormal and disproportionate adipose tissue deposition almost exclusively occurring in women1. While the disorder was originally described in 19402, lipedema remains under-recognized and underdiagnosed in the United States3. This article aims to elucidate the salient features of lipedema toward the goal of raising awareness among the medical community.

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MAR 28
Atrial Fibrillation Awareness and Progression Prevention By Macy C. Smith, Jr., MD, FACC, FHRS with Cardiovascular Associates in Clinical

Almost everyone has seen the ads for the new anticoagulants at this point. However, many Americans still remain in the dark regarding what atrial fibrillation (Afib) is and it’s potentially devastating consequences. Despite increasing efforts to improve the awareness for atrial fibrillation, many still do not know it’s signs and symptoms or that it is a progressive disease. Afib is the most common arrhythmia in the world affecting 3-6 million Americans with projections of up to 16 million by the year 2050.

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MAR 27

2018 marks 23 years since Children’s of Alabama entered the primary care market, expanding our footprint and brand awareness outside of our main campus on Birmingham’s Southside and strengthening our relationship with doctors who care for kids.

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MAR 22
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: An Overview for Physicians By Mark Baker, Principal, Jackson Thornton CPAs and Consultants, January 9, 2018 in Business

The new tax reform law — commonly referred to as the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (TCJA) — is the most significant tax legislation in decades. Although the law was passed only a few weeks ago, the impact on the economy and business outlook cannot be overlooked as the stock market rally continues and both individuals and businesses appear the most optimistic in quite some time.

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MAR 19
Patient Satisfaction- What Is It Worth? By Tammie Lunceford, CMPE CPC with Warren Averett in Business

In the past few years, when we discussed patient satisfaction it pertained only to patient surveys and results. Some managers believe surveys are utilized by specialties, such as, plastic surgery who primarily practice on a cash basis.  Consumerism is here to stay! Cost and quality will create a level playing field in healthcare.  When working with a practice, I love to sit in the waiting room to see operations from the patient’s point of view.  I also search the specialty online to review the competition and the effectiveness of the practice’s website; I may also see online reviews.

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MAR 15
Understanding Allergies By ENT Associates of Alabama in Clinical

When most people think of Spring they think of flowers blooming, birds chirping and sunny day ahead, but for millions… their thoughts turn to congestion, runny noses, itchy eyes or endless sneezes. They have what are known as seasonal allergies. Allergy symptoms are caused by a hypersensitive response to an otherwise harmless substance and not all allergies are the same.

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MAR 14
Confidence in the face of disaster – Are you ready? By Drew Braden Senior Technology Consultant with Keep IT Simple in Technology

If you surveyed managing physicians and office managers from the Birmingham area about their business continuity plans, how confident do you think they would be with their Disaster Recovery solution? Do they feel prepared? Have they even thought about it?

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MAR 12
Medical Billing Practices in the Modern Era of Medicine By William A. "Drew" Ellis, Esq. at Cloud Willis & Ellis, LLC in Regulatory

Physicians and other medical care professionals spend years studying, training and preparing themselves to provide best possible care to their patients. In many instances, these professionals spend the bulk of their attention and energy on treating their patients and meeting the day-to-day challenges that come with providing the best care possible. Unfortunately, practicing in today’s economic climate within a medical industry undergoing a vast transformation has forced many medical professionals to place equal value on business issues that effect their practice. Often times, the business of operating a medical practice is never discussed in medical school. Instead, many healthcare professionals are forced to learn fundamental business principles on the fly in private practice. With the emergence of electronic medical records and coding, many healthcare providers and practices are spending a substantial amount of time concentrating on the business of healthcare in addition to patient care. Of all the business issues that must now be prioritized by the medical industry, medical billing and managing account receivables can bear the most burden of all.

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MAR 06

The assessment of patient compliance is very difficult. Many patients may not want to disappoint their physician and will not be completely accurate about their degree of compliance. Other patients are not able to accurately evaluate or do not know their degree of compliance. In one study, 10% of patients reported that they were 100% compliant with their medication use. Using pill count methods, however, the use of the prescribed medications ranged from 2% to 130% of the prescribed pills.

