Archive for month: August, 2018

Oct 1 Safe Harbor Deadline

Categories: Articles

Are you a business owner who needs to reduce their current year taxable income and save for retirement? Now is the ideal time to evaluate retirement plan options for 2018 and beyond.

The deadline to establish a safe harbor 401(k) plan fpr 2018 is October 1st, 2018. These plans provide significant benefits to business owners and their key staff members:

  • Business owners to make the maximum 401(k) contribution this year ($18,500 or $24,500 if age 50+);
  • Safe harbor company contributions can be either a flat 3% contribution to eligible employees, or a matching contribution of up to 4% of pay;
  • The plan may allow for additional profit sharing or matching contributions;
  • These plans can be paired with cash balance/defined benefit plans for even larger tax-deductible contributions.

Please contact us ASAP so we can start designing a solution for your needs. We look forward to working with you!

Joshua C. Harper, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®

 Office (404) 926-1303

Cell (404) 277-1604

Fax (470) 777-2470

 

Three Alliance Center

3550 Lenox Road NE, Suite 1100

Atlanta, GA 30326

Article provided by Joshua C. Harper , CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, for Capstone Financial. For questions, please contact here.

The Story Of Windows 7 & Server 2008 End Of Life Has Just Gone Viral!

Categories: Articles

Microsoft’s most loved computing operating systems are ending sooner than we think. Support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 end on January 14th, 2020. This means that they will discontinue all support, including paid support; and all updates, including security updates. At this time your systems will no longer receive regular security updates, it is because of this that your older systems will no longer be considered compliant. Additionally, your computers, servers, medical modalities running these older systems will be prone to new unpatched exploits, potentially leaving your systems open to further attacks.

Between now and January 2020, Microsoft is offering “extended support” for Windows 7. Which means, Microsoft is still offering paid support and continues to provide security updates. No new features will be released.

As for Windows Server 2008, everyone will need to migrate to Windows Server 2012 or higher. Microsoft will no longer accept warranty claims, or provide non-security hot fixes. Microsoft will continue to offer bug fixes and security updates through extended support. Be mindful though, that we must validate what systems are being supported by your line of business and your applications before proposing an upgrade solution, it is not uncommon for software vendors (including many EMRs) to not support the most recent Server operating systems.

In the table below you can see the current dates that Microsoft will be ending support for various operating systems:

What Do You Do Now?

Now, its time to upgrade your operating systems. The whole process takes time and careful planning, especially if you have a lot of machines and systems to assess in the process. Here are the steps to take to make sure your transition is successful:

1. Identify devices that need to be upgraded or replaced that meet essential (HIPAA) security compliance.

2. Develop a budget for upgrades, replacements and a timeline of when this will occur.

3. If your systems needing upgrades aren’t powerful enough for the latest Microsoft upgrades, we recommend backing up valuable data and then shredding the hard drive, recycling the old PC, and replacing it with a new computer running Windows 8 Professional or Windows 10.

4. Have security controls in place to separate difficult systems from Windows 7 and Server 2008 machines that cannot be upgraded or removed.

5. Training employees on the new upcoming operating systems that are going to be implemented in your practice/business.

What is Windows 10 and how do I upgrade From Windows 7?

If you don’t have a product key or a digital license, you can buy Windows 10 Pro from the Microsoft Store. Select the Start button, select Settings > Update & security > Activation, and then select Go to Microsoft Store.

The great thing about Windows 10 is that it supports apps that are used across multiple devices, including PCs, tablets, and smartphones. It supports face login, touchscreen, and keyboard/mouse input methods and is faster than Windows 7.

It has a lot of useful benefits like interface, security, speed, compatibility, and software tools that are a massive improvement over Windows 7. The goal of Windows 10 is familiarity and a much simpler learning curve. It gives you the best of both worlds.

Is your practice/business still using Windows 7 and Server 2008? Do you need help upgrading your operating system, replacing your computers with Windows 10 and Server 2012, hard drive shredding and recycling?

Then, Contact Us.

We’re always here to help with all of your IT needs.

Article provided by Mike Jann , for Medicus IT  mjann@medicusit.com.

Don’t Get Put on the SHAME LIST! ; Contribute to a Safer Web by Switching to HTTPS

Categories: Articles

Google has given us all a final push to defend our sensitive information since July (2018) with the release of Chrome 68, a new version of their free internet browser. This, of course, includes prospective patients that may be searching for a healthcare provider. The new version will mark all HTTP sites as “Not Secure,” according to a blog post published by Emily Schechter, Chrome security product manager. In a gradually increasing effort to ensure visitor safety and security throughout the web, Google started to mark more and more HTTP websites as “Not Secure” last January, including those asking for credit card information and passwords. Outside entities even published “Shame Lists” of websites that had not yet made the switch!

Just since last year, more than 68% of Google Chrome users on Android and Windows and more than 78% on Chrome OS and Mac now have protection through HTTPS encryption.  Of course, Google aims for 100% of traffic to be protected by HTTPS encryption by default. What does this mean for you? It means that your website needs a certificate for use with SSL or TLS if it does not have one yet.

