Florida Supreme Court Deems Caps Unconstitutional

The Florida Supreme Court ruled the caps presented to injured patients is unconstitutional.

“The caps on noneconomic damages … arbitrarily reduce damage awards for plaintiffs who suffer the most drastic injuries,” the court said.

As a result of a challenge in a recent injury case from Broward County, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled the caps limiting recoverable damages against healthcare providers in medical negligence cases unconstitutional. The caps were first enacted by the Florida Legislature in 2003.

To read more about the recent case you can click the link below:

Regional Vice President of Med Pro, Eric Clark, has written about cap removal. Read more about the Supreme Court Ruling by clicking the link below:

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

Approximately 2,600 people have died in 2016 from opioid overdoses, according to Florida Medical Association CEO, Timothy J. Stapleton. Opioids are a severely dangerous addiction that needs to be addressed.

The best way to start conquering this issue is to get educated. The Emerald Coast Medical Association is assisting in the production of a CME event addressing this Drug Crisis in October. Not only can you earn CME credits, but you will learn how to change and save lives.

To read more on what CEO, Timothy Stapleton, has to say about the continuing opioid overdoses by clicking the button below:

More information on the Drug Crisis event is coming soon. To stay up-to-date on event details you can visit our Upcoming Events page by clicking the button below:

Part 3: Putting Leadership Style Into Action

These three educational sessions were designed specifically for you as a practice manager. Upon completion, you will feel empowered to deal with the daily healthcare industry changes coming your way and lead your staff to the next level.

This is the third and most interactive session in this series, presented by Debra Williams, M.D. Don’t miss this final informative and interactive session to help you put all the pieces of the leadership puzzle together. Missed the first two sessions? No worries, you will be able to jump right in and enjoy the opportunity to learn from your peers.

Continue reading “Part 3: Putting Leadership Style Into Action”

Part 2: What Actions to Take When You’ve Received a Phishing Email

What actions are necessary to take if you receive a phishing email?

There are a few tasks you should do when you suspect a phishing email:

  • Do not open any links or attachments
  • Contact the entity via website or publicly listed phone numbers to validate any unexpected requests
  • Notify your IT department
  • If you have already clicked a link or attachment, disconnect from the internet and call your IT department

To read more on How to protect your practice from phishing breaches, you can visit our Cyber liability insurance page by clicking the button below:

Part 1: What is Phishing and How Do I Spot a Phishing Email?

Before learning how to avoid phishing and other fraud schemes, what is phishing? Phishing is when an attacker crafts emails that look like a real email with call to actions and genuine content, but once a button or link is clicked or an attachment is accessed or downloaded from the email, custom code is run to exploit vulnerabilities and gain access to administration functions. A successful phishing email opens the affected computer to outside control which in turn allows access to the network that computer resides on. This provides the basis for multiple breaches, both of the local user accounts and data as well as those of the entire network that the computer has access to.

How do you spot a phishing email? It is not as easy as it used to be. Hackers have gotten clever in how they design the emails to make them look more legitimate. Phishing emails will often have the following characteristics:

  • Ask for a username and password
  • Are unexpected but appear to come from a trusted source
  • Contain content that urges the user to act promptly (click links, download files, call phone numbers, etc…)
  • Look like they come from Accounting, HR, an IT department or from a friend or contact of the user
  • Include grammatical errors
  • Contain email address that are different between the header and body (Ex: @ourcompany-othersite.com or like @gmailll.com)
  • Have links that show a different destination when you hover over them

To read more on How to protect your practice from phishing breaches, you can visit our Cyber liability insurance page by click the button below:

Check back on the ECMA Blog next week to learn what steps you need to take if you receive a phishing email.

Are You Dying to Know About “Deadly Dermatoses” – June 22, 2017 @ 3:00PM

“Please join me at the Sandestin Hilton on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017. I would like to share with you a series of deadly dermatoses that I have encountered here on the Emerald Coast in the last year. This will be a 2 hour CME lecture, followed by a reception hour complete with open bar and light hors d’oeuvres.”

-Michael Morgan, MD
Board-Certified Dermatopathologist, Board-Certified Anatomic & Clinical Pathologist
Continue reading “Are You Dying to Know About “Deadly Dermatoses” – June 22, 2017 @ 3:00PM”

Global Cyber Attack Updates

After the global cyber attack on the hospitals in London, the rest of the world was left scrambling for cyber security. The attack spread fear as it travelled across the world. No one wants to be the next victim of a cyber attack.

The reality is that no one is 100% safe from cyber attack. It only takes one failure in your defenses to create a devastating loss making cyber liability insurance a must. Protecting your systems means protecting your patients.

This attack and others will not stop, to the contrary they are increasing in frequency and severity. “We are in the second wave,” said Matthieu Suiche of Comae Technologies, in regards to the current round of attacks illustrated by London “As expected, the attackers have released new variants of the malware. We can surely expect more.”

You may find the full article on this global cyber attack below:

The Emerald Coast Medical Association may be contacted via the link below for questions on Cyber attacks, liability and insurance

The link below contains additional information about cyber liability insurance and how it can save your practice:

The Importance of Digital Marketing for Healthcare Providers

Often times we are told by Physicians that they do not need digital marketing. “My practice is already seeing as many patients as we can handle.” or “What’s the point of us having a website?” The reality is always the same. If you don’t tell your story on digitally, someone else will and while it’s great that your practice is full, is it full with the type of patients you want? Finally, the easiest question to answer, yes your practice needs a website.