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MAR 05
Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain & the Value of Trust By Matt Dennis, National Bank of Commerce in Business

Over the last year or so, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have grabbed the attention of global markets and its participants.

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FEB 27
10 Commandments of Gastrointestinal Health By Christopher P. Shaver, MD, Birmingham Gastroenterology Associates in Clinical
  1. Control all of your “other” medical conditions.  Many chronic diseases negatively influence your intestinal tract: think poorly controlled diabetes, undertreated cardiovascular diseases, thyroid disorders, obesity, and so on.  There is a synergistic relationship between intestinal health and your other organ systems. 
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FEB 16

Until recently, sufferers of chronic or recurrent sinusitis were limited to two treatment options: medication therapy or aggressive sinus surgery. Fortunately, advances in medical science have opened new doors.

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FEB 14
Varithena – sounds like a superhero, works like one too! By Charles Austin Hunt II, MD, FACS, RVT with Alabama Vein Center in Clinical

If “Varithena” sounds like the latest Marvel or DC superhero, there’s good reason. When it comes to treating varicose veins, such an idea isn’t so far fetched!

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FEB 13
A Physician’s Insider Guide for Social Security Disability Cases By Janet Cox , Attorney at law with Cox Disability Law in Regulatory

Physicians serve on the frontlines of our healthcare system, and by extension the many social programs guaranteed by the Social Security Administration. It’s a large responsibility and we owe them a debt of gratitude. These dedicated care providers, across many areas of practice and at varied levels within our medical system, help more than 57 million children and adults who live with disabilities across the United States.

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FEB 07
Creating a World Where Every Person Matters By Lori M. Quiller, APR Director of Communications and Social Media Medical Association of the State of Alabama in Business

When Michele Kong was a little girl growing up in Malaysia, she knew the world was filled with both wonder and danger. She surprised herself and her family when she managed to kill a not-so-small python that slithered into their home. She laughs now remembering the incident, but she said someone had to do it to protect her family, and she had the shovel.

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FEB 06
Preparing for your Annual Security Audit By Ron Prevatte Director of Sales and Business Development with Integrated Solutions in Technology

Most companies assume their cyber security is pretty good… until a breach happens and then you find out where the holes were. We often find that apathy and a lack of being proactive may cost you lots of money. An annual security audit is a necessity for all medical practices and companies in todays ever changing world of technology. It is a vital part of protecting your digital assets and cyber security plan for your organization. It’s not just about discovering any vulnerabilities or shortcomings, rather it’s about opportunities to strengthen your network security.

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JAN 24
QNA with Norwood Clinic Ophthalmology By John S. Owen Jr., M.D. with Norwood Clinic in Clinical

Q: Could you tell us about Norwood Clinic Ophthalmology?

A: We’re a part of Norwood Clinic, which is the oldest and largest multi-specialty medical group in the Birmingham area. At the ophthalmology location, we offer comprehensive ophthalmology services. This includes routine adult and pediatric eye exams; medical and surgical treatment for diseases of the eye and eyelids; and screening for ocular manifestations of systemic diseases such as diabetes.

We also have certified ophthalmic technicians and an optician to assist with the dispensing of glasses and contact lenses.

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JAN 22
Optimizing Today’s Technology for Healthcare By Andrew Burke, CDIA+ with Stewart of Alabama in Technology

We all recognize that healthcare is evolving at a rapid pace. With this evolution, the need to share patient information to positively impact quality care, provide a seamless patient experience, plus save time for your staff to coordinate care is of critical importance.  By making the most of new technology, today’s office equipment can easily and securely, help you do just that. 

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JAN 17

 A couple should consider seeking help from a fertility specialist after attempting to conceive for three months, six months, a year—there really is no right answer. Infertility could be due to a single factor, or multiple factors, and fertility treatments vary in complexity. One factor in particular has become more prominent nowadays in couples who are trying to conceive: age, which effects both the husband and wife, has become a threat to fecundity as society pressures couples to start a family later in life.

