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|Message From Our President|
Happy-ish New Year!?!
I want to start by thanking everyone who have entrusted me with the honor and privilege of leading our fantastic organization. I have (figuratively) large shoes to fill as Barbara has done a wonderful job the last two years. I also want to stress that I cannot and will not run this organization alone. I will not only depend on the brave souls that have volunteered to be on the executive board with me, but I will also look toward the membership to help guide me in the right direction so that everyone gets the most benefit from this organization. We are all in the same boat, so we may as well work together to navigate the often rough seas of healthcare management.
So why “Happy-ish New Year!?!” you ask? Well, after all the hustle and bustle of carting three kids around to grandparent’s houses, making sure Santa arrived at the Thompson household right at the stroke of Midnight on Christmas eve, and making sure all the details were worked out to close out the fiscal year for the practice, I thought that coming back to work on the 2nd of January was going to be a slight vacation from the holidays. Boy was I wrong!
The first thing to hit my desk before my coffee even got cold was a phone call from a patient that had inadvertently received someone else’s paperwork when she checked out. Honest mistake but it does happen. The patient raised her concerns about the potential HIPAA violation, which I took seriously. I called one of our business partners, Sandberg Phoenix and Von Gontard, for guidance and Kyle gave me the best course of action to mitigate the situation. I documented everything that happened, was said, and offered credit monitoring services for a year per the provisions of the law. I was able to work with Identity Guard who gave me codes (after I paid for them of course) to give to the patients so that they didn’t have to pay anything, and I didn’t have to subscribe to a headache of a monthly service. The patient whose information was accidently disclosed was so thrilled that we were handling the situation so professionally. It made it worth the worry and headache knowing that the patient was thankful.
Okay, I’ve had my one HIPAA headache for the year, right? WRONG! The very next day I had a physician office refuse to disclose a patient’s information when they were trying to schedule the patient for an appointment in our office. Once again, I call Kyle, we joke about how 2019 is starting out with a bang, and he gave me advice on how to handle the situation. I have a feeling that this won’t be the end of my HIPAA headaches for 2019.
My point of all this: We have each other and need each other to get through some of the tough problems. Feel free to ask not only your peers, but reach out the business partners when you have a question or need help. They are a wealth of resources for us. I am also available when you need me. Email me (email@example.com), call me (314-645-0990 office), text me (314-620-3255), whatever you need. As I tell my staff, my door is always open.
Greg Thompson, MBA