by Richard Stokes
To kick off the New Year we’ve got a 3 part presentation at the January NFMGMA meeting so I’m going to do my best to keep this blog short and to the point because I know you are all busy.
Starting at 8:30am and open to staff of NFMGMA members, representatives from Cahaba GBA are going to be speaking on current issues as it relates to Medicare health insurance for CMS. If your practice is heavily involved in Medicare this would be a good presentation to attend so you can stay current on what to expect in 2014.
Angus McRae – President of Angus McRae Insurance
At 10:00am, Angus is going to be discussing the impact of healthcare reform on the employee benefits plans of physician practices. He’s going to help illustrate the topic by going through a case study of a small practice that would either be looking at the option to either keep its group health insurance plan or cancel it altogether and allow employees to purchase individual plans on the Marketplace.
This is such an important topic at the moment because like all other employers; physicians are seeing their premium costs go up while benefits go down. Along with this, the barrier for physicians to stop offering group insurance to the practice has been removed so many are asking the question does it make sense to keep a group plan?
Angus’ key goal is to give us all a better understanding of the rules and economics of offering group insurance in this post-ACA world and the 2 key actions he wants you to take back to your respective practices would be:
1) Re-evaluate whether offering group insurance furthers the goals of the practice.
2) Ask yourself the question – Is a robust employee benefits package (i) economical, and (ii) attracting and retaining employees?
For additional information on this subject you can check out these links from Angus McRae.
Of course make sure you spend a few minutes with Angus or Suzanne if you have immediate questions.
MariaElena Ayala – VP HR/Client Services for HR Strategies
MariaElena Ayala is the VP of HR/Client Services for HR Strategies and she comes to us with 14 years’ experience in Human Resources and Benefits. She is a recognized expert in Affordable Care Act matters, strategic and tactical compliance and is frequently sought out to speak on ACA and Wage & Hour topics.
At 11:30am MariaElena is going to be giving us a legal update as it relates to the changes that the Department of Labor (DOL) is going through and their approach to investigations.
Some of the issues she is going to be covering are:
- The amount of paperwork and time it can take to deal with a case should your practice get investigated by the DOL.
- Challenges associated with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – in particular how open it can be and how easy it can be to turn an issue into a discrimination case.
- Challenges associated with managing and handling ‘Leave of Absences’ as it applies to the American Disabilities Act (ADA)
MariaElena tells me that the reason why this is so important and you should be paying attention is that the DOL and the IRS have steadily ramped up their employment numbers by some 1500 additional investigators.
And by the way, they’ve already completed their investigations of the big companies so in order to continue to generate income, via investigations – they are now going after the smaller markets (i.e. me and you).
So what should you do? Take a serious look at your practice and review your HR plan and in particular areas such as:
- Employee Handbook
- Documented and updated policies and procedures
HR is a complex and extremely important facet of any business so if you feel like your vulnerable in this area make sure you talk to an expert. MariaElena also says that the government has actually doing a good job as of late in putting information and resources available on line so feel free to do your own research.
Don’t miss these great topics. If you haven’t already registered, what are you waiting for? Feel free to share this with your peers and colleagues and invite them to attend as well. North Fulton MGMA
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