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DEC 22

Every year, new hearing aid technology is introduced to the market. New technology in hearing aids boasts updates and changes in directional microphones,  sound processing algorithms, noise reduction features, amplitude and frequency compression, and audio data transfer between hearing aids, just to mention a few.  What is often forgotten however, is that the primary objective of a traditional hearing aid fitting is to ensure that the patient is receiving the appropriate amount of amplification for their hearing loss at each frequency.

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DEC 22

Noncompliance (non-adherence) to medical recommendations can have a significant impact on a patient’s overall health quality, resulting in decreased opportunities for prevention, delayed diagnosis, and incomplete or ineffective treatment. There may also be significant liability and financial risks to a responsible healthcare professional treating this patient, particularly as patient outcomes increasingly become connected to quality indicators and reimbursement.

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DEC 19

Two million Americans suffer from plantar fasciitis every year and 10 percent of the population will experience it in their lifetime. It has become recognized as one of the most chronic and, often times, most difficult foot problems to treat.

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DEC 07
Awareness is everything when it comes to participating in a clinical trial. By Will O’Donnell – Research & Development Assistant, Clinical Research Center of Alabama in Clinical

Healthcare professionals are all well aware of what a clinical trial is, how they work, and the possibilities   that are provided to those who participate. However, the majority of Americans have not participated or heard about opportunities to participate in clinical research. According to a survey conducted by Research!America in partnership with Zogby Analytics (2017), fewer than 10% of Americans actually participate in clinical trials. Digging further into the reasons why, 55% of those surveyed stated that they were not aware or lacked information regarding clinical trials (Research!America, 2017).  

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DEC 01
Seniors benefit from physical fitness By Agee Robert, Jr., MD with BBH Specialty Care Network Sports Medicine in Clinical

Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean that it’s too late to get in shape. In fact, research shows that older people who have never exercised can still benefit from physical conditioning. By starting a regular exercise program, you can help prevent coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression and some cancer. Physical fitness reduces the effects of osteoporosis and arthritis — two conditions which can severely limit an older person’s lifestyle. Being in good shape physically can help you remain independent as you age and improve the quality of your life.

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NOV 27
The Cost Category Returns for 2018 By Tammie Lunceford, CMPE CPC, Healthcare Consultant at Warren Averett in Business

As we finalize 2017 participation in the Merit Based Incentive Program, most of us focused on improved performance in quality since the category carried the highest weight of 60%. Those who had previous success in Meaningful Use found the Advancing Care category easy to address.  The Practice Improvement category is new and somewhat vague, but many practices were already performing tasks that qualified as an improvement activity.  It is important to document the approach to improvement and track success because this category is subject to audit in the future.

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NOV 22
“New vascular clinic paves the way in eliminating leg pain” By Katie Reaves, M.S., Vascular Division Manager with Alabama PVD Center in Clinical

Approximately 12 million Americans suffer from peripheral artery disease (PAD), yet general awareness of the disease is at 25%. Patients over the age of 50 with a history of smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease are at the greatest risk.  A staggering 50% of PAD patients have unrecognized symptoms that may progress directly to severe disease.

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NOV 06
Parkinson’s By Cheryl Pierce, Occupational, Certified LSVT BIG Therapist at Healthsouth Lakeshore in Clinical

Parkinson’s is recognized as the second most neurodegenerative disorder right behind Alzheimer’s. An estimated 7 to 10 million people have Parkinson’s disease worldwide, with 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s being diagnosed just in the U.S. every year. Parkinson’s is known as a progressive condition and symptoms will affect patients differently. Typically, people diagnosed with Parkinson’s will portray some degree of difficulty with shaking or tremor, slowness of movement or bradykinesia, stiffness in movement or rigidity of the arms, legs and trunk and gait imbalance. Because of the loss of dopamine producing brain cells, patients will see their movements become slower and smaller, creating risk for falls and impairing their quality of life.

