Among the changes mandated in the Affordable Care Act is the expansion in the next few years of Medi-Cal eligible patients. As part of the implementation of California’s Medi-Cal program, Medi-Cal managed care will be arriving in the 25 counties not currently using the plan. This now goes into effect on September 1, 2013. For those already enrolled in managed care plans, there are significant changes in the annual reporting.
May 14th, 2013Bill Deane
April 8th, 2013Becky Caroll
Common Questions we’ve received from clients about HIPAA Compliance changes.
Q: If you have a deceased patient, does HIPAA still apply?
A: Yes, the medical record remains confidential regardless of the
Q: What are the rules for emailing or texting protected health information (PHI) to outside vendors?
A: It must be under a Business Associates Agreeement and it must have an encrypted secure line. Standard text messaging is not HIPAA compliant.
March 22nd, 2013Nancy Arata
As California begins to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medi-Cal is experiencing a re-design of its programs and delivery system.
The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), has initiated special waiver and demonstration programs designed to bring the state in line with the goals of federal healthcare reform.
The state is proactively moving toward healthcare reform using the Medi-Cal managed care network as a key element, and re-configuring many programs with the Medi-Cal managed care delivery system at the core.
Re-designed Medi-Cal programs in 2013 include:
Medi-Cal Managed Care Rural Expansion
March 18th, 2013Nancy Arata
In California, unclaimed property must be reported to the State Controller’s Office to reunite owners with their property. For health care organizations, unclaimed property is usually comprised of checks/warrants that have been issued but never cashed by the recipient. Some common examples of unclaimed checks are: staff paychecks, accounts payable payments or patient refunds to patients/insurance companies. An organization needs to determine annually if it is the “holder” of unclaimed property, and whether the property has been inactive or dormant long enough to be reported as unclaimed property to the state of California.
March 15th, 2013admin
HFS IT Director, Michael Davis, was recently honored by the Oakland, California city council for his dedication to Spark, an organization that provides apprenticeships to youth in underserved communities. Spark addresses the dropout crisis by connecting volunteer professionals with underserved youth in workplace apprenticeships to “spark” their potential. Students identify a “dream job,” and Spark matches that student with a mentor doing that job.
Davis, who is a founding Oakland Spark member, has mentored three students over the last two years, providing one-on-one technology apprenticeships at HFS’s Oakland offices. In addition, HFS has provided financial support to the organization through its corporate sponsorship program.
March 11th, 2013David Robeson
The Community Health Needs Assessment is a provision of the Affordable Care Act. It is a requirement for all non-profit, non-governmental hospitals that file IRS Form 990; it is a public document that must be posted on a hospital’s website.
The CHNA requirements become effective starting with the first tax year beginning after March 23, 2012, and must be filed every three years.
Specific community healthcare needs and how the hospital is meeting them must be identified by the CHNA. The hospital must also develop action plans to meet the needs of the community, monitor them and report progress on their implementation.
Specific CHNA requirements: Read the rest of this entry »
March 1st, 2013Don Whiteside
Don Whiteside heads the Executive Placement and Interim Management division of HFS. Based on his years of experience in recruiting, here is an interview with Don about the qualities required to manage and lead a rural hospital. The scenario is:
The CEO of a rural hospital just resigned after 10 years on the job; there is no succession plan and the Board has never recruited a new CEO. The Board was so comfortable with the incumbent that it didn’t consider what it would do without him/her. The CFO and CNO are too busy to assume these responsibilities. They are getting ready to break ground on a new building and the departing CEO was leading this effort. The CFO is leading the implementation of a new Clinical Information System (CIS). In addition, the CEO was very involved in local community activities, which will continue to need attention. There is no COO or CIO. Read the rest of this entry »
February 22nd, 2013Rich Gianello
HFS’s board of directors elected Trahan H. Whitten to CEO, effective January 1, 2013. Richard Gianello will continue as president of the firm, heading up the accounting functions and administrative team. Gianello co-founded the company in 1991 with Steven Rousso.
“Trahan Whitten has exceptional management qualities and deep industry knowledge, making him uniquely qualified to lead HFS successfully into the future,” says Rousso, who is chairman of HFS’s board of directors. “He has distinguished himself with his results-driven leadership style.”
“Electing Trahan to the CEO role is in line with our future plans,” says Gianello. “HFS is experiencing significant growth, and the appointment of Trahan is a testimony to our success and strategic direction.”
Whitten worked for HFS as one of its first employees, but he left in 1993 to work for a large public accounting firm.
He returned to HFS in 2008 as director of the Government Programs and Reimbursement services practice area. He is an industry leader in reimbursement strategy validation and implementation, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic financial management.
Whitten’s career path includes leading KPMG’s West Coast division followed by becoming the national managing partner of Ernst & Young’s government programs, reimbursement and compliance service lines in the United States. He was a three-time recipient of the National Outstanding Practice Leadership award; and in 2004 he received both the National Innovation and Distinguished Mentor awards.
Whitten has a master’s degree in business administration from Colorado State University and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Utah.
We sat down with Whitten in late January when he was three weeks into his new role to talk with him about HFS and what he envisions for the firm.
Congratulations on being named CEO. Any comments regarding your new role?
I am humbled and excited about the opportunity HFS shareholders have given me. I am honored to lead this outstanding organization of professionals who have exemplary credentials and are some of the brightest, most talented people in our industry. The quality of their work is a key strength of HFS. I am committed to ensuring that HFS meets its mission and core values as it has been doing since 1991.
Explain how your background has prepared you for the CEO role.
As a partner at public accounting firms, I was provided with a good education and training on how to run profitable programs. For me, it was like getting a Ph.D. in consulting. I know the importance of focusing on the people around me, both employees and clients. By doing that, success follows.
Have there been other influences on your leadership philosophy?
A great deal of my leadership philosophy comes from the book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, which was recommended to me early in my career. It examines various companies and lessons learned from those who execute well. It presents a discipline for meshing strategy with reality, aligning people with goals and achieving the promised results, all of which I work to adhere to and see as a major job of business leaders.
What do you look forward to as CEO?
I look forward to seeing that our clients are served well, with a focus on quality and compliance. I want our clients to know that we are a consulting firm with close to 100 employees, and we successfully impact how healthcare providers run their organizations and facilities. Our tagline says it all: “Complete Solutions for Healthcare Management.”
What is your vision for the company?
The company’s growth and success make it perfectly positioned at this time to move from a small company to a mid-sized firm, while at the same time maintaining its current culture and commitment to clients. We are flexible enough to adjust and adapt quickly to the continuing changes in the healthcare industry.
February 15th, 2013admin
The California Hospital Association Rural Health Care Symposium – Brave New World – Transition Strategies for Rural Hospitals will be held March 13 – 15, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency, Sacramento. HFS Consultants’ Steve Rousso will lead the CEO Panel Discussion on March 15, 2013.
Check out the video below to learn what will be in store during this informative discussion addressing the challenges of transforming operations to meet the needs of the changing health care environment.
February 11th, 2013Bill Deane
The California Department of Public Health district offices have been conducting RHC recertification surveys for a select number of rural health clinics throughout the state. CMS has required that the CDPH local offices, acting as their agent, conduct surveys on at least 5 percent of the state’s RHCs.
Up until this recent mandate, RHC re-certifications had been a lower priority for the district offices, and many RHCs had not been surveyed in years. As a result, we’ve noticed that many sites have become a bit lax in their adherence to RHC requirements. We are aware of one RHC that received a 42-page Plan of Correction for deficiencies after having a surprise re-certification site visit. Read the rest of this entry »