RSSAuthor Archive for Karen M. Cheung

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Karen M. Cheung is the associate editor for HCPro, Inc., the healthcare compliance publisher, delivering news and information to the medical staff market with products such as books, e-newsletters, seminars, and broadcast events. Before arriving at HCPro, Karen served as the news editor for (including and lead blogger for, providing unbiased tech reviews for the Having trained with The Washington Post photo department and earning a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, Karen has experience with news and commercial photography. During her time in D.C., she covered Capitol Hill and the White House for daily New England newspapers.

Featured free webcast: ACOs influence on MSPs

By now, you’ve probably heard the acronym ACO a few times at your organization. Although there are still many questions, one thing is for sure: ACOs will create changes throughout the healthcare industry, including the medical staff office. For MSPs, what this most likely means is a change to how practitioners are credentialed.

Bruce D. Armon, Esq., a legal expert in corporate healthcare law, will present a free 30-minute webcast next week about the MSPs role in an ACO formation. Armon is managing partner of Saul Ewing LLP’s Philadelphia office and co-chair of its health law group. He is also a member of our panel of highly-respected experts presenting at the 15th Annual Credentialing Resource Center Symposium, May 10-11, in Orlando. For more information on the symposium, click here.

To sign up for this free webcast, call 781/639-5599 or click here.

For better or for worse: Waivers for patient online reviews

When I first moved to a new city, I knew no one, including a primary care physician (PCP), gynecologist, dentist, no one. I asked friends of friends and my PCP from my old city for recommendations, but unfortunately, they didn’t have any for me. As a patient, I did the next logical step in my research and Googled physicians who belonged to my insurance network. I came across glowing reviews, as well as a few sour ones. Those online reviews were extremely helpful in selecting who my physicians would be.

A new trend, however, is putting a stop to those online reviews. More physicians are asking their patients to sign waivers restricting them from posting reviews online. Known as mutual privacy agreements, these documents are typically batched with other HIPAA agreements and initial patient paperwork that patients fill out before their examination.

User-generated reviews, written by patients, themselves, are open for public view. Patients can rate their physicians and appointment experience, both positively and negatively. Ratings and comments can include information about the physician’s licensure, schools attended, office location, disciplinary records, and even bedside manner. Some user-generated review websites include the following:


Ideas for Doctor’s Day

National Doctor’s Day is quickly approaching. Hint: It’s on March 30. There’s still time to organize events and activities to recognize your physicians. Here are some ideas to honor your physicians at your institution:

  • Food
    Food is always a crowd pleaser and lends itself to good conversation. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner (depending on your budget), remember to include various options for special dietary needs (vegan, gluten-free, kosher, etc.). Who doesn’t enjoy a good meal?
  • Theme parties
    Remember to have fun with the day. Consider creating a decorative theme for each year’s Doctor’s Day, such as the Doctor Oscars, superheroes, or M*A*S*H. The medical staff office can take it a step further and even dress up in custom.
  • [more]

TJC releases more FAQs on MS.01.01.01

The Joint Commission on Thursday released new information of frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding MS.01.01.01.

The Joint Commission introduced MS.01.01.01, the medical staff bylaws standard formerly known as MS.1.20, in May 2010 when the accrediting body revealed its FAQ, explaining the relationship between the medical executive committee and the medical staff. The standard may affect many institutions as they must amend their medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations, and policies.

The new FAQ further reveals:

  • Medical staff representatives(s) should participate in all governing body meetings.
  • There is no requirement in which the organized medical staff must formally meet when it adopts or approves medical staff bylaws and revisions of amendments.

MS.01.01.01 goes into effect on March 31.

Extended deal: $100 off CRC Symposium

We all love a deal. HCPro has extended its discount rate for the 14th Annual Credentialing Resource Center Symposium (May 12-13 in Las Vegas)! If you register before April 1, you get $100 off the regular price ($995) at $895 per registration. We hope to see you there!

CA faces AHP shortage

The average non-nursing allied health professionals (AHP) faces a vacancy rate of 4.4%, according to a February 9 California Hospital Association (CHA) report, “Critical Roles: California’s Allied Health Workforce.” Out of 111 survey respondents, the occupation that have the highest vacancy rates are physical therapists (7.8%), cardiovascular and interventional radiology technologists (6.8%), medical lab technicians (6.3%), and MRI technologists (6.2%).

