Our Healthcare System is Limps Along Due to 11 Factors

11 Reasons Why Our Healthcare System is Limping Along

No matter what anyone’s expert opinion may be, there is no more argument that the healthcare system in the United States is broken. Medicine in America is simply is not working the way it should. Here are the 11 of the most obvious reasons.

 

Patient Increase

Patient Increase

 

Patient Increase

1. The dramatic growth of our population, alongside aging Baby Boomers has sharply increased the need for medical interventions. Until recently this combination of citizenry has been willing and able to pay exorbitant rates for medical care from their wealth of savings. The majority can no longer afford those rates.

Increased Greed

2. Rampant deregulation coupled with wanton greed have clouded the view of what healthcare is really supposed to be about, the welfare of the patients. Instead of actually being about keeping people healthy and restoring health from disease or injury, healthcare has become another bottom-line industry like any other. The only priority is the wealth gained by doctors, administrators, and stockholders. Somehow we must take monetary gain out of the healthcare equation.

 

Lack of Preventative Care

Lack of Preventative Care

Lack of Preventative Care

3. Preventative care is not a priority for every citizen. Therefore, Emergency Rooms and trauma centers must take on cases with extreme measures to save patients that are in the end stages of diseases, such as pulmonary failures, diabetes, and obesity. This could have been prevented while the patients were still healthy.

Rigid AMA Control

4. The once wealthy AMA-driven healthcare system is now hurting, because they priced themselves out of business. Over 50,000,000 American citizens of the United States, cannot get the medical help they need, yet they represent a huge demand to a system that caters to supply only a small wealthy demand.

 

Obsession with Technology

Obsession with Technology

Obsession with Technology

5. Medical technology companies are enticing their customers to rapidly cycle through replacing perfectly operational machines with new versions, just to build bottom-line profits. Young Silicon Valley hype-meisters care only about pushing the “Next Big Shiny Thing” in medical technology and nothing for actual sick people. It’s just a game for them, because they have never experienced real difficulties or pain. Lack of medical communications systems interoperability is creating maddening roadblocks that in some cases have led to deaths!

Blocked by Traditions

6. An obsession with traditions in medical education and patient processes is blocking and often eliminating agents for change to new education and process methods that will actually work in our modern age.

 

Medical Patents

Medical Patents

Medical Patents

7. Cancer treatment is still one of the top paying medical areas, even though a number of cancer cures outside the US have proven effective in many, many cases. The AMA adamantly denies that such cures exist, but this author has first-hand knowledge that at least one cancer cure is quite real. Many people have discovered that US cancer treatment is a cruel, not-invented-here medical patent shell game. These patients have naturally often abandoned US doctors and traveled to other countries where cures actually do exist. No amount of AMA spin-doctoring is going to change the minds of those who have experienced the truth. This is, no doubt, one of the many reasons so many people distrust US medical authorities, to the point of keeping their kids from getting vaccinations.

Too Much Complexity

8. Technical procedure complexity has outstripped healthcare workers’ ability to keep up and cope, while balancing heavy patient loads, resulting in lower healthcare quality all around. Our medical system generally cares a lot more about worshiping at the altar of Technology than caring for their patients.

 

National Health Information Technology System

National Health Information Technology System

No HITS

9. Lack of a National Health Information Technology System (HITS) precipitates bad diagnoses, screwed up prescriptions, and delays in treatment that result in complications. This has often resulted in completely preventable, major life-altering incidents and sometimes in death. These issues are caused by the “left hand doesn’t know what the right hand did,” syndrome plaguing Americans just as fully as an antibiotic-resistant bacterial plague might.

General Apathy

10. Apathy to the problem and institutionalized resistance to change, especially since a significant part of the population works in this overpaid industry, accumulates into a quagmire of powerful stagnation.

Too Rich to Win

11. The US was ranked 37th by the World Health Organization in 2009, as compared to the overall quality of healthcare in other countries. It seems that affluenza may bring us down just as effectively as Rome was ended. Money can’t buy happiness, or good health.

 

World Health Organization

World Health Organization

Conclusion

The dire need for healthcare reform in the US has been apparent for several years. Some medical authorities are claiming to rise as champions to the cause. But, mostly it looks like the same wolves in different sheep coverings, selling ever more complex technological solutions for ever more costs. Patient care must at some point, finally, come first before profits. And, we must provide real health insurance for everyone.

