BMN Blog

DEC 12
Big Changes Coming with Microsoft Systems By 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 Alabama By 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 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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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 11
The Health Literacy Gap By James F. Henry, Esq Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas & O’Neal LLP in Regulatory

Studies have shown that almost 9 out of 10 adults have difficulty using the health information they receive.[1]  This difficulty reflects a gap in patients’ capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and the services needed to make appropriate health decisions. In other words, the studies reflect a gap in health literacy. 

 

 

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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: .

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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 23
Venous Ulcers and Vein Disease By John T. Eagan, Jr., MD, FACC with Cardiovascular Associates in Clinical

Venous ulcers of the lower extremities can be a frustrating disease process for clinicians. Do I send them to wound care center (WCC), do I need to order specific studies, are they venous or arterial? 

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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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AUG 13
The Benefits of Occupational and Physical Therapy By Melody Cook, OT/L with Alabama Bone & Joint Clinic in Clinical

What is the importance of occupational and physical therapy rehabilitation? Each discipline has its own unique benefits for clients of all age ranges with varying diagnoses and various settings. A common misconception regarding therapy in general is that treatment will elicit pain and discomfort. However, one of the primary goals of both occupational and physical therapy is to control pain in order to increase daily function and skill.

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AUG 07

Many Alabama providers participated in the Quality Payment Program in 2017, under MIPS (Merit Based Incentive Program). A handful participated in a MIPS APM (Alternative Payment Model), which is a baby step towards alternative payments, but still left the participants free from downside risks. As we pass the half-way point for the 2018 performance period, exploring risk bearing programs is on the rise.

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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 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 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 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 22

"I believe it was divine intervention that I was sent to Aspire Physical Recovery Center at Cahaba River. The therapy team brought me back to myself."

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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 16
ePHI Safeguards Requirements and Small Practices: What Physicians Need to Know By Hayley Scheer, J.D., LL.M. Health Law Attorney, Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas & O’Neal LLP in Regulatory

It is especially important for smaller practices to be mindful of Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) security regulations – a breach of ePHI can lead to costly notification requirements and potential monetary penalties under the HITECH Act.[1]  Managing physicians of small independent practices hold many responsibilities, including the duty to comply with the Security Rule within HIPAA regulations.  This article provides a brief overview of federal ePHI compliance safeguards required in a practice.  While not meant to be a comprehensive discussion of all requirements, it highlights legal considerations and safeguards a practice must implement to comply with HIPAA ePHI regulations.  The federal Security Rule under HIPAA requires a health care provider (typically known as a Covered Entity[2]) to have the minimum ePHI safeguards, listed below.

 

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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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MAY 08
Understanding Pelvic Organ Prolapse By Drs. Nicole Massie and Paula Rookis with Urology Centers of Alabama. in Clinical

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is the descent of one or more parts of the vagina and/or uterus. Woman may experience displacement of the anterior, posterior or apex of the vagina, and often there is a combination. This is referred to as a cystocele, rectocele and enterocele.

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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 04
UPDATE - HHS Proposes New Rule Affecting LGBTQ Patients By Rhett Owens, Attorney with Hall Booth Smith, P.C in Regulatory

On Friday, January 19, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule that will complicate the issues healthcare providers face in providing treatment to LGBTQ patients.

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APR 03

According to the Ponemon Institute –   - the average cost of a data breach was $3.62 million dollars. This breaks down to $141 dollars per stolen record. International Data Corporation – – 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 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
Ocular Melanoma: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You! By Elizabeth A. Steele, OD, FAAO with UAB Eye Care in Clinical

A rare cancer of the eye known as uveal melanoma has affected a specific demographic, mainly women, who attended Auburn University in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Uveal melanoma is the most common cancer in the eye, but overall its incidence is extremely low, known to affect only 4.3 per 1 million people in the US.  While these cancers are uncommon, they can lead to unfortunate outcomes including total removal of the eye, and even aggressive cancers spreading throughout the body, making it crucial to catch them early.

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MAR 06
To Fuse or Not to Fuse: The Argument for Spinal Disc Replacement By Christopher Heck, MD-Spine Surgeon Southlake Orthopaedics Sports Medicine & Spine Center, PC in Clinical

Treatment for a pinched nerve in the neck (cervical radiculopathy) that has failed to improve with non-operative care has traditionally been treated with an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Originally explained in 1958, this procedure achieves success by eliminating nerve root compression by removing the disc, replacing with bone graft via a fusion to prevent recurrent or pinched nerves and maintain stability. However, not only does this increase restricted motion to the spine (which is increased with multilevel fusions), but it also transfers force stresses to other levels or levels above and below the fusion which has been shown to increase symptoms/degeneration at other levels.

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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 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 08
Think You've Figured Out HIPAA Compliance? Sorry, You're Probably Wrong. By Robbie Morris VP of Healthcare and Security Solution Services with TekLinks in Technology

We hate to break it to you, but there's a HIPAA requirement you’re more than likely doing wrong. The Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is cracking down on requiring a true

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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 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 21
UAB, Children’s of Alabama Committed to a Cure By Kimberly Whelan, M.D., MSPH Interim Director, Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Alabama at Birmingham in Clinical

The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama actively works toward the goal of a total cure through research and development of innovative therapies. More than a dozen prominent pediatric hematology, oncology and blood and bone marrow physician-scientists provide exceptional programs in patient care, education and research. Currently, the Center provides care or treatment for 90 percent of the pediatric hematology-oncology patients in the state.