In today’s digital landscape there is a great opportunity for healthcare providers to use digital marketing to educate, inspire, motivate, and engage their patients. Unfortunately the healthcare industry is almost two years behind other industries in adopting and leveraging social and online in their marketing efforts.

So why is digital marketing so important to your practice? Let’s look at a couple reasons:

Yes, You Need a Website
In today’s digital landscape every Physician and /or group practice needs a website. With over 60% of patients looking for a Doctor now turning to the web first, it is vital that a practice have a website. Without a website you either miss those patients immediately or look less professional by comparison. A good site makes your service offerings easier to find, increasing the likelihood of a positive match with the patient. Prospective clients have come to us frustrated after losing a cutting edge procedure patient to a facility that is 2 hours away. “Why didn’t the patient call us?” Because the other facility was positioned for that service when the patient searched for it. A well put together website allows a practice to position offerings where they need to be seen.

Increase Your Reach
A healthcare facility can amplify who they reach quickly with a solid digital marketing plan. With search engine optimization, social media and mobile marketing tactics, your business will be seen by a broader and more diverse audience in a faster and more effective manner. The addition of an inbound marketing approach that is targeted to attract specific or preferred patients is also an effective method of improving success. This allows Physicians the ability to increase the preferred patients vs taking any patient that walks through the door.

As mentioned above, more than 60% of prospective patients are using the internet to search for a provider. These outlets are proving to be a necessity rather than accessory to marketing plans. Always remember if you don’t control your digital footprint, someone else will control it for you.

Personalized Messaging
Building on the Inbound approach, digital marketing is allowing physicians to be more personal in approach with the type of message that is sent to or used to attract patients. This all comes back to one thing; Data. With so much data available to the healthcare industry, marketers are turning to digital tactics to better reach and target the right prospective patients. Data including demographics, age and even behavioral information are giving marketing teams a much clearer picture of how to reach the preferred patients. The end result? Happier patients and happier physicians. Transparency is key.

Measuring Efforts
Just as the healthcare industry is big on data, digital marketing is as well. Unlike other forms of marketing (tv, radio, billboards, newspapers, etc) these efforts can be tracked, in most cases, in real time. Day to day, week to week, analytics and data reports are gathered for your viewing. This allows for the marketing team to optimize the plan and yield better results at a day’s notice. In most cases with tv, radio and other traditional marketing executions you are given monthly reports and you have, in some situations, wasted the months efforts if it has missed the mark.

There is a reason the phone book has decreased in size drastically and the delivery driver no longer knocks on your door to ask you how many you would like. They know if they did, the circulation would decrease drastically and in some cases cause the phone book to disappear. If you are reading this and still have a phone book listing, back down to the smallest listing and move your budget to the internet. You will have more transparency and will quickly see the impact from the moving of this budget.

When it comes to the advantages of moving your business to a more structured digital marketing plan, I could go on for hours. But to keep this to a shorter post know this: If a healthcare practice and the healthcare industry fully adapt a digital strategy, it has the potential to increase their reach and effectively bring in the more optimal person for their practice. Increasingly, the Internet based world and catering to patients in it will continue to grow. The goals – to find more, engage existing patients in a more modern way, resulting in improved patient care and a healthier society overall.

How does your practice currently use digital marketing? Would it help improve your marketing tactics?

Chris Josten is the founder of Curiosity, a digital marketing company based in Panama City, FL. With over 15 years in marketing experience and digital marketing it has become the focus of the company. Curiosity is the perfect combination of creativity, talents, and vision. The group is diverse, innovative and client-focused. Curiosity’s route to digital transformation starts with collaboration from clients and only stops when the team lands an idea that is incredible.


MARCA Updates

As a result of President Trump’s executive order titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” The American Academy of Family Physicians(AAFP) is taking advantage of this opportunity to push the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)to simplify the implementation requirements mandated in the new Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act(MACRA).

For more on the details of this in depth recommendation made by the AAFP as well as the implications to your practice by the decisions of the CMS regarding implementation of MACRA, read the full article on the AAFP website.

The MACRA rules are changing everyday and the Emerald Coast Medical Association(ECMA) has a connection to get the most recent news.

The ECMA May Membership Meeting will be devoted to the MACRA updates. Visit the ECMA Upcoming Events Page to RSVP for the highly anticipated MACRA findings. You can also call the Executive Director, Michelle Flaat, at 850-784-2090 to RSVP.

Not a member? You can become a member today by clicking the link below. Besides attending the monthly membership meetings, there are numerous benefits that can improve your practice.

Physician Burnout Presents Differently in Male and Female Doctors

Are you emotionally exhausted even after rest? Do you find yourself short tempered or irritable when interacting with patients, colleagues or staff? Have you questioned the value of continuing to try when your efforts feel futile? These are all symptoms of burnout.

Burnout is a real fear amongst everyone, to include doctors. No one wants wake up to the realization that they want to quit or a feeling of worthlessness. Learn from Dr. Dike Drummond, CEO of TheHappyMD.com about the symptoms of burnout and how to combat them.

Dr. Drummond describes the three primary symptoms of burnout and explains the different ways that women and men experience them. Finally he provides advice on how physicians can identify and combat these symptoms to prevent burnout.

Read the article to learn more about what your mind and body are telling you and how to avoid or conquer burnout.