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For some of you, HealtheConnections may be a familiar face, and others may not know us as well. We’d like to change that through <em>MD News</em>. This is the inaugural column in a series that will span throughout 2016 and information about who we are, what we do and whom we serve. We have a lot to share with all healthcare leaders in central New York, as during the past seven years, HealtheConnections has grown, changed and improved.
Employees are categorized into one of two classes for purposes of overtime pay: exempt or non-exempt. Non-exempt employees must be paid at least 1.5 times their hourly rate for work exceeding 40 hours in a week. By contrast, exempt employees are exempt from the protections of the overtime rules. Accordingly, exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay regardless of the number of hours worked in a given week.
Crouse Hospital has established a comprehensive spine program that leverages the expertise of spine specialists from multiple programs throughout the Syracuse area. The partnership exemplifies a patient-centered philosophy that optimizes the delivery of spine care in the region.
As the baby boomer population ages and preventing hospitalizations becomes more important than ever before, VNA Homecare helps central New Yorkers who need individualized in-home care thrive in the environment where they are most comfortable.
The candidacies of Ben Carson, MD, and Rand Paul, MD, for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination are a reminder to the historically minded that physician involvement in American politics dates back to the Declaration of Independence in 1776. There were four physicians out of the 56 signers of the document that declared the new country’s independence from England.
The massive changes facing physicians from the recently passed Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) will soon be upon us and rely heavily upon data from electronic health record (EHR) systems. Implementing the new payment model for healthcare providers under the MACRA legislation, which is referred to as the Merit-based Payment Incentive System (MIPS), would have been unimaginable with the technology available just 10 years ago. The role of information technology has exploded since then, making it possible to now incorporate information from multiple sources and create a comprehensive electronic patient record. 
Thoracic surgery in Central New York is marking the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. As the venerable Suhas Pradhan, MD, starts his retirement, a new surgeon, Nicholas Yerkes, MD, arrives to start seeing patients at St. Joseph’s Health.
Shifting trends in healthcare reimbursement, quality and value monitoring, and Information Technology (IT) infrastructure have required many physicians to evaluate and adjust their current practice models. At Nephrology Associates of Syracuse PC, partnership, EHR acquisition and education have allowed physicians to stay current — without sacrificing quality patient care.
Earlier this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo stunned Albany observers by proposing elimination of the State’s Physician Profile website that was established under terms of the Patient Health Information and Quality Improvement Act of 2000, signed into law by Gov. George Pataki. This act brought New York state into compliance with congressional legislation on the same subject. 
CMS delights practices in the spring but then goes dark about meaningful use announcement.
Minimally invasive treatments are designed to ensure minimal disruption to surrounding tissues of the affected area. Aaron J. Bianco, MD, and Craig Montgomery, MD, spine surgeons with The Center for Orthopedic & Spine Care at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, explain the benefits of the approach as a course of treatment.
As experienced physicians have been coasting down the healthcare highway toward retirement, it has been a smooth ride on cruise control. Of late, however, there have been a few major detours on the horizon.
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) continues to consider whether to proceed with a final rule governing the provision of complimentary transportation to Medicare, Medicaid or other government-sponsored program beneficiaries. 
Taking care of the brain and understanding its complexity are activities at Upstate Medical University that are reflected in all aspects of its mission. Through innovative treatments, techniques and research, this commitment is shared by specialists and staff whose expertise creates the largest neuroscience resource for 17 counties in Central New York.
Breast surgeons Mary Ellen Greco, MD, FACS, and Kristine M. Keeney, MD — both Central New York natives — bring unequaled specialized care to the region.
As the sea change of government initiatives transforming health care continues, another high-impact piece of legislation became law this spring. President Obama signed the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which introduces an entirely new method of paying for healthcare services. Known as the “Doc Fix,” the law takes effect in 2019, but the path forward really begins in 2015.
Partial knee replacements relieve pain and restore quality of life.
When we travel for business and personal reasons, we assume our accommodations are clean and pest-free. We choose hotels that have high ratings for customer service and cleanliness. Unfortunately, there is one pest out there that will invade even the most luxurious of establishments. Bed bugs are showing up everywhere these days.
The consequences of violating one of the complex fraud and abuse laws that apply to healthcare providers can be dire.
Since becoming a New York state regional referral center in 1975, Crouse Hospital’s Baker Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has never turned away an ambulance carrying a critically ill baby. During that time, survival rates have climbed to higher than 97 percent, while the NICU has cared for up to 1,000 infants from across the region each year.