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Typical Scenarios Which Lead to HIPAA Investigations

Many Scenarios Can Lead to a HIPAA Investigation

 

HIPAA Rules

HIPAA Rules

1. Patient Information Destruction

When it comes to avoiding HIPAA Violations, due consideration must be given to how protected patient information is disposed of. Though good intentions and proper procedures are often set in stone, it is often the human factor, that comes into play, which serves as the framework for the violation to be recognized and assessed. Sloppy disposal procedures without regard for protocol often lead to public discovery and disclosure, which is magnified through traditional and social media avenues.

 

Patient Data

Patient Data

 

2. Customer Database Breaches

With a seemingly daily occurrence of database breaches, it is of no wonder that individuals feel threatened that their private medical information is being viewed and potentially used in identity theft instances. No matter how diligent pharmacies and physicians are at establishing a fortified defense against database entry, they must ensure confidential data is protected at all cost.

 

Electronic Data Disposal

Electronic Data Disposal

 

3. Electronic Data Disposal Gets Re-Routed

It may seem simple enough, an IT individual, in a healthcare institution, is doing routine maintenance and an upgrading of the computer system, when the wrong keystroke sends millions of pieces of information, intended to be deleted permanently, onto the Internet. Though proper procedures and instructions are followed, in some instances, how electronic data is routed or deleted is beyond one’s control. Disposal isn’t limited to just computers. Sometimes individuals making photocopies of records will leave the original document behind in the copier feeder.

 

Unauthorized Distribution

Unauthorized Distribution

 

4. Unauthorized Distribution of Medical Records

Though most staff and personnel has knowledge about dispensing medical information and records only to the patient, there are some lapses in the system, whereby, with devious intentions, a relative, friend or identity thief will secure such information under the guise of helping them out by picking it up for them or that they were authorized to receive such data.

 

Social Media Interaction

Social Media Interaction

 

5. Social Media Interaction

Healthcare institutions, pharmacies, and practitioners often fall victim to patient record disclosure or patient criticism, which is something that is unavoidable. How they respond to critiques, charges and allegations can mean if they are subject to a HIPAA investigation. There’s the old adage, if you wouldn’t say it in a crowded elevator, why would you say in on a social media venue?

With the advent of the Internet and the flood of social media sites, privacy has become big business. Being diligent in handling patient data can avoid an inquiry from HIPAA investigators.

Thanks for reading this article. Please share any thoughts below. For those running a medical office, and filing patient claims, JustCMS1500Forms.com is running a special on the cms 1500 version 02/12 currently. Personally, I prefer to purchase cms 1500 02/12 forms from a manufacturer, instead of a re-seller who can’t guarantee theirs.

Stay on the look-out for my next article!

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6 Cost Effective Ways to Market Your Tax Practice like a Big Firm

6 Low Cost Strategies to Market Your CPA Practice like a Big Firm

In the world of pre-Internet professional firms, business to business marketing was generally conducted face-to-face and through the simple step of hanging a sign outside the company’s front door. In fact, many professionals considered paid advertising or strategic marketing things which diminished their overall image and cheapened brands. Times have certainly changed.

Competition in business

Competition in business

Marketing budgets and aggressive strategies are now the norm for success of any type of company. Understanding this but not wanting to stoop to the level of “wheeler dealers,” and without the budgets of Top 100 firms, small office CPAs can grow their businesses without sacrificing professionalism. Most CPA practice marketing can be conducted and completed both efficiently and with less financial investment than expected.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that marketing differs from paid advertising and sales. Marketing is both a science and art of ensuring your company is “top of mind,” the first one thought of when someone needs a CPA. Sales is handshake marketing that most professionals dread, that push to convince someone at the other end of the hand grasp that they have no other choice, but to call upon your services. Advertising is a creative medium of paid placements.

Aggressive Marketing

Aggressive Marketing

In today’s heavily branded world, sales is often seen as too aggressive and advertising as less credible. Marketing is about educating your potential and current customers, developing a comfort level between you, establishing expertise and gaining a less invasive but consistent presence so new and returning clients will think to turn to you, first.

Marketing is not necessarily costly. Even big firms market more for efficiency and impact than by budget, and top companies are skilled at using free mediums such as social media to spread their expertise and build clout. Below are six ways to maximize your top-of-mind presence without spending a lot of money.

