Can I Call Myself a "Consultant"?

 

Many education and business training programs purport to teach doctors and other health care professionals that they can expand their practice by practicing telemedicine across state lines, or even in other areas of the world, under the guise of calling yourself a “consultant” or “health coach” and by signing a fancy consultant agreement.

Planning to order tests, diagnose illnesses, treat ailments, and prescribe medication (whether taking insurance or not, or getting paid or not), without a license, is a clear violation of the law. License and medical boards, as well as prosecutors, see through this deception and will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law whether you harm someone or not. If you are participating in medical practices that a doctor is licensed to do, then you need a license to practice medicine. It’s simply not a good idea for you to call yourself a health consultant and practice medicine across state lines at the same time.

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FOUR Necessary Insurance Policies...

 

Not only do you need malpractice insurance, which is something you would not start your practice without, but you also need three other types of insurance in your practice and business. There are differences between each, and so you need to be sure you are covered in the various areas they address. Today, doctors are not recommended to be self-insured, so talk to an insurance agent you trust in regards to that.

Malpractice Insurance

Malpractice is the first insurance you want to get quotes on from your insurance company, making sure that coverage is in place in your practice. As you probably know, malpractice will cover you for your clinical decisions.  There are all kinds of malpractice: claims made, occurrence-based, and tail, etc.  A conversation with your insurance agent will provide the details you need to make informed decisions.

Telemedicine Malpractice Coverage

Practicing telemedicine is common today. So if your malpractice coverage does not already include...

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Can I Deduct Start-Up Costs?

 

Pre-LLC or PC

You don’t have to wait until your LLC or your PC is actually formed in order to start
incurring expenses that are deductible on your taxes. If you are getting ready to
start a business, the IRS knows that some of those initial start-up costs or
preparation costs are going to come from your own personal funds or that of the
other owners in the business. They’ve allowed for that and have rules on what can
and cannot be deducted prior to the date of incorporation. A lot of the start-up costs
are definitely deductible.

Allowable Expenses

Allowable pre-formation expenses include those related to investigation, such as
traveling to look at different office locations, even if you have to fly there, other
preparation costs like employee training or purchasing inventory. Organizational
costs are another category, like fees you pay the state for forming your business, or
legal fees, such as hiring an attorney, or money spent for other help to actually form
the business or...

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7 Legal Errors You Must Avoid

 

Dealing with medical records is a complicated subject, with many areas where mistakes are possible. When it comes to HIPAA, there are many preconceptions that some practices have that are not only incorrect, but can often lead to larger problems which can be very costly for the practice as a whole. In my time dealing with HIPAA regulations, I have seen a great deal of misconceptions that exist surrounding HIPAA, and several of them appear quite frequently. There are seven major examples of legal errors that I have seen, and I will break them down for you to help make sure that you don’t fall into the same traps that others have. 

Misconception #1

  • A noncustodial parent does not have the right to access their child's records. 

That is false. Unless there's a state specific law that says otherwise, both parents have a right to have access to their child’s medical records, unless there is a court order barring one parent from...

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Website Terms and Conditions: A MUST Have!

 

This week I want to share with you how we have saved around $60-$70,000 in potential HIPAA fines— just based on having a good, quality, working knowledge of how website Terms and Conditions work and what content to put in a website Terms and Conditions.

I have always said that forms, documents, and templates are just tools, but they are important tools that are necessary for success. It's also crucial to understand that you have to know how to use these tools correctly, much like a stethoscope.

 Potential Spam?

Case in point--this week, I received an email that, at first, looked like spam. It had come through my webpage and at first sight seemed alarming. This email would have been convincing, had I not understood my terms and conditions on my own website. Here is what the email stated:

 

Hello, Your website or a website that your organization hosts is violating the copyright-protected images owned by our company (intuit Inc.). Take a look at this doc with the...

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Is Your Mindset Holding You Back?

