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The Sentinel: April 2017

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Discontinuity of Care: Two Physicians, One Practice and One Patient's Tragedy

Closed Claim Review  |  Kathleen W. Smith, JD

“Continuity of care.”  We often think about this concept involving physicians in different specialties or groups, such as the doctor who treats the patient after us or the doctor who referred the patient to us.  However, when stripped down, the concept of “continuity of care”...

Coping with "Difficult" Coworkers

Practice Management  |  Stephen A. Dickens, JD, FACMPE

“The staff are not getting along” is a cry for help I frequently hear from physicians and practice executives. Staff relationships can be one of the most time consuming and mentally draining aspects of a manager’s or supervisor’s day. Staff who find it difficult to work with one anothe...

Tips to Prevent Denied Claims

Practice Management  |  Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC

Denied claims cost your practice both time and money. Employees spend precious hours researching and processing denials, only to find that payers are unresponsive or unwilling to overturn their decision. Given the complexity of our reimbursement system, denied claims will always exist. However, there are cert...

Meaningful Use: Avoiding the 3% Penalty in 2018

Practice Management  |  Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC

If you did not report meaningful use in 2016 – or failed to do so successfully – the government will impose a 3% penalty in 2018 on all Medicare payments.  Now is the opportune time to review government applications to try to get an exemption for that penalty. Just posted on March 7, the appl...

It's Not Easy to Say Goodbye: Properly Discharging a Patient from Your Practice

Practice Management  |  Justin Joy, JD, CIPP

Once a physician has established a professional relationship with a patient, the physician has an on-going legal duty to care for that patient. The expected length of this relationship varies based the type of care being provided.  If a patient is referred to a surgeon for a single procedure, the profess...

Risk Pearls: April 2017

Risk Pearls  |  Julie Loomis, RN, JD

Spring has sprung, which means spring cleaning for many of us. It may also be a good time to retool your office tracking procedures, as diagnostic error accounts for one-third of SVMIC’s paid claims. Tracking system failures are a primary factor in diagnostic error. Maintaining a system within each offi...

An Analysis of Nephrology Closed Claims

Specialty Spotlight  |  Shelly Weatherly, JD

As the graph below illustrates, medication errors was a common theme in SVMIC paid nephrology claims over the past 5 years.  Additionally, failure to diagnose was a primary allegation asserted in the claims.  Most typically, the diagnostic errors were not the result of a lack of knowledge or diagnos...

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