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The Sentinel: January 2018


The Long Road of Litigation

Closed Claim Review  |  Alisa Wamble, JD

This Tennessee case involved the alleged wrongful death of a 42-year-old male who presented to the ER in early 2008 complaining of lower abdominal pain, fever, nausea, diarrhea, anxiety and severe distress. The patient had a four- to five-year history of diverticulitis, which was managed by diet. Dr. Long[1] ...

Should You Use a Chaperone?

Practice Management  |  Stephen A. Dickens, JD, FACMPE

Given the recent flood of high-profile sexual misconduct claims in the news, SVMIC has received an increased number of questions surrounding the topic of chaperones in an exam room. While there are no legal requirements to do so, the goal should be to make the patient feel comfortable while also protecting th...

Physician Burnout: Recognize the Signs

Risk Topics  |  Michael Baron, MD, MPH, FASAM

Some physicians are familiar with the Tennessee Medical Foundation - Physician Health Program (TMF-PHP) - many more are not. Unfortunately, this can have dire consequences. The TMF-PHP’s mission is to help the 15-20% of physicians impaired by mental and behavioral illnesses, which includes mood disorder...

Developing Protocols with Advanced Practice Providers

Risk Topics  |  Julie Loomis, RN, JD

Developing protocols with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant will require time and attention to detail, but it is one of the most important steps toward an effective, collegial and protective physician-PA/APRN relationship. Protocols are not “cookbook” recipes for managing clinical condit...

The QPP Portal is Open: Submit Your 2017 Data

Practice Management  |  Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) opened the reporting portal for the Quality Payment Program (QPP) on January 2. The deadline to submit your 2017 performance data is March 31, 2018. The portal provides one-stop shopping, allowing users to enter performance scores for all three categories...

Distractions in the Workplace

Risk Matters  |  Julie Loomis, RN, JD

Distractions and interruptions are a fact of life in today’s healthcare environment, but that doesn’t mean a practice should simply accept them and the threat they pose to patient safety. Identifying the sources and frequency of distractions and interruptions allows for implementation of strategie...

2018 Cybersecurity Outlook


Looking ahead to 2018, cybercriminals will redouble their efforts to steal personal health information (PHI). The number of ransomware attacks has steadily risen for the last few years, and there is no indication that it will slow anytime soon. Reliance upon technology in healthcare continues to grow, providi...

The MIPS Cost Category: New for 2018

Practice Management  |  Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC

In 2018, the federal government began to assess the cost of caring for Medicare beneficiaries under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). One of four components of the MIPS composite performance score – the cost category – counts as 10% of the overall score in 2018. While it m...

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