We Americans love our pets. I read an interesting figure the other day: the American Pet Products Association reported that in 2011, Americans spent $50.96 billion – that’s billion with a b – on their pets. It’s the first time in history that our country’s pet spending has crossed the $50 billion threshold. According to the APPA report, most of the spending was on basics like veterinary care and food. However, between 2010 and 2011, there was an increase in spending on services like grooming, … [Read more...] about Americans Are Spending More On Their Pets – What Does This Mean For Your Practice?
Law Firm Client Services
Facebook and other social networking sites are becoming an indispensible part of modern life. As the world shrinks and family members, friends, and business associates find themselves scattered around the country – or the globe – sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are quickly becoming a communication method of choice. Even attorneys who have yet to jump on the social media bandwagon have growing numbers of clients who are already on board, and it’s no surprise. These social networks … [Read more...] about Facebook as a Digital Asset
Making decisions about medical care can be a daunting proposition – we know this from our own experiences. Start with the sophistication of diagnoses, add the complexity of medical procedures, and top it off with a menu of treatment options. Deciding what to do can be a recipe for anxiety, paralysis and/or self-doubt – even among those who are highly informed. A new book takes on the task of helping people make the medical choices that are right for them. Your Medical Mind, by Drs. Jerome … [Read more...] about Your Client’s Medical Mind
Last month, I wrote about how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has begun enforcing HIPAA by imposing large financial penalties against healthcare providers for HIPAA violations. (In the first case, a healthcare provider received a $4.3 million civil penalty for failing to provide timely personal health information to patients upon their request; in the other, a different provider agreed to a $1 million settlement for disclosing patients’ personal health information without their … [Read more...] about Stricter HIPAA Enforcement: What Will It Mean For Your Firm’s Advance Directive Documents?
I shared in my last post that clients’ healthcare directives are useless if they cannot be produced at the hospital when they are needed. To close this gap between the legal and the medical worlds, registries for advance directives have been created that provide rapid access to these important documents by storing them electronically. How do such registries work? Typically, the registry scans and stores a copy of the individual’s advance directives electronically, and the individual registrant … [Read more...] about Advance Directives Registries: How to Evaluate Them
We all know the importance of advance directives in making clients’ healthcare wishes known. Unfortunately, research tells us that creating such documents does not necessarily ensure that their wishes will be known when it counts. Consider this: According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, advance directives were not available in three out of four cases when a patient was admitted to the hospital. Or this: In 67 to 74 percent of cases, physicians were not aware … [Read more...] about Advance Directives Are Important, But Are They Enough?
Death is a very real part of life, along with taxes. Yet, funerals are the only life cycle event most folks don’t want to plan in advance. Despite the fact that humans have a 100 percent mortality rate, we don’t expect to die. If you don’t expect to die, you’re unlikely to preplan a funeral. And that leads to problems like family discord, higher costs, rote rituals devoid of meaning, and unnecessary stress added to grief. Wedding planning gets way more attention than funeral planning, even … [Read more...] about Over My Dead Body: Why Fear Funeral Planning?
This week my wife's grandmother passed away and I was reminded how similar weddings and funerals really are. I know this sounds crazy, but these two events have all of the same basic elements. Weddings and funeral ceremonies are both held in a church, synagogue, or some other type of facility. They both have flowers and decorations, they both typically have music, both have a minister or someone who officiates the service, there's usually a lot of food at both occasions, and they both have a … [Read more...] about Weddings and Funerals