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NOV 01
Robotic Surgery: The How, When, and Why? By Justin B. Gerth M.D., with Eastern Surgical Associates in Clinical

Robotic assisted surgery has seen an explosion since it was first introduced about 20 years ago with over 4 million procedures performed. Although minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery has been around longer, certain limitations existed within this field. Laparoscopic surgical instruments lack wristed movement, essentially forcing surgeons to operate with chop sticks. The effect was difficulty performing certain procedures and working at difficult angles. Robotic surgery allows wristed action of the instruments, better optics (depth perception), surgeon control of the camera, and better ergonomics. While there is not any significant change in long term outcomes, there are studies suggesting decreased pain and shorter hospital stays.

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OCT 31
Recruitment under way for new Alabama genetics initiative By Bruce Korf, M.D., PhD, Chair, Department of Genetics, UAB /Children’s of Alabama Co-Chair, Alabama Genomic Health Initiative in Clinical

Full scale recruitment is under way for the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative (AGHI), a partnership of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and Children’s of Alabama. Funded by a $2 million appropriation from the Alabama legislature to UAB, the AGHI is one of the nation’s first statewide efforts to use genomic analysis to identify those at high risk for genetic diseases.

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OCT 24

The state’s first spine procedure using the Mazor Robotic System in conjunction with intraoperative imaging was performed by neurosurgeons with Neurosurgical Associates, PC at St. Vincent’s Birmingham.

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OCT 24
Does your Patient have Venous Disease? By James Isobe M.D. and Christopher Jones M.D. of the Brookwood Baptist Health Specialty Care Network Vein Center. in Clinical

Venous reflux in the lower extremity is when blood from the foot which should travel towards the heart reverses downwards due to gravity.

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OCT 23
Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea By Michael J. Latshaw, MD with Medical West Otolaryngology in Clinical

Sleep is a very important activity, that we often take for granted. It is especially important in children as it allows for proper neurological development. One disorder that is more and more common is sleep apnea, or interrupted sleep from breathing issues. We generally associate sleep apnea and distressed breathing while sleeping with adults, but it does occur with children - actually in 3-5% of children.

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OCT 23

There is a lot of confusion about SSDI and SSI, the two types of disability benefits that can be received from Social Security. The definition of disability is the same under both programs, but that is where the similarity ends. The following is a very basic description of the disability programs provided under the Social Security Act, titles II and XVI.

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OCT 23
Utilizing New Patient Forms and Credit Applications By Brian M. Cloud, Esq. at Cloud Willis & Ellis, LLC in Regulatory

No matter the size of the business, a successful business must be paid promptly and in full. However, often a business, including a medical practice is dealing with numerous overdue accounts receivables.  Such a financial position can be commonplace in today’s business environment.  Although this financial condition is often perceived as “normal” or “accepted” business practice”, savvy business owners should collect promptly and protect their rights in resolving overdue receivables with the proper policy and procedures in place.  Effective policy and procedures generally begin with utilizing a new patient form and/or the credit application.

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OCT 10
Billing Under Another’s Provider Number Can Land Physicians in Hot Water By Emma Cecil, JD, Senior Regulatory Attorney & PolicyHolder Advisor with MagMutual in Regulatory

An Oklahoma physician agreed on August 28, 2017 to pay the government $580,000 to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims to the Medicare program for services he did not provide or supervise. According to the government, the physician allowed a company that employed him and in which he had an ownership interest to use his NPI numbers to bill Medicare for physical therapy evaluation and management services that he did not provide or supervise. The government further alleged that after he separated from the company and deactivated his NPIs associated with the company, he reactivated those NPIs so that the company could use them to bill Medicare for services he neither performed nor supervised.

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SEP 14
Physician Workflow and Coding Specificity- The Effect on Value By Tammie Lunceford, CMPE CPC at Warren Averett in Business

It has now been two years since the implementation of ICD-10, everyone survived! While denials have been minimal, the goal of implementing ICD 10 to acquire more specificity and a complete picture of health has not been fully achieved.  Physicians and managers have created a new set of shortcuts to assure payment of claims, relying on paper superbills or inappropriate conversions from ICD 9 to ICD 10.

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SEP 12
Prostate Cancer By Medical West Hospital in Clinical

The prediction: 161,360 new diagnoses and 26,730 fatalities.

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AUG 11
To See the World on Two Wheels with Shirley Lazenby, M.D., and Michael Roberts, M.D. By Lori M. Quiller, APR Director of Communications and Social Media Medical Association of the State of Alabama in Business

Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Moving is one thing the City of Opelika is determined to do…even on two wheels.

