In my last article, I briefly introduced accounts receivable factoring as a viable financing option for nurse staffing agencies who are just starting up or who are in the midst of a rapid growth period. Rather than waiting weeks or months to be paid, a healthcare staffing company can receive cash immediately by selling its invoices at a discounted rate to a factor.I went on to explain the three main categories of factors: general factors, who are large and operate nationally, accepting clients from a multitude of industries; geographic factors, who specialize in funding clients who are proximal to the factor’s location; and industry-specific factors, who base their clientele around one specific business niche (i.e., healthcare staffing financing). PRN Funding is an example of an industry-specific factor because we focus on healthcare staffing invoice funding, namely for medical staffing agencies, medical transcription services, medical coding companies and medical supply businesses.After deciding which kind of factor would be the best fit for your agency, the next logical question is, “How much does healthcare staffing factoring cost?” Before jumping in blindly and talking numbers, it’s a good idea to have a general understanding of how the factor’s fees are structured. Allow me to elaborate.Discount Fees. When a factor advances you money on your receivables, they are actually making a legal purchase of your invoices at a discounted rate. This discounted rate can be a one-time flat fee, or it can vary depending on how long the factor owns the invoice. It’s important that you know upfront how the factor determines its fees to make sure that you are getting the best deal for your invoices. And of course, it all boils down to how your own company operates, how long it takes for your customers to pay your invoices and what you feel comfortable paying. In general, discount fees can be affected by a number of things, including the length of the contract to which you are willing to commit, the average monthly purchase volume of your account, the average size of your invoices, the number of account debtors (customers) you do work for and the credit quality of those debtors.Advance Rates. You should also consider the factor’s advance rates. Advance rates are the amount of money that a factor advances you up front upon purchasing your invoices. Currently, the industry norm is 80 percent. Of course this rate can vary, and oftentimes factors determine their advance rates on a client-by-client basis. Most factors ask that you provide a current accounts receivable aging report during the approval process to see how long it takes for your customers to pay and if they generally pay in full. Quick payments and payments made in full will increase your chances of having a higher advance rate. In addition, some factors will increase the advance rate over time as your business grows and the factoring relationship solidifies.On the other hand, if your customers routinely short-pay or take longer to pay, your advance rate most likely won’t be as high. For example, some hospitals insist that all of their employees take a 30-minute lunch break. Even if a temporary nurse works through his/her lunch break, and the nurse staffing agency ends up paying him/her for that 30 minutes, the hospital will not pay for that portion of the invoice. Another example occurs when you sign a contract with a hospital that is net-60, and the hospital is notorious for paying 30 days late. Since it becomes harder to collect on invoices the longer they go unpaid, a factor that knows your clients pay in 90 days will not feel as comfortable advancing you a high amount on your invoices.Of course there are both positives and negatives for high and low advance rates. For example, a factor advancing 95 percent upfront will probably charge higher discount fees, but you have the benefit of receiving funds for the entire invoice amount. On the other hand, a factor that advances 75 percent will charge lower discount fees, but you won’t be able to receive as much money up front.Extra Fees. I should mention that there are also numerous other possible “extra fees” a factor could add into their fee structure. Some examples of these fees include application, origination and due diligence fees. These charges are often to cover the costs of running credit and background checks on your customers, compiling and shipping legal documentation and putting a lien in place once you become a client. Other factors will add in administrative fees for postage, long-distance phone calls, or computer time. Then there are fees associated with funding procedures, identifying set prices for a same-day wire to your bank account or an overnight transfer of funds. Most of the remaining costs can be bunched into the category of “penalty fees,” for misdirected payments, aged invoices or an early termination of your contract.Although advance rates and discount fees tend to be the main concern when business owners are shopping factors, I hope this article has helped you realize that there are other types of fees that may or may not be tacked onto your healthcare staffing funding deal, depending on the factor. In addition, like I stated in the previous article, depending on the volume your company is invoicing on a monthly basis, where you are located and how much of a niche you have in the medical staffing industry will all play a crucial role in your overall decision-making process.If you need healthcare staffing invoice factoring, I encourage you to read the third and final article in this series to explore the legal documentation involved with a factoring deal. The length of time you are willing to commit to selling your invoices as well as the type of guaranty you are willing to sign are important aspects to consider when looking for the factor who will best be able to meet your healthcare staffing company’s needs.
