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Health Care Reform’s Effect on Medical Negligence Cases

There is so much information out these days on the health care reform issue that it is difficult to distinguish what is truth from what is exaggeration, politically motivated or just plain fiction. Every news station, all the editorial pages of newspapers and current events magazines are full of information about this issue. In this issue, there are definitely more than two sides of the coin.

Each group has legitimate reasons why the expenses have gone up. Doctors claim their insurance has gone through the roof and that they must spend so much on their own insurance which they pass on to their patients. They also are practicing more and more “defensive” medicine, ordering tests and procedures that are geared mainly toward protecting themselves from lawsuits. This is a definite cause for the increased costs of health care.

Medical Malpractice vs. Medical Negligence

There are definitely differences in medical negligence and medical malpractice. However, these two have come to mean the same thing because the outcomes of both are the same. Medical malpractice is a situation wherein a doctor does damage to a patient by a mistake. Actually performing the wrong treatment or performing the right treatment badly results in medical malpractice claims. Medical negligence, strictly defined, is more of a lack of action than a blatant one. It happens when a doctor does not perform a certain procedure or when he misses a symptom and does not treat correctly.

Whichever action is taken or not taken, many have said that this is the reason insurance rates have gone up. So many people are suing doctors, they are forced to carry huge insurance policies and do much more work than necessary for future protection against claims of medical malpractice or medical negligence.

Malpractice Caps and their effect on Health Care Premiums

There is, however, quite a bit of evidence that these factors have not contributed to the rise in health care rates. It is becoming known, after many organizations are looking at the bottom line numbers of many insurance companies, that premiums are rising because of economic factors unrelated to medicine.

These factors are lowered interest rates and returns on investments. Insurance companies make a large portion of their profits in the stock market and by managing the large sums of money they receive in premiums. When the marketplace does not produce as high a return as it used to, the insurers begin to raise premiums to cover the shortfall. This is their business, it ebbs and flows just like all others.

Change Coming?

So , will Health Care Reform affect medical negligence cases? It is difficult to tell because there are so many different opinions in the marketplace. But, further research suggests the relationship between these two things is not a cause and effect situation.

How Medical Alerts Became a Pop Culture Phenomenon

What are medical alerts? They are devices worn by an individual that are used to alert emergency personal as to when that individual requires medical attention. These alerts are used to prevent emergency situations from turning into a tragedy and to provide independence for those with limited mobility. However, a company distributing these medical alerts managed to turn a very serious matter into two decades of comedy fodder. How did this happen?

Do you remember this commercial? “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” That single line was used in a commercial for a company selling medical alerts. While the commercial helped the sale of alerts skyrocket, the commercial itself became a pop culture phenomenon. In fact, in 1992, three years after this line was uttered on American TV waves, the company trademarked “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” and continues to use the phrase in their advertising to this day.

Unfortunately, this type of pop culture status became a double edged sword for this serious seller of medical alerts. The line drew plenty of attention to the brand, but the unintentional comedic nature of the commercial greatly diminished the importance of the device. Audiences focused more on the poor lady that “could not get up” and how humorous the situation seemed to be rather than focusing on how medical alerts could assist their loved ones in emergency situations. The commercial was deemed annoying and the fact that this line was soon parodied on TV, by comedians, and in movies certainly did not help to boost the image of the company or the devices.

The fact is, medical alerts save lives. Seniors and people with limited mobility due to accidents, obesity, high risk pregnancy, or disabilities rely on alerts to get the help they need when their safety is compromised and their health is at risk. Alerts help individuals with limited mobility live independent lives and allow the friends and family of these individuals to have confidence knowing their loved one has quick access to emergency care if it is required.

These convenient devices provide peace of mind for both the individual in need and the care giver, since the caregiver does not have to have their charge within sight and within reach 24 hours of the day. The freedom medical alerts provide is invaluable for those that rely on them.

The company that originated the line “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” most likely was not trying to show a slip and fall accident as a humorous event, a suspicion supported by this company’s restructured commercials. The newer commercials that use this line now include a narrator that tells the audience why the situation they are viewing would be very serious and how medical alerts could prevent the situation from becoming a tragedy.

Love or loathe the famous commercial, you cannot deny that it is memorable. So memorable that the line has its own Wikipedia page! The company that put that line on the airwaves and subsequently into history has worked hard to show that medical alerts are serious, non-comedic devices….but they still continue to use the line, which makes them a company that knows how to save their own corporate life alongside the lives of the many thankful customers that rely on their product.

Medical Billing Software – Keep Your Practice Ahead of the Competition

It is very important for health care facilities and practices to keep meticulous medical records so doctors have access to correct and current information and patients receive the best health care. Medical information, filed in cabinets in the past, can now be correctly managed with medical billing software. Easy to use, medical billing software follows the same steps as manual accounting, but simplifies labor and is far more accurate, timely and effective. Information can be accessed instantly, and overhead costs and paperwork significantly lessened.

Deductibles and co pays are vital to the financial health of your office. Medical billing software can help you keep on top of your financial data, and can simplify daily office tasks such as billing, accounting and maintaining records. Work on several things at once and with multiple computers, easily access patient procedure and bill information throughout the facility. You can view or track each patient’s deductibles from either a ledger screen or patient screen. You can access insurance information instantly to answer patient questions immediately as they are asked; and you won’t have to wait to contact the insurance company. Office staff can ensure each patient is charged correctly and pays the right amount for each procedure. Most medical billing software, allows you to electronically submit your claims. This saves time, reduces mistakes and helps you get paid quicker.

More expense does not always mean you are getting a better product when choosing medical billing software. Look for software that is easy to use and offers state of the art features at a very low cost. It is important to choose the right system for your practice. Some practices just require a few software features, while others need help managing their entire work flow. Learn what needs you have as a practice and what software features would compliment the already successful systems you have in place. You don’t want software that is hard for your staff to learn or that you have to adjust to; pick software that will adjust to your special requirements. Once you have the right medical billing software in place, you can focus on building and improving your business instead of just maintaining it.

Whether a medical office, mental health office, physical therapy clinic, chiropractor, or any other health care industry, medical billing software has what you need to keep your edge over the competition. Significantly reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve your bottom line.