 

Today we are talking about MINDSET.

I have been helping doctors and providers of all license levels with their businesses, whether it be with the legal side of things, general business consulting, mentoring, and more.  My wife, Linda, and I actually just started a new company that helps doctors start and grow their own membership practices, making certain that all their basis are covered legally and otherwise. Through all of our experiences helping doctors and businesses, there is one common theme that hold people back from growth and from success. The joining thread is all about MINDSET. I have discovered that if business owners want to succeed, they must take on the proper mindset.

So, how can this be done?

Mindset Analogy 

Let's take a look at baseball. Today I have my Tampa Bay Rays shirt on as I anticipate the final weekend of a great season. Baseball is romanticized in many ways, but one thing that is consistent about this sport is that it is a grind. For example,...

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Character: Coaching and Consulting

 

A Very Common Question

"What about Dr Jones. She's a doctor, she calls herself a health coach, and she practices all over the country?" My answer to that is: Dr. Jones is probably not doing it correctly, and unless she's licensed in all of the states in which her patients are located, she is rolling the dice by committing crimes in each of those states.

Here at Functional Lawyer, these sort of questions pass by my desk weekly. I admit that I am a little bit exasperated because I answer these questions several times a week with new clients and even with some existing clients. Hopefully this blog will fully answer this common inquiry, even though I am certain people will have further questions.

Practicing Medicine Under the Title of "Health Coach" 

There are several things to address here, but the main topic of this question is regarding the health coach or consultant's role. There's a huge myth out there that's being propagated either by people who want to sell you a course on...

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Entrepreneurial Productivity Tip: The Pomodoro Method

 

This week we are talking about the mental side of being an entrepreneur and some of the challenges that brings.  I've struggled with a bunch of these challenges myself and worked through them, and so I have some tips and tricks for you. I hope you will find this video helpful as you enter the world without the accountability or direction of a boss and without a set schedule handed to you. 

You are Your Own Boss Now!

One of the biggest things that I've struggled with, and that people I talk to also struggle with, is that when you're your own boss, nobody is holding you accountable to complete your work. Nobody is breathing down your neck, waiting for you to hand in that project or that report.  No one is telling you where to be, what to do, or when to complete all your charts. All of this is now up to you. For the clinical stuff, that is easier. You have been through residency and various training programs, and you can probably complete the clinical items on...

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Ivermectin and Informed Consent

 

“Any physician that espouses the use of this should be reported to their State Medical Association.”  That is a direct quote from the Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida; his name is Dr. John Sinnott. Dr. Sinnott’s alarming words were quoted in an article by the Tampa Bay Times just last week, talking about Ivermectin and off-label use. In the article, we learn that both Merck and the CDC recommend against using Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment. 

In Terms of Protecting Yourself...

I know there is some disagreement in the medical community, and I'm not here to take sides or to tell you to stop the use of Ivermectin or to start its use. I know that some of the doctors in my community who follow me believe very strongly in Ivermectin, whereas some, like Dr. Sinnott, very much do not believe in its use for COVID-19. I am here to answer what you need to do about this in terms of protecting yourself so that you're...

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Dismantling the Niche Myth

 

Today I am dismantling the number one myth that I see being fed and told to Functional Medicine providers when they're trying to start and grow their practice.

As you may know, my wife and I help mentor doctors from all around the country and guide them as they build up membership practices. Within our conversations with our mentees and with those I counsel through my Functional Lawyer membership, we hear a common myth that comes up over and over again. The myth is that you need to "niche down" your practice and focus on one particular group or another. This isn't strictly a Functional Medicine issue; most marketers try to help business owners narrow their focus. Generally speaking, this can be good advice, but when you go to apply it to your Functional Medicine business, it's can actually create difficulty.

Don't Limit Yourself

How can you pick a niche if you're either brand new to practicing functionally or if you're not entirely sure what you like? You may simply be happy to help...

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