Marketing ideas

Marketing ideas

Six Brilliant Marketing Tactics with Little to No Cost

Get On the Social Bandwagon

It does take time to build a solid network on social media, particularly for a professional services brand. But, if you write sincere personal messages and relate how you and the prospect are already aligned, connection results will be more positive. For example, tap into all areas of your life: church, educational contacts, alumni program members, Chamber of Commerce associates, friends, acquaintances, etceteras. On occasion (but not so frequently that you become a spam artist), send an interesting article link or tip related to your area of expertise. In a brief note, explain why you thought they may be interested in the information. Cost: $0

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Maintain a Presence at Fundraisers

Fundraisers often need volunteers to assist during the event. For public television, for example, volunteers are needed to take calls on camera and such volunteers are often allowed to wear logo shirts. Volunteering at fundraisers provides visibility and puts your small company’s hands on the pulse of the “who’s who” of donors, people who can both afford and need CPA services. For many fundraisers, volunteers are compensated by banner displays or other self-promotional trade outs. Cost: $0 to very small investment (i.e., group membership, reusable shirts and signage)

Fundraisers as a Strategy

Fundraisers as a Strategy

Highway Adoption

As a CPA, you know that adoption is generally expensive. This is not true of highway adoption through your state or regional transportation department, however. When adopting a roadway, you and your company are responsible for keeping a two mile segment of highway clean, at a minimum of four times per year for a two year agreement. The Department of Transportation places highly visible highway signs on your adopted section, giving the CPA company’s name. Choose a highly traveled area of road where locals will pass the sign and enjoy the subliminal and consistent top-of-mind messaging without paying for a large billboard. Cost: Small budget for garbage collection.

Public Speaking

Public Speaking

Speaking Engagements

Subject matter experts are often spotlighted on news television, providing insight into news story aspects relative to their expertise. These people have costly public relations firms and speaker’s bureaus at their side. You can gain the same local effect, however, by working with your local newspaper, television, radio and websites. Provide articles like this one, but offering tips for better accounting, spending and saving. Hone your skills in very simply and concisely explaining concepts of your expertise and build rapport with media people who often need someone to call upon for story insights and on-air appearances. Provide them with a formal resume or list of qualifications and subject matter you are qualified to discuss. Cost: $0

Use Telethons

Use Telethons

Host Committee Meetings or Telethons

Committees often need a quiet and closed area to conduct group meetings. For quality organizations consisting of members you might work well for, your conference room or other office area is perfect for meeting their needs. The same holds true for telethons, such as those conducted by college alumni groups. Offer your space and phone lines to your alumni group or similar fundraising entity. They will be pleased to take you up on the offer and bring with them plenty of quality people you can network with, right in your own office space. Cost: $0 (but consider going the extra mile and supplying some food and drinks as a kind, memorable host)

Write articles

Write articles

Become a Wordsmith

Business journals, newspapers, local publications and websites (such as blogs) love building relationships with guest editorialists. Write a helpful or warm-hearted article that would speak directly to each publication’s individual audience. Ensure you do solid research first, by reading each publication and distinguishing their “voice,” market geography and demographic (level of education of their readership, for example). Most general public newspapers and magazines are written at a 7th grade reading level, so ensure you adhere to such important standards, or your article will be rejected. Emulate the writing style of their published articles. Approach the publication with your written story and talk to an editor about possibility of having it included in their next print. Be open to their suggestions and edits toward an ongoing relationship. Cost: $0, plus publication cover price and subscriptions (it is in good taste to be a subscriber before talking to the editor)

Hopefully, this article got you thinking about steps you can take to give your tax preparation business a booster shot. Something that contributes to your bottom is line is streamlining how you serve clients from an efficiency perspective.

For example, if you’re not using electronic tax filing, you may want to consider it. If you began to efile 1099 and W-2 forms, you’ll typically see results for clients faster than using paper forms. That’s a time savings on your end that lets you focus on finding more clients instead of using up time serving the ones you have right now.

If you’re starting or running a fledgling CPA business, this tax season needs to be all about using time better. Like most tax pros, you’ve got clients with employees and sub-contractors.

If you’re wasting time printing and routing tax forms, here’s how you cut that time and work in half. I’m using eFile4Biz.com to file 1099 online, and using that freed up time to look for new clients. They lead the efile service industry, and they integrate with the major accounting brands. Watch the video below, and good luck this season.

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