The CHA Healthcare Workforce Coalition, created in 2007, conducted the study looking at AHPs and found that the five largest occupations are respiratory therapist, pharmacist, pharmacy technician, radiological technologist, and clinical lab scientist. Together, they make up more than three-quarters of the non-nursing AHP workforce.


Take the 2011 MSP salary survey

Ever wonder how your salary stacks up against other MSPs in the country, or even in your area?

Briefings on Credentialing (BOC) is conducting an online salary survey to collect data on the latest salary trends among MSPs. Click here to fill out the short 15-question survey. A summary of the results will be published online at the Credentialing Resource Center blog, and BOC subscribers will receive and in-depth look at the results in their April 2011 issue.

After you complete the survey, enter your name to win a credentialing book of your choice. The winner will receive one complimentary HCPro credentialing and privileging book, excluding Core Privileges for Physicians.

The survey closes on February 11.

Video: Online medical staff training demo

HCPro released the online medical staff training library that users can use at home or the office, basically anywhere with an Internet connection. A few of you still had questions about how it works. It’s not a DVD or CD. It’s not an audio conference. It’s the next best thing to going to a live conference.

Well, you’ll just have to see for yourself on how it works. Click below to view the navigation demo.

For more information on this product, click here.

What’s on your to-do list? Discharge planning improvement should be

Yes, it’s almost the end of January, and I shamefully still have my Christmas tree up and my luggage all over my living room floor. Why? My to-do lists seem endless.

I have two lists—one for personal life, full of items, such as pay bills and write thank-you cards, and one for work life, a long list of people I need to e-mail or calls to make.

As with most people’s, the to-do list seems to grow by the minute. Today’s Hospitalist featured an article on uncovering the cause of hospitalists’ readmission rates, in other words, a must for the to-do list.

Slideshow: The top blog posts of 2010

Did you miss some of the most popular blog posts this year? Don’t fret. We’ve compiled the top 10 news stories and tools of 2010 here:

10. Joint Commission updates blood transfusion requirements (September 28)

9. Free form: Example seven-day on/seven-day off hospitalist schedule (January 12)

8. ABMS and ACGME update core competencies: Don’t forget about procedural skills (October 11)

7. CMS issues first clarification on accountable care organizations (June 11)

6. Contest entry: MSP orientation plan (May 19)

5. Improving patient satisfaction scores one question at a time (May 3)

4. Free form: Clinical references policy and procedure (June 24)

3. MSPs offer tips for working collegially to accomplish goals quickly (July 6)

2. Contest winner: OPPE for low-volume providers (April 30)

1. Contest winner: Physician report card (May 26)

Related: Top blog posts of 2009

Free form: Physician-hospital alignment questionnaire template

If a group of physicians approached your hospital about doing an underarrangement, the hospital might immediately say no because underarrangements come prepackaged with negative legal consequences. However, the hospital might attempt to craft another kind of model that would obtain the same or similar business goals for both the hospital and the physician group. In other words, can the hospital turn the no into a yes?

The physicians should establish the type and definition of the business arrangement they want with the facility.

This questionnaire helps to frame business arrangement discussions. Ask physicians to describe proposed arrangements with the hospital using this template before approaching the administration with the business proposal. The questionnaire serves as a filter, separating the physicians who are serious about pursuing a business arrangement and those who are not. By filtering the requests, the organization saves its administrators and medical staff leaders significant time researching proposals.

Download the Physician-Hospital Alignment Questionnaire Template (Word doc.) here. It comes from comes the new book, Engage and Align the Medical Staff and Hospital Management: Expert Strategies and Field-Tested Tools, published by HCPro, Inc.

Most Americans against Medicare cut, AMA says

The majority of Americans do not support Medicare’s pending payment cuts to physicians, according to a new American Medical Association (AMA) poll released this week. Ninety-four percent of 1,000 adult respondents in the online poll said that a payment cut would negatively affect seniors’ health.

Medicare and TRICARE plans to reduce payments to physicians by about 25% by then of the year.

“The American Medical Association believes patients should have access to the physician of their choice—and physicians should be able to count on payments that cover the cost of providing care,” states an AMA flyer that urges Medicare and TRICARE patients to call their congressional members. “Congress needs to fix this problem once and for all,” it states.

Congress delayed payment cuts to the controversial reimbursement changes earlier this year. AMA calls for a 13-month reprieve of payment cuts, allowing time for a longer-term solution, according to a Nov. 8 press release.