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AUG 02
New Therapy for Malignant Brain Tumors By Christopher Jahraus M.D. with Shelby Baptist Medical Center and Generations Radiotherapy & Oncology PC in Clinical

Tumor Treating Fields or TTF as it is more commonly known is a recently developed method by which malignant brain tumor cells are prevented from reproducing. Shelby Baptist Medical Center and Generations Radiotherapy & Oncology PC has begun therapy on its first patient using this entirely new approach in the treatment of malignant brain tumors with the Optune TTF system.

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JUL 20
Prostate Cancer and Modern Medicine By Joelle Hamilton M.D., Medical Oncologist with Urology Centers of Alabama in Clinical

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in American men and the second leading cause of cancer death. While a majority of men will be diagnosed after the age of 65, younger men do need to consider screening for prostate cancer, especially if risk factors are present such as African American heritage or a family history of prostate cancer.

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JUL 18
The Value of the Team Approach By Tammie Lunceford, CPC Healthcare Consultant, Warren Averett in Business

Most all medical practices are preparing a MACRA project this summer. Our healthcare team has had the opportunity to speak to many physicians and managers regarding preparation for the transition from volume to value based medicine and reimbursement.  A large project can be overwhelming for any practice but this is more than a project, it is a culture change!

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JUL 17
The Accidental General with Gen. Shane Lee, M.D. By Lori M. Quiller, APR Director of Communications and Social Media Medical Association of the State of Alabama in Business

The city of Marion is an old town rich in Alabama history that pre-dates the Civil War. It’s home to many antebellum homes, Judson College and Marion Military Institute, the nation’s oldest military junior college. Few people may know that a young Coretta Scott, born and raised in Marion, wed her husband, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on the front lawn of her mother’s home just north of Marion in 1953. It’s this small town’s amazing history that called out to Dr. Shane Lee when he was looking to set up a practice.

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JUL 12
Hard-to-heal wounds can be a problem for many people By Matthew Reed M.D.,Justin Moellinger M.D. & Beatrice Chaicharncheep M.D. with Medical West Advanced Wound Center in Clinical

Hard-to-heal wounds can be a problem for many people. One way that Medical West is offering treatment is through hyperbaric oxygen therapy at the Advanced Wound Center.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the application of 100% oxygen that is applied to a patient under pressure. The therapy is used for decompression sickness, for infections, air pockets in blood vessels, and for diabetic wounds that won’t heal.

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JUL 05
MACRA Quality Payment Program Year 2 Proposed Rule By Beth Pitman, CHPC, Counsel at Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis, LLP in Regulatory

On June 20th, CMS issued its proposed rule for year 2 of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) under Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015( MACRA).  Comment period ends August 20. 

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JUN 22
Always Do Something You Enjoy with Suzanne Blaylock, M.D. By Lori M. Quiller, APR Director of Communications and Social Media Medical Association of the State of Alabama in Business

TUSCUMBIA – When you walk into Dr. Suzanne Blaylock’s office at the Helen Keller Pavilion, there’s a medical journal on her desk, paused and waiting for her to return to continue reading the most recent article. On the wall behind her chair are framed reminders of why she choose anesthesiology as her specialty – awards recognizing her from the Peer Reviewed Professionals, the Consumers’ Research Council of America as one of America’s Top Anesthesiologists, and the Consumers’ Research Council of America’s Top Physicians. Dr. Blaylock always knew she’d have a career in medicine, but what she got was so much more.

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JUN 13
The CoolSculpting® Trend Continues to Grow – With Good Reason By Warren B. Seiler III, M.D., Owner and Medical Director at Seiler Skin in Birmingham, Alabama in Clinical

For years now, I have seen patient after patient frustrated with stubborn fat in areas that do not respond well (or quickly) to diet and exercise. Their concerns are very common, and certainly not something of which to be ashamed. Patients also frequently ask me for my recommendations on non-invasive cosmetic treatments designed to address these issues, like CoolSculpting®, Sculpsure®, Vanquish™ or Zerona™.

