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TMGMA PAST PRESIDENT
SCHOLARSHIP FUND

The application period is now open for the 2018 Council of Past Presidents’ Scholarships. The application deadline is July 24, 2018.

Up to three scholarships will be awarded to qualified applicants including one $2,000 and two $500 awards.

The funds are available for qualified, continuing MGMA education. The $2,000 award is available to state level MGMA members to pursue certification and/or fellowship including attendance at the MGMA Annual Conference. The two $500 awards are available to state and local chapter MGMA members to attend TMGMA conferences. The application, award criteria and additional information are at https://tmgma.com/Scholarships. Questions should be directed to the Chair of the Council of Past Presidents, Steve Dickens at steved@svmic.com.

Read about recent events, essential information and the latest community news.

  • 8 May 2018 11:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Event Details

    Please join Kraft Technology Group (KTG) and MCC Nashville on May 8 for a collaborative lunch & learn event: Smart Solutions for Document Management & Disaster-Proofing Your Business.

    Don Baham, president of KTG, will speak on intelligent business continuity, which offers more than traditional backup and disaster recovery. Intelligent business continuity delivers the best means to keep your business up and running in the event of a disaster, regardless of the size or the source. As businesses continue to undergo digital transformation, it is vital that they have a business continuity plan and disaster recovery capabilities that provide the necessary resiliency for critical processes and applications.

    Josh Drummond, regional document management specialist of MCC, will speak on enterprise document management. MCC’s document management solutions focus on cost reduction, compliance and improved efficiency for any organization. Our products are designed to provide industry-leading flexibility and scalability, allowing for integration with any type of scanning device, fax server, MFP or network folder. Josh and his team provide innovative strategies around end-to-end document capture, business process automation and content management solutions. In today’s ever changing business environment, having the ability to access documents remotely and “on the go” while achieving the ultimate paperless environment, is crucial to optimizing business efficiencies, workplace productivity and overall cost reductions.

    https://www.kraftcpas.com/event/smart-solutions-for-document-management-disaster-proofing-your-business/

    Event Organizer

    Kara Allen
    phone: 615-782-4215

  • 25 Apr 2018 2:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    NMGMA: 10 Minute Takeaway

    By CINDY SANDERS

    Published: April 4, 2018 

    Teddy Ansink

    The second Tuesday of each month, practice managers and healthcare industry service providers gather for the monthly Nashville Medical Group Management Association (NMGMA) meeting.

    During the March luncheon, Teddy Ansink with Sword and Shield discussed 'Why Social Engineering Succeeds' and what that might mean for companies trying to keep information from being compromised. Ansink started out by defining social engineering as: "The use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes."

    As part of his work, Ansink will often try to gain physical access to a client's offices to see what areas can be breached and what information he can retrieve. Once inside, he said it's often easy to walk into empty offices and snap photos of paperwork left on desks.

    There are a variety of ways he accesses areas where he shouldn't be from 'tailgating,' which is going in right behind someone, to stepping on an elevator or walking up to a back area with his hands full and having someone push a button or open a door for him. "Employees have a desire to be helpful. This is one of the problems," he said with a smile.

    He noted that between websites and LinkedIn, it's easy to find the names of key staff members to casually drop into conversation and make his visit appear legitimate. "Getting someone to challenge a person they don't recognize can be difficult," he noted, saying most people either don't want to approach a stranger or want to be helpful if they do.

    The mindset, he suggested, needs to shift from 'challenging' someone to 'meeting a new person.' If an unrecognized individual tries to access a private area, a few friendly questions or checking the schedule could quickly ascertain whether the visit is legitimate and actually be helpful to the guest. If the story doesn't check out, then the employee should escort the visitor to a public area and report the incident.

    Malware, phishing, baiting and other tactics also often succeed because employees are trying to be helpful. Ansink said emails from bad actors purporting to be from a boss are a tricky way to obtain sensitive information since most employees act quickly to fulfill a request from a supervisor. The simple solution is to verify the request is authentic, particularly if the required data includes private information on patients or clients.

