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Practice and financial news you can use


Safety protocols aren't firmly in place


Watch out for overdraft fees!

Debit cards are surely convenient, but they can be pretty darn expensive if you're not careful about monitoring your balance. That's the warning from the Center for Responsible Lending, which reports that US banks and credit unions are using "abusive overdraft loans" to reap $17.5 billion in fees each year. The Center says the largest source of those fees-which can top $30 for an overdraft of just a few pennies-is debit cards.


CMS issues final rules on self-referrals

Tired of hearing about the Stark law? On Dec. 4, the third and final phase of the rules governing referrals of Medicare and Medicaid patients will go into effect, ending more than six years of comment and implementation. While CMS would like you to believe that very little has changed between the second and third phases, not everyone agrees. The national law firm of Arent Fox, for one, feels that some of the new requirements are more stringent and may require existing arrangements to be revised or unwound. So you may need to consult a health law attorney to review your particular situation, especially in regard to direct vs indirect compensation arrangements. For an overview of the self-referral law, go to http://www.cms.hhs.gov/physicianselfreferral.


Identity theft a greater concern

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