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JUN 02
Back in Time with the Mobile Medical Museum By Lori M. Quiller, APR Director of Communications and Social Media Medical Association of the State of Alabama in Business

The Mobile area has many sites for tourists to visit during a stay. From the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center & IMAX Theater, the USS Alabama Battleship, the beautiful flowers of Bellingrath Gardens, dipping your toes in the warm Gulf waters of Dauphin Island, to celebrating Mardi Gras at the Mobile Carnival Museum, there’s one attraction in Mobile that may not immediately catch your attention, but you surely should not miss…the Mobile Medical Museum.

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MAY 25
HEARING LOSS AND COCHLEAR IMPLANTATION By Stephen Favrot, MD with ENT Associates of Alabama, PC in Clinical

Hearing loss is a common problem. 15% of American adults aged 18 and over report trouble hearing. Over the age of 65, one third of the population has significant hearing loss. Most people with Hearing Impairment suffer some social, psychological and physical problems. Social consequences of hearing loss include reduced social activity and problems communicating with family and at work.  Particularly in the elderly Hearing Loss can be isolating.

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MAY 18
The Importance of a Family Medicine Physician By Sidney Shah MD_Dr. Sidney Shah joined Norwood Clinic in 2006 and specializes in Family Medicine / Occupational Medicine. in Clinical

A family medicine doctor is someone you can always feel comfortable voicing your concerns to and leave an appointment feeling as though you were really listened to. They will help you to become an informed and active member of your healthcare decision-making process.
 

 

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MAY 17
The Merit Based Incentive Program- Small Practices-Big Decisions By Tammie Lunceford, CPC Healthcare Consultant, Warren Averett in Business

As we approach the beginning of summer, our minds are likely not on summer vacation. The process of assessing our electronic medical record vendor, absorbing the details of MIPS, and making the decisions on how to prepare, is overwhelming for small practices.  The transition to value based medicine has been evolving over the last 10 years in stages; adopting electronic health record, Quality Reporting, and Meaningful Use.  Many administrators and physicians did not realize the importance of each project; from choosing the right EMR, to implementing it properly, therefore achieving best practice workflows.

 

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MAY 10
Association Installs New President for 2017-2018 By Medical Association of the State of Alabama in Business

MONTGOMERY – Boyde Jerome “Jerry” Harrison, a family practitioner from Haleyville, was formally installed as president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama during the 2017 Inauguration, Awards Presentation and 50-Year Physician Recognition Dinner on Friday, April 14.

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MAY 09
Just a Guy with a Ladder By Lori M. Quiller, APR Director of Communications and Social Media Medical Association of the State of Alabama in Business

Physicians Giving Back with Lee Irvin, M.D.

You probably don’t know Lee Irvin, M.D., of Mobile, and he’s fine with that. He’s the kind of gentleman you’d love to hang out with and have a drink or dinner with…swap stories with. But it’s easy to see that his medical mission over the last couple of years wears heavy on his heart.

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MAY 05
The 3 Pillars of Athletic Health: Rest, Conditioning & Nutrition By : Ricardo E. Colberg, M.D. with Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Clinical

You may have thought that a sports orthopaedic center would be a place to go only after a catastrophic sports injury—something breaks or tears or starts hurting so badly you can’t physically use it.

 

“Most athletic injuries seen in sports clinics are indeed overuse injuries that have reached a point of taking the patient out of the game,” said Dr. Ricardo Colberg of Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center. “Although 85% of sports injuries do not require surgery, many patients wait until they are unable to compete to start correcting their issues.”

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MAY 04
OVER SIXTY YEARS OLD AND STILL MISUNDERSTOOD By : Janet Cox , Attorney at law with Cox Disability Law in Regulatory

Social Security Disability under Title II of the Social Security Act*

Surveys have shown that most Americans know little about Social Security law and the vital benefits it provides. By far, the least understood Social Security benefit is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This lack of knowledge has been measured through objective testing in various academic studies. Anecdotally, I know this to be true based on recurring questions and comments I have received from the public and clients alike over the last several decades of my work as a social security disability attorney.