    In addition to targeted training to thwart attempts at social engineering, Ansink advocated for restricting peripherals, adopting a clean desk policy when staff members leave their work areas, and empowering employees to question unknown people in private or restricted areas of the practice or office.

  • 16 Mar 2018 11:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    Join MGMA Stat by texting TMGMA to 33550 – it’s that easy!

     

     

    Are you curious to see if other healthcare professionals are experiencing the same issues? Do want to know if other practice administrators have a specific process or program in place that you’re interested in implementing, but want to know if it will be worth your time first?

    Join MGMA Stat and get answers! When you sign up for MGMA Stat, you will benefit from industry polls and data-rich articles on a weekly basis. Sign up for MGMA Stat and see why 3,500+ healthcare professionals love it.

    What is MGMA Stat and how does it work? 

    • MGMA Stat captures real-time data on timely issues affecting the healthcare industry by texting weekly polling questions about practice management. Within 48 hours results are texted back in graphic form connected to free, related resources.
    • Credible insight on hot topics and common issues in business of healthcare
    • Provider of timely data and resources to help with practice management challenges
    •  Agile & innovative research tool to address timely topics
    • MGMA Stat is open to all healthcare professionals regardless of MGMA membership status

    Join by texting TMGMA to 33550 – it’s that easy!

  • 13 Mar 2018 7:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    The Administrative Viewpoint

    By CINDY SANDERS

    Published: March 7, 2018 

    Joy Testa

    Insights from Inside the Practice Environment

    What keeps practice administrators up at night? The list is long as practices strive to deliver the highest quality of care while making enough money to keep the doors open and complying with a long, complex list of regulations.

    MIPS remains a chief concern for many as practices move to the new quality payment program for Medicare enrollees. The Merit-based Incentive Payment System is the next evolution in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) move away from fee-for-service and towards a value-based system of care.

    Joy Testa, practice manager for Nashville Family Foot Care, PLLC, said the physicians in her practice recognize the value in federal programs that shift the focus towards quality metrics. "We've always been on board for all of these processes, but it's a lot of work," she said. Ironically, she added the team has to keep watch to make sure keeping up with new regulations doesn't inadvertently wind up taking time away from patients.

    Testa, who also serves as president of the Nashville Medical Group Management Association (NMGMA), said her practice reported for a 90-day period for 2017. "We've done two of the three portions," she said, adding the third portion on quality is in process through their clinical EMR system. "We won't have a payment reduction," she noted. With today's tight margins, she continued, "We want to be cognizant of the fact that we don't want to lose any revenue opportunities."

    From the quality standpoint, Testa said the practice welcomes the clinical decision support embedded in their eClinicalWorks EMR system. For example, she noted, every diabetic patient should receive patient education so it's nice to have that extra reminder pop up on the dashboard. "These are things that are relevant to the patient and relevant to their care," she pointed out.


    Kathi Carney

    For Kathi Carney, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, a billing and coding specialist and member of the NMGMA Board, payment issues stemming from prior authorizations and third party payers have become increasingly frequent. "In line with that has been the ever-changing payment structure," she noted. "How do you continue to make your practice thrive when reimbursement rates are going down and costs continue to increase? How do you stay on top of changing regulations and keep the staff informed?" she questioned.

    Like Testa, she relies on the automation of an electronic health system to pull key data for reporting and said she couldn't imagine how difficult and time intensive it would be to capture required data without and EMR.

    "There are a lot of choices to decide what works best for your practice," she pointed out. "Often, it requires a consultant to come in and drill down to see what's best."

    Despite Carney's professional focus on the revenue cycle, she was quick to say that practices can't always worry solely about the money aspect but must strike a balance between patient experience and revenue. "Ultimately it comes back to your patient, patient care and patient experience ... but really it's all tied together," she said. "You want to be respectful of your patient's time, and it costs a lot more to be inefficient. The best patient care at the lowest cost ... that's the ultimate goal."

    Another issue practice managers face is the sheer breadth of their job description. "Practice managers wear so many hats these days," said Testa. It's one of the reasons she finds organizations like NMGMA so valuable. With a motto of 'meet, learn, grow,' Testa said the organization delivers on all three.

