In this issue:

         Medical News  •  Patient Resources  •  Rules and Regulations  •  Practice Management Tips


Medical News

Candy-Like Tobacco Could Poison Children Say Researchers
US researchers writing in a leading journal concluded that a new form of pelleted tobacco product that in some cases looks like candy could poison children and lure young people into nicotine addiction.
Source: Medical News Today

Updated survival data from Phase I/II trial of nab-paclitaxel, gemcitabine combination for pancreatic cancer
Abraxis BioScience, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABII), a fully integrated biotechnology company, on April 19, 2010 announced updated overall survival findings from a phase I/II study of nab®-paclitaxel (ABRAXANE® for Injectable Suspension) (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) (albumin-bound) given in combination with gemcitabine, demonstrated increased survival of the first-line treatment of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.
Source: The Medical News

Scientists Create Artificial Human Skin with Biomechanical Properties Using Tissue Engineering
Scientists from the University of Granada, Spain, have generated artificial human skin by tissular engineering basing on agarose-fibrin biomaterial. The artificial skin was grafted onto mice, and optimal development, maturation and functionality results were obtained.
Source: Lab Manager Magazine

Patient Resources

Belly fat or hip fat -- it really is all in your genes, researcher says
"Given the difference in gene expression profiles, a female fat tissue won't behave anything like a male fat tissue and vice versa," Dr. Clegg said. "The notion that fat cells between males and females are alike is inconsistent with our findings."
Source: Physorg.com

'Back Jack' Eases Pain
If you suffer chronic back pain, you're not alone. Thirty-one million Americans complain of the problem. It's a leading contributor to missed work, the second most common reason people go to the doctor and costs $50 billion a year. Surgeons turned to an unlikely place for inspiration and developed a technique to get patients back on their feet faster.
Source: Ivanhoe Newswire

Cardiac Device Deactivation Not Euthanasia, Society Says
Deactivation of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) and pacemakers can be a thorny issue for clinicians and industry alike, but the Heart Rhythm Society urged clinicians to respect the right of patients to request it.
Source: MedPage Today

AMA and Other Groups Petition Against FTC "Red Flags" Rule

Following a recent federal court decision, the American Medical Association (AMA) has joined with three other national organizations representing professional health care providers calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to exclude health professionals from controversial new regulation intended to combat identity theft.


Excerpt:
According to the associations, the FTC’s interpretation of the regulation imposes an unjustified, unfunded mandate on health professionals for detecting and responding to identity theft.
Read more...

Practice Management Tips

Complying with “Red Flag” Rule and Reducing Risk of Identity Theft with Fields of Code Medical 2.0

The FTC in the US has determined that health care providers could join the ranks of businesses that must comply with the “Red Flag” rule. The purpose is to ensure the protection of patient private information. Interest is driven by the massive number of identity thefts that occur in the US, close to 9 million cases yearly. While for the time being the FTC has delayed¹ the enforcement deadline to June 1, 2010, it is a good time to take a look at how you might be affected.

The Federal Trade Commission has many articles on its website aimed to help determine if the new rule could apply to your particular practice. This determination so far is not precise; it relies on establishing if the practice is acting in a “creditor” capacity, and revolves around billing and payment procedures². The FTC also suggests on its website that an “Identity Theft Prevention Program” should be set up by applicable clinics, with focus on reacting to, and recognizing suspicious activities that may lead to identity theft.

Navigating the legal labyrinth will be daunting; the rules are changing frequently and are complicated. If you are in the US, you may be required to act in the next several months. This is best accomplished by discussing the status of your clinic on the “Red Flag” rule with a lawyer who specializing in health care. You may have to implement a prevention program in the future that is solid and guarantees your compliance. But once that is realized, Fields of Code Medical has several features that may assist in some regards. Here are a few simple workflows for what you can do to prevent identity theft in your clinic:

  • If someone provides a photo ID that appears forged or altered², besides obviously requesting additional documentation, if the person is already logged as an existing patient, you can compare suspicious documents against previously digitalized material stored in the extended 'Data' page. The photo can be compared to the personal image on file to check this is without a doubt the intended person. The image container appears on the Personal page of Patient documents in the Fields of Code Medical software. Our team has prepared a new video tutorial that explores the use of the the personal image and in general the collection of personal information for the initial questionnaire when patients join the clinic. To see this video, log on to the free Fields of Code Library, and scroll to the Patient section. Look for the following video ID: R3F9.

  • If you must keep sensitive documents around that reveal personal information, whether about patients or employees, the best way to handle these is to scan them, and insert the digitalized versions into the Data page of the Patient/Employee document it belongs to in Fields of Code Medical. This is especially the case for documents that are frequently accessed and tend to be physically moved around. Consequently, these documents will remain safe and always encrypted within the database, together with all other related information. The encryption happens automatically, without you having to train or ask your staff to remember. Given that all users connecting to the data in Fields of Code Medical have secure profiles, and must use passwords to log on to the data, this significantly reduces exposure by unauthorized access, loss and theft.

  • When using Fields of Code Medical you can radically reduce the financial burden and make compliance easier. Take advantage of your practice management system to provide you with the necessary secure built-in features. If do not own a Fields of Code license, we have a wide range of feature-rich solutions at reasonable prices, including a new low-fee monthly option that allows you to rent a database without having to pay any license fees. This offers a utility-type-of-cost solution that provides all future upgrades for free, and are completely under your control. You won’t need to purchase third party encryption tools, nor train your staff to use additional software. You don’t have to rely on your staff to remember to encrypt the data or any long complicated workflows. You get an all-in-one easy to use application, and your staff can come up to speed by using our free online video tutorial library³ and free technical support. No more costly training sessions and seminars, just one single application that ensures it all works for you from the get-go.

References:

1. FTC Extends Enforcement Deadline for Identity Theft Red Flags Rule
    The Federal Trade Commission, Business Articles
    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/redflags.shtm

2. The "Red Flags" Rule:
    What Health Care Providers Need to Know About Complying with New Requirements for Fighting Identity Theft
    The Federal Trade Commission, Business Articles
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/articles/art11.shtm

3. The Fields of Code Library
    The FFC Library provides you with free access to all our video tutorials and download-material.
    If you are not registered yet, use our free one-time quick registration to create a new free account.
    http://www.ffclibrary.com/requestNewAcc.html

 

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