This month Congress issued a clarification on the Red Flags Rule scheduled to take effect at the end of this year. It should come as a relief that doctors are no longer subject to this new federal regulation.
The basic idea behind the Red Flags Rule is a good one: Entities who are creditors possess sensitive information about customers and should safeguard that data carefully. They should have policies in place to detect and respond to signs of ID theft.
The clarification ruling asserts that doctors are not “creditors” in this respect, even if they accept credit cards as payment for services rendered. As it is, doctors and their practices are already subject to HIPAA regulations, which reinforce patient data protection and confidentiality.
This, along with the one-year extension of the Medicare healthcare provider payment rates, is some welcome end-of-year good news.
Happy New Year everyone, from the staff at Chiropractic Economics.
Whether you blog here or on your own webpage – or both – there are a few things you can do to help out your readers and gain more traffic. Here, then, are 7 rules for effective blogging:
- Stay focused – stick to your main point.
- Be brief – readers on the Internet are usually skimming and scanning. Give yourself a limit of 200-300 words.
- Write like you talk – avoid “writerly speech,” be as lively and enthusiastic as you are when addressing a group. But go easy on the exclamation points!
- Learn to love linking – the hyperlink is the life-stuff of the Internet. When entering your text, just look for a “hyperlink” button, which works like this one in PowerPoint. Your links can go to definitions, extended discussions, another blog, a video, whatever you think readers will appreciate.
- Paragraphs are good – a solid wall of text is a daunting prospect. Add a paragraph break every few sentences so the reader can scan your text more easily. Also, use bulleted and numbered lists for the same reason.
- Edit thyself – after posting, take a critical look at your blog. You’ll usually find something that could be improved or fixed. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should show your thoughts in a good light.
- Keywords are critical – try to put your topic into your title and use keywords about your topic in the body of your post. The Internet will automatically categorize your blog, and you want readers who are searching for your topic to find you.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for weblogs, and rules are always made to be broken, but if you look at the best examples, you see that good bloggers tend to follow these guidelines more often than not. With practice, these habits become as natural as breathing.