    "If you're having a rough day, you have someone to talk to who understands," she noted of the relationships built through the monthly meetings. The educational component is another huge factor for attendees. In upcoming meetings, NMGMA will welcome speakers from the Office of the Inspector General to discuss compliance issues and from Palmetto GBA, the state's new Medicare Administrative Contractor. Participation also helps practice managers grow their careers by earning continuing education credits towards board certification from the national organization.

    "It's hard to get away from the office, especially when you have a small practice," Testa said from experience. "But once you are away and have a minute to yourself, you hear something useful and are able to bring that back to the practice. That's what stood out to me when I first started coming to NMGMA."

    Carney agreed, saying it was important for administrators to become involved in their local and national specialty organizations, including NMGMA. "You have to keep your finger on the pulse somehow, and I think one of the best ways is to stay involved with your professional community

  • 13 Mar 2018 7:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    NMGMA: 10 Minute Takeaway

    By CINDY SANDERS

    Published: March 7, 2018 

    James Fields

    Best Practices for the Hiring Process

    The second Tuesday of each month, practice managers and healthcare industry service providers gather for the monthly Nashville Medical Group Management Association (NMGMA) meeting. In February, Concept Technology Founder and President James Fields discussed building a balanced company culture that begins with smart hiring.

    For Fields, he said company decisions had to balance the needs of clients, the team, and business. "If one of those is going to take a substantive hit, then it's probably the wrong thing to do," he said.

    Building a great corporate culture, Fields continued, starts with the right people. "The culture of any company is the grand total of everything that's said, every action taken," he noted, adding that if you have the right people onboard, then 80 percent of your problems are already solved.


    Smart Hires

    For Concept Technologies, the hiring process has become a science. Starting with a large group of source candidates from a job posting, applicants are narrowed down through a brief, basic online technology quiz. From those candidates, around three dozen might be invited to come to the office for a more in-depth technical exam that still takes only about 10 minutes. In addition to the skills assessment, Fields said the team observes whether or not the candidate arrived on time, was engaging, and dressed appropriately. Narrowing the field again, about a dozen might receive a first interview and just over half be invited back for a second interview and advanced technical evaluation.

    There are several key elements of smart hiring, Fields said. The first is to know your numbers - they often process more than 300 applications before hiring one superstar team member. Next, he continued, "We require a little work at every stage of the interview." His third tip, as you move through to a smaller group of candidates, is to keep them longer than an hour. "Anyone can keep their game face on for an hour," he pointed out. The team also conducts group interviews as the candidate pool narrows down. "The purpose of the group interview isn't to vet skills, it's to vet culture fit," Fields noted.

    Finally, the candidate is assessed for HCV - humility, curiosity, and vulnerability. "We need people to lean in and actively participate in business," he said, adding the curious person might come to the table and question processes in an effort to find ways to work better whereas a critic only comes to the table to shoot down options.


    Best First Day

    After going through all the work to find the right person, Fields said companies too often drop the ball when it comes to onboarding. "New hires are confused by how you work. Take time to explain to them," he said, adding effective onboarding equals greater productivity and longevity.

    Excited about joining the team, how often have new employees walked into an office where they instantly felt awkward and unsure? A new job is much like the first day at a new school where everyone else already knows each other and the routine.

    To integrate new team members from the start, Fields said his company has a welcome banner to greet the new employee, has their desk already outfitted with the items that will be needed, business cards are ready, an account list is printed out, and lunch plans with colleagues have been set. "These are all things you have to do anyway, just do it before the person's first day," he advised of setting a welcoming tone and reinforcing a positive corporate culture.

    NMGMA in March

    The next meeting - scheduled for 11:30 am-1 pm on Tuesday, March 13 at KraftCPAs - features a presentation on "Why Social Engineering Succeeds" by an expert with Sword and Shield. For more information or to register, go online to nashvillemgma.org.

    Practice managers interested in attending a luncheon to learn more about the organization and educational topics, should email NMGMA President Joy Testa at joytesta@bellsouth.net to register for their first meeting as a guest.