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APR 28
Pediatric neurology division grows to meet increasing patient needs By : Leon Dure, M.D. UAB Professor and Director, Division of Pediatric Neurology William Bew White, Jr. Chair in Pediatric Neurology in Clinical

As pediatric medicine becomes more specialized, the demand for specialists grows. One need look no further than the Division of Pediatric Neurology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) for evidence of this trend.

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APR 27
Recycle Electronics and Keep Your Practice Safe By Blake Perry CTO at Keep IT Simple in Technology

Recycling electronics is a great way to help conserve and reuse valuable resources and materials found in many gadgets, including glass, plastics, and various metals such as copper, gold, palladium, and silver. Many electronics, especially computers and televisions, contain toxic materials such as cadmium, lead, and mercury. Recycling and reusing electronics helps to keep these toxic materials out of our landfills and water supply.

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APR 20
Pain with intercourse? Vaginal discomfort? Not for me! By : Rupa Kitchens MD with Urology Centers Of Alabama in Clinical

As we women age, we do not always know what is coming next. We think we do, but we may not. We all know the stereotypical changes that happen with menopause, and of course, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, etc. that can occur with age.  I can tell you that many women in their late 40s to late 70s are not expecting pain with intercourse, vaginal pain and discomfort, or both. It is honestly a surprise. And not a good one at that. It can make a healthy sexual relationship go sour very quickly, which not only hurts the woman’s quality of life, but her partner’s as well. This can affect the relationship as a whole, and both parties’ overall health, which can then lead to other medical issues. In our practice, we traditionally have treated men for erectile dysfunction and other sexual issues, but we understand that female sexual health is important as well. 

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APR 19
Medical Association Celebrates Doctors’ Day in Alabama By Lori M. Quiller, APR Director of Communications and Social Media Medical Association of the State of Alabama in Business

MONTGOMERY – On March 29, officials from the Medical Association of the State of Alabama participated in a proclamation signing ceremony declaring March 30, 2017, the Second Annual Doctors’ Day in Alabama formally recognizing Alabama’s nearly 17,000 licensed physicians serving millions of residents through private practice, in hospitals, in research, and in other health care facilities.

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APR 10
Coronary artery calcium score. What is that? By John D. McBrayer, M.D. with Heart South Cardiovascular Group, PC in Clinical

Early detection of coronary artery disease is a significant problem. One third of deaths after 35 are secondary to cardiovascular disease. One half of middle aged men and one third of middle aged women will develop coronary artery disease. Currently our ability to detect early disease is limited. By the time symptoms occur there is usually 70% obstruction of the coronary artery. Data from autopsies on Korean War casualties indicate initial signs of development of coronary plaque in the early 20’s of age. Theoretically it would seem appropriate to begin prevention therapy as soon as possible but who should get it? Obviously, the patients with known vascular disease and equivalents such as diabetes would need this therapy. Those without established disease need an estimate of their risk.

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MAR 27
Adding a Mid-Level Provider? Pitfalls to Avoid By Tammie Lunceford, CPC Healthcare Consultant, Warren Averett in Clinical

In the last 10-15 years, the use of mid-level providers has increased to expand the base of patients in many practices.  The Nurse Practitioner scope of practice is more flexible and there are specialty designations available to foster expertise in certain areas.  The insurance companies have expanded the number of plans covering a mid-level provider’s services.

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MAR 03
Are you sleepy? By Stuart J. Padove, M.D. with Medical West Sleep Medicine in Clinical

Are you sleepy? We would like to introduce you to our Sleep Center here at Medical West!

Have you ever said?:

• I have been told that I snore

• I suddenly wake up gasping for air during the night

• I have been told that I stop breathing while sleeping

• I feel tired during the day even though I slept all night

• I have high blood pressure

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MAR 03
Moving a medical practice can be a daunting task By Blake Perry, Chief Technology Officer, Keep IT Simple. in Clinical

Moving a medical practice can be a daunting task. A medical office move can be a result of needing a bigger space, physician retirement, or practice acquisition. While making patients aware of a major change is most certainly a priority, it is equally important to make sure their documents and all office data and service equipment survives the move as well.

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