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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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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 16
Hepatitis C Screening for Primary Care Physicians By David M. Fettig, MD, Birmingham Gastroenterology Associates in Clinical

An estimated 3.5 million people in the United States are infected with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). Many of these people do not know they are infected and are not receiving care or treatment.  The CDC estimates that while Baby Boomers (born 1945-1965) comprise only 27% of the US population, they account for approximately three fourths of all HCV infections.  Therefore, they are at greatest risk for hepatocellular carcinoma and other HCV-related liver disease.  HCV is now the leading cause of liver transplantation and liver cancer in the US. 

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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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NOV 01
When an IT Manager Goes Rogue By Jennifer Lagutin, TekLinks in Technology

Your business' data could be compromised by the most unlikely of sources -- your own IT manager.

Over the past couple months, I’ve encountered multiple chilling examples of IT staff gone rogue. Of course, this isn't happening every day. But when it does, it's especially damaging to organizations with a one-person IT department. These lone IT managers often hold the keys to the kingdom. No one person - IT expert or not - should ever have complete control over passwords, access, processes, etc. Why? Consider these two recent incidents:

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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
Controlling Myopia Progression By Andrew D. Pucker, OD, PhD, FAAO with UAB eye care in Clinical

What is myopia?

 

Myopia is a condition that results in distant objects appearing blurry to a patient when not being corrected with glasses or contact lenses.1 Myopic blur typically results from the eye being too long for its optical focusing components (cornea and crystalline lens), which causes distant objects to be in focus in front of the retina (back of the eye) instead on the retina, a requirement for the eye to be able to see clearly.1 About one third of Americans have myopia, and its prevalence is likely increasing because of factors associated with living in a developed country (e.g., decreased time outdoors).2-5 With that said, the scientific community only has a vague understanding of how genetics and the environment influence the development and progression of myopia.1 While myopia’s visual affects can be a costly nuisance and strain on the health care system,6 myopia also places the affected individuals at a greater risk for developing vision-threatening conditions like cataracts, retinal detachments, and glaucoma.1 Once present, myopia cannot be cured; therefore, preventing it or even reducing the amount of myopia that a patient develops is an upmost priority for the scientific community.7

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OCT 18
How Important is a Mammogram! By Norwood Clinic Imaging in Clinical

For 2017, The American Cancer Society has estimated that around 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women and 2,470 diagnosed in men, around 63,410 new cases of Carcinoma in situ(non-invasive and the earliest form of breast cancer) will be diagnosed, and approximately 40,610 cases will be fatal.

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OCT 16
October is National Audiology Awareness Month. By Calyn Russ, AuD with Excel ENT of Alabama in Clinical

Over 36 million American adults have some degree of hearing loss.

That is over 4 times the amount of people who live in New York City.

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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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OCT 02

Did you know a single patient health record can earn cybercriminals 10 times the price of a stolen credit card number on the black market?

The Office of Civil Rights is auditing small and large healthcare providers alike, imposing multi-million dollar fines in some cases. Meanwhile, the same electronic storage, mobile devices, and cloud-based applications that patients, doctors, and healthcare staff want to use often compromise a practice’s ability to keep that patient data safe.

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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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AUG 23
Tennis Elbow…? But I don’t even play tennis! By Michael D. Smith, MD with Southlake Orthopaedics Sports Medicine & Spine Center, PC (Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon) in Clinical

As a hand and upper extremity Orthopaedic surgeon, I see many patients that present to my office with pain in their elbow and forearm. For a certain subsets of these patients, I ultimately diagnose them with lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow. Oftentimes, their reaction is the same. They say, “Doc, I don’t even play tennis, how could I have tennis elbow?!” Unfortunately, many people assume that lateral epicondylitis will only affect those individuals that are active in racquet sports, when in reality; tennis elbow can affect both men and women regardless of their hobbies.

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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 04
Atrial Fibrillation By William McAlexander, MD with Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery at Brookwood, Russell Ronson, MD with Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery at Brookwood and Macy Smith, MD, FACC, FHRS with Cardiovascular Associates in Clinical

Bang, bang, bang! If you experience your heart banging against your chest or skipping beats you may be experiencing an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is an irregular rate or rhythm of the heartbeat, where your heart can beat too fast or slow. Most commonly, this is caused by atrial fibrillation (AFib), when disorganized electrical signals cause the heart’s chambers not to beat in sync or fibrillate. Millions of Americans are affected by this disease and the number increases each year. AFib is the most common abnormal heart rhythm in America.

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AUG 03
OMNIVR system By Stirling Shirah, MD medical director at Aspire Recovery Center at Cahaba River & Member of Hospitalist Services of Alabama, P.C. in Clinical

"Aspire Physical Recovery Center at Cahaba River is proud to offer its guest use of the OMNIVR system. The OMNI is a virtual reality augmented rehabilitation system that allows trained clinicians the opportunity to work with guests in novel, yet functional ways.

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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 13
Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline By Jennifer McInnish, Au.D. a board-certified Audiologist at Brookwood Baptist Health Specialty Care – Ear, Nose & Throat in Clinical, Uncategorized

Between 2000-2015 the number of Americans with hearing loss has doubled, bringing it close to 48 million. With the aging baby boomer population, that number will continue to climb in the coming years.  

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JUL 06
INTERNET USAGE IN YOUR ORGANIZATION By Ron Prevatte Director of Sales and Business Development with Integrated Solutions in Technology

The internet is a necessary part of the healthcare world today. This forces us to deal with the issue of managing employee Internet usage which can be a drain on your organizations productivity. This holds true in the healthcare industry whether you run a small clinic, large practice or hospital.

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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 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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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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