  • 26 Feb 2018 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    NMGMA: 10 Minute Takeaway

    By CINDY SANDERS

    Published: February 7, 2018

     

    Melanie Adams

    The second Tuesday of each month, practice managers and healthcare industry service providers gather at Saint Thomas West Hospital for the monthly Nashville Medical Group Management Association (NMGMA) meeting.

    During the January luncheon, Melanie Adams, executive director of the Center for Executive Education at Belmont University, discussed "Coaching through Change." The interactive presentation included exercises that called upon attendees to think through best practices, pitfalls, and effective communications strategies to help guide organizations during times of transformation.

    Starting with the recognition that 'change is hard,' Adams noted people sometimes expend far more energy looking for workarounds rather than adapting to change, particularly if they don't feel properly engaged and trained in the process. She asked the audience to consider the different emotions aligned with the notion of having change done 'to us' versus 'by us.'

    "When researchers have studied change in major organizations, what they found is over two-thirds fail," she said. "Of the change initiatives that failed, what is even more surprising is that it's not because they were bad ideas."

    In fact, Adams continued, when researchers drilled down, more than 95 percent of the ideas were good solutions to real problems. "So why are we not able to make those changes happen?" she questioned. The answer, Adams continued, is tied to execution and involvement. "There is one key factor that really separates success from failure," she noted. "It's the buy-in ... it's the personal commitment."

    Adams said it is easy to blame a lack of funding, technology or other resources when a change project falters. While all of those items are nice to have in abundance, she said none are the true differentiator between success and failure. "What actually gives us the advantage is the ability to engage others." Adams added, "This is not new information, but it's incredibly hard to do within the complexities of our organizations."

    Adams shared several key steps to help NMGMA attendees shift their physician practices into the success category the next time a change project emerges (as happens on a regular basis in the healthcare industry). The first tenet, she noted, is that personal change precedes organizational change.

    "Individuals will really struggle with connecting to organizational change if they don't see a personal connection," she noted, adding that's as true for the leadership team as it is for frontline employs. "This is the starting point ... not the organizational strategy."

    Once team members understand the impact the change is expected to have on their workflow, then individuals have to be motivated to take the necessary steps. Adams said one option is an extrinsic 'carrot/stick' approach. However, she continued, "We know from research that type of motivation works ... but only for a short amount of time so it's not sustainable." Instead, she continued, "We really need to connect with those internal drivers ... those intrinsic drivers."

    Pulling from Daniel Pink's book "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us," Adams said there are three main factors that propel motivation:

    • Mastery: the desire to get better or be a subject matter expert,
    • Autonomy: the desire to direct our own lives ... or at least control our piece of the change initiative, and/or
    • Purpose: the feeling we can make a difference or that we are part of something bigger that will have a real impact once the change is implemented.

    "I'm going to add one more to Dan Pink's list," Adams said. "Sometimes a sense of urgency is the exact thing people need to hear. As leaders, we tend to hold off on sharing the scary stuff with the masses because we don't want people to worry." However, she continued, full disclosure also has its merits in certain circumstances so that employees understand the immediacy when there is a need to rapidly implement change.

    Effective communication is the linchpin of any change initiative. Adams said it's critical to provide information on why the change is necessary and how it will ultimately improve an individual's function and workflow. "You might also consider talking about what's not going to change to give people something to hold onto," Adams counseled. Equally, she said it's important to validate team members' feelings of concern over how the change might initially impact their perceived job competence and routine.

    "Then ... and only then ... are people ready for the vision," she concluded.

    NMGMA in February

  • 26 Feb 2018 10:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

      

    DAY ON THE HILL 2018
    Tuesday, March 6
    Cordell Hull Building
    Nashville

    Physicians, Administrators, Managers, and Medical Staff are encouraged to attend!

    Sign up at www.tnmed.org/dayonthehill

    As you arrive

    Meet with legislators
    Cordell Hull Building
    425 5th Ave N
    Nashville, TN 37243

    4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

    Reception with legislators
    Double Tree Hotel
    315 4
    th Ave. North
    Nashville, TN 37219

    *Lunch is not provided as part of this event.*
    Attendees should make plans to eat on their own
    See
    map of nearby lunch options  

  • 26 Feb 2018 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    #ComeSailAwayWithTMGMA!