India is one of the few countries that has a National Health Policy (NHP, 2002) that categorically mentions mental health, as well as a National Mental Health Program (NMHP) and a dedicated Mental Health Act 1987 (MHA). The most recent one is THE MENTAL HEALTHCARE BILL (ACT) passed in 2016.The objective of the Act is “to provide for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”Simply put, this means that any individual with a diagnosed mental illness has the right to access healthcare and any other related services. These services will be delivered with dignity and respect to the individual.The act clearly defines all parties and subjects mentioned in the bill. It addresses what mental healthcare is (analysis, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of an individual with a diagnosed or suspected mental illness). It outlines the parties involved including family members and caregivers, psychiatric social workers and mental health professionals. It very importantly defines and underlines all the aspects of informed consent, a very significant matter in a country where a quarter of the population are illiterate and lakhs are medically uneducated. It also clearly and comprehensively defines mental illness as different from mental retardation.The bill is very important to the average Indian citizen because it finally opens up the mental health space to anyone who wants help, regardless of the diagnosis. In the coming years, it could go a long way to destigmatise mental health treatment. Here are some of the most important points of the act that we all need to be aware of as its beneficiaries:Decriminalisation of attempted suicide
In a much needed move, survivors of attempted suicide will not be sent to jail but instead to a rehabilitation program where they can receive treatment for their issues. The individual shall be presumed to be suffering from ‘severe stress’, a term which has replaced the earlier bill’s assumption of ‘mental illness’. They are therefore exempt from trial and punishment.Empowerment of the mentally ill
While earlier acts sought to ‘protect’ the general population from those suffering from mental illness, the new bill recognises the agency and abilities of such people and grants them facilities for rehabilitation and support. This means recognising the inherent dignity of such persons and according them the right to make decisions regarding their treatment, if they can understand relevant information. It also gives every person the right to make an Advance Directive regarding the treatment they wish to receive in the case of any future mental illness, and this Directive must be followed unless overturned by the respective Board.Restricted use of Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT)
Electro-Convulsive Therapy will only be used in the rarest of cases and with informed consent. It is completely prohibited as emergency treatment, without muscle relaxants and anaesthesia and minors, although the last one is subject to permission from the guardian and the relevant Board. The Bill also prohibits the sterilisation of the mentally ill unless it is part of their rehabilitation.Empowerment of the police
Police officers will be required to take under their protection any mentally-ill person on the streets within the limits of their police station. They are also to take notice of any case of ill-treatment of a mentally-ill person and report it to the Magistrate, who can then have the individual examined by a mental health professional and rehabilitated if necessary.The importance of informed consent
In the definition of informed consent, there’s a very crucial factor marked out: using language that the individual can understand. Too often professionals trained in urban areas consider it too cumbersome to actually break down complex terms and biological processes to patients who, regardless of economic or educational background, may have difficulty grasping these concepts. It’s very important as mental health professionals to remember that their purpose is to help, not to dictate. It is the ethical responsibility of treating professionals to work with people rather than simply assume that educational qualifications alone give the power to dictate an individual’s treatment. The bill also grants the patient complete access to their medical records unless such a disclosure would result in harm to themselves or others.Placing responsibility on the government
The very first line of the act allocates responsibility to the government to either run or fund mental health care centres that will make a range of quality treatment accessible to all citizens, regardless of economic or social background. The act goes on to make special provisions for those living below the poverty line, destitute or homeless, entitling them to free care.Placing the quality of healthcare for mental illness on par with that for physical illness
This is another strong step towards the destigmatisation of mental health. By assuring care equal in quality, the bill aims to bring mental health care into the mainstream, and no longer treat it as rare and specialty treatment only available for the wealthy and urban citizens.The right to complain
By outlining the steps a citizen can take if discriminated against, and detailing the persons to be approached, the area of mental health care is finally transparent. If a patient suffers a breach of confidence or poor quality care, they can approach the medical officer or mental health professional in charge of the establishment, the concerned Board and finally the State Authority to seek justice.To take control of your health, it is important to know your rights. Being informed is the first step towards being a better citizen.
Rehabilitation jobs in medical and healthcare industry are fast growing career options at present. Physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists, occupational therapist assistants and speech language pathologists can find well-paid jobs in the healthcare industry. Rehabilitation job opportunities exist in various healthcare centers and medical centers throughout the US.Nature of Rehabilitation JobsRehabilitation professionals provide round-the-clock service according to the changing needs of disabled individuals, helping them to perform their routine activities. Irrespective of the age of the patients, they are bound to serve people with various disabilities including fractures, injuries, neurological, psychiatric and many other orthopedic problems. They examine, diagnose, evaluate and formulate various treatment plans based on the diagnosis and medical reports of the patients.Qualifications and Experience RequiredThose who are seeking rehabilitation jobs in the medical and healthcare industry should possess a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree from an accredited institute. Since they have to take care of disabled people, they should have considerable patience; besides, they should possess excellent communication skills to interact with the patients and the caregivers. Depending on your experience and qualifications, you can find better job positions in reputable firms.Job BenefitsRehabilitation jobs in the US offer a number of benefits for the jobseekers, and these include healthcare insurance, additional state license, section 125 cafeteria plan, immigration processing, short-term disability, professional liability, paid housing and much more.With the help of a recruiting agency, candidates can reduce their job hunting efforts. These agencies enable the candidates to track down the right jobs easily. Jobs in the rehabilitation field not only carry excellent career prospects and pay package, but also ensure complete job satisfaction.
With increased mobilization (use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones), the concept of Mobile health (mHealth) has also got prominence. With other sweeping changes, it’s also changing the way healthcare solutions are delivered. This is also a revolutionary way to manage your own health. But, it is still in its nascent stages and full potential of mHealth is still not explored. It can significantly improve the quality of healthcare as well as lower down costs. All we need to achieve is a regulated system, in which consumers are connected with the care delivery ecosystem in a proper way.Growth of Mobile health (mHealth)
Most of the people think that mHealth is about communication using mobile devices, which is incorrect. Its aim is to make a healthcare ecosystem in which healthcare experts (caregivers), healthcare service providers and patients connect together. Many times, right information at the right time and right place can save you from unnecessary troubles, trauma and wastage of hard earned money. It becomes even more important in the event of a medical emergency. If all your medical records are online and can be transferred to your caregiver in a town far away from your place, it may save you a sizeable chunk of money and countless hours spent in communication.Nowadays, technology has advanced to a point, where it’s easy to optimize mHealth. Development of telecom sector has also provided flexibility, power and speed to these platforms. As far as existing infrastructure of mHealth is concerned, there are numerous mHealth apps available both for Android and iOS platforms. These apps use different software options.Stumbling blocks
Yes, there are certain stumbling blocks as well in the way of mHealth. Social, regulatory and economic factors have always acted as barriers to any such innovative concept. People aren’t quick to adopt it and government and other regulatory bodies are too slow to set firm guidelines for the regulation of such apps. There is a strong need for a regulatory framework, so that people with chronic, severe and critical illnesses can trust the system completely.As far as statistics goes, less than 20% mobile users use a smart phone and out of these 20%, a whopping 80% of the mHealth apps are linked to commercial products and services such as weight loss, wellness and fitness. The trend of people with illnesses such as allergies, skin diseases, asthma, (and lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension) using these apps are much less common.Conclusion
Mobile technologies are revolutionizing our lives and there is huge scope of these technologies in the healthcare sector, which is still running in a traditional way. There is a lot of confusion around it and people have very little authentic information about their illnesses and their treatment options. It results in people getting targeted by the “healthcare sharks”, which are busy spinning money from desperate people. A regulated healthcare ecosystem enriched with the power of mHealth can make life easier for millions of people.