    Register now to join in the fun as we discover new ports every day! Departure is set for 4/11/2018. Our first port of call will be our pre-conference workshops where you have the option of focusing on career and self-development or exploring the waters of payment transformation through the use of data. Register today and make plans now to join in the fun!

    Visit tmgma.com to register and view our full conference brochure.

  • 5 Feb 2018 10:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 2018 MGMA Tennessee State Salary Survey is now open! By participating in this survey, you’re contributing to gold-standard benchmark data and helping produce more Tennessee-specific benchmarking data.

    Use this link http://orca.mgma.com/statesurvey to begin completing your 2018 State Salary Survey. This year, you have the option to participate in the State Salary Survey, or a combined version of both the Provider Compensation Survey and State Salary Survey. Please select which survey you wish to participate in. From here, you won’t have to navigate away from this page and only required questions are included. Participation is easier than ever before! Remember to bookmark this special survey link!

    As a benefit of participating, you’ll receive complimentary access to the results through MGMA DataDive. Feb. 16th is the deadline to complete this year’s survey.

    Need help getting started? Check out the State MGMA Survey Participation page to make sure you have everything you need to begin.

    For more information on all MGMA surveys, please visit mgma.org/participate.

    Need one-on-one help?

    MGMA data analysts are available Monday through Friday, 6 am to 6 pm MT. Toll-free: 877.275.6462, ext. 1895 or survey@mgma.org 

  • 12 Aug 2016 3:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ex Parte Communications between Treating Physician and Attorney for another Treating Physician.

    Pursuant to HIPAA, physicians are permitted to disclose “protected health information” to their attorneys (who are their business associates) for purposes of their own healthcare operations. That provision allows physicians sued by patients for malpractice to provide their attorneys with the information needed to prepare and present a defense. HIPAA does not allow treating physicians in one practice to disclose “protected health information” to attorneys for a treating physician in another practice unless a subpoena or an order of a court permits that disclosure. Ordinarily, subpoenas or orders are a part of a court ordered deposition or trial at which the patients or their attorneys are present, so the need to protect health information is lessened.

    HIPAA allows members of a group practice to transmit protected health information concerning a patient to business associates of the practice, including attorneys representing the other physicians in the group practice for the practice’s healthcare operations. Healthcare operations includes representation in lawsuits. A subpoena or court order is not required for this disclosure. Thus, HIPAA permits the attorney for a physician to meet with the physicians in that same practice and obtain protected health information.

    In Tennessee, the Tennessee Supreme Court opined that an implied covenant of confidentiality exists between the treating physician and his or her patient. Like HIPAA, this implied covenant of confidentiality absolutely prohibits an attorney for a treating physician from meeting with another treating physician unless the patient or the patient’s attorney is present. Like HIPAA, the court assumes that the patient’s interests are protected when the patient is present.

    Does the implied covenant of confidentiality prohibit a physician employed in a group practice from meeting with the attorneys representing another employee of the practice who has been sued for malpractice without the patient being present? That was the question in Hall v. Crenshaw, W2013-00662-COA-R9-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. July 18, 2014). The court of appeals held that the implied covenant of confidentiality does not prohibit a physician in a group practice from meeting with attorneys representing another employee physician of the practice. The court of appeals reasoned that a corporation can only function through its agents and employees. Under state law, all knowledge of the corporation’s employees is imputed to the corporation. Therefore, the court concluded, the covenant of the corporation already possesses the information. Conversely, the corporation, through its employees, can discuss a patient’s medical record and history with the attorneys representing the corporation and its employees.

    1. What if the treating physicians are not employees of the corporation but are owners of the practice (e.g., shareholders, members, or partners)?
    2. What if the entity is not sued – only the individual physician is sued?

    The court of appeals did not provide the answer to these questions. In fact, the court specifically declined to address the shareholder issue.

About the association

The Nashville Medical Group Management Association is a non profit organization in Nashville TN that exists to provide resources to Medical Group Managers, Affiliate Members and Students who are interested in a career in Healthcare Management.


Contacts

PO Box 331536, Nashville, Tennessee 37203

website@nashvillemgma.org

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