Lost in a cloud of abbreviations? Here’s what you need to know:

HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) is an extension of HTTP and a certain code that two computers use to scramble the messages they send to each other so that hackers can’t intercept those messages (i.e. your CC info, passwords, etc.) and read them. An SSL is a Secure Sockets Layer and TSL means Transport Layer Security. These layers are where HTTPS uses this “crime-fighting” code. They allow private and secure transfer of data to a browser from a server. Therefore, since July, anyone without an SSL or TLS will be deemed “Not Secure.”

Right now, HTTPS sites show a green lock and the word “Secure” in the far left of the URL bar. While previous versions of Chrome would only alert the visitor that the site was not secure when entering data into certain fields, anyone that does not switch to HTTPS will surely turn off visitors by showing a red “i” in a circle and the words, “Not Secure.”

If this switch has already impacted your website, don’t worry; there is a path to recovery. It may cause damage (turning patients away from your site), but it can be reversed. There are new automatic auditing tools that make migrating to HTTPS very simple, such as the audit in Lighthouse. Developers can use Lighthouse to determine which parts of your site are ready to update to HTTPS. Moving to HTTPS will also allow for new features and performance enhancements that HTTP cannot support.

In February 2018, Google reported that HTTPS was already the default for 81% of the top 100 sites. Ask NicheLabs to help you obtain your SSL today by calling 888-978-9254 or click here to send a message.

Article provided by Christina O’Brien, Marketing Manager, NicheLabs. For questions, please contact here.

Meet the Team

Categories: Meet the Team

Paul Mancini, Clear Choice Telephones

Family – married? Children? Pets?
Paul spends much of his free time with his wife, Robin, his son Austin (who now also works for Clear Choice Phones) and his dog, a dachshund named Bella that they adopted.

Where did you grow up? Interests as a child? What did you want to be “when you grew up”?
Paul was born in Pittsburgh but has lived all over. He wanted to play tennis when he grew up.

What college did you attend? What did you study? Best memories of those years?
Paul attended West Virginia University where he had a successful tennis career, ranking top 10 in the country, and #400 in the world. His best memories included the travel that tennis allowed him.

Where in Atlanta do you live? What brought you here?
He moved to Alpharetta after college because he had many friends there.

Hobbies?
Tennis, working out, podcasts.

If money were no issue, what would you do with your time?
Paul’s dream would be teaching tennis to children and dabbling in technology. He would always find a way to keep busy.

Favorite food? Worst food?
Italian – pizza/pasta.  Any seafood has to be cooked.

Cook or clean dishes?
Dishes; His wife is the cook.

Favorite sports team (s)?  Favorite book? Favorite movie? A true Steelers fan, he even has a sticker on his car.  Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather

Furthest you’ve ever traveled? Best trip of life?
Paul travelled “unintentionally” during his tennis career. He spent 1 year in Hawaii.

Mountains, beach, or staycation?
All 3?

Role Model in your life?
Growing up as a tennis player, Andre Agassi was Paul’s role model. His dad was a huge fan, too.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

Simone Flack - Practice Manager of the Month (PMOM), August 2018 - Healthcare Services TeamSimone Flack
Practice Manager, Atlanta Clinical Care

Simone Flack is the Practice Manager at Atlanta Clinical Care.  The group has four full time doctors and two mid-levels.  The practice is located near Northside and St. Joseph’s and receives a lot of hospital patient referrals from surgery as they focus on infectious diseases and infusion services.  The practice also has a travel clinic, Atlanta Travel Medicine, where they provide pre-travel shots to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  Simone has been with the practice for six years.  She worked previously at another medical practice before Atlanta Clinical Care.  Prior to working in the medical field, she worked 20 years in banking helping doctors and attorneys.  Her combination of medical knowledge and finance has made her a valuable asset for the doctors as they know the practice is running smooth and she ‘knows where the money is.’

Simone has found a different kind of stress working in a doctor’s office versus a bank but finds it rewarding.  She prides herself on providing outstanding customer service and her can do attitude.  She loves being with people and trying to help them. She enjoys problem solving and that no day is the same.

In any walk of life, Simone knows that to be successful it takes a team.  With her role as Practice Manager she does need to view everything at the 30,000 feet level.  But, she understands that it is very important that she knows the different areas in the practice and appreciation for what each person does.  It is important not just to know what they need to do, but also what it takes to do the work and know each person and what they are going through.  Simone states that relating to your fellow employees and showing appreciation helps to earn their respect and empowers them to be successful.  She says that if one link is not working properly, then the whole chain breaks down.  By staying in front of any issues, the work runs smoothly and creates a good environment.

Some of the best advice that Simone received came from a former banking colleague Robert Taylor in South Carolina.  He told her there are many ways to get to the goal; roll with the punches and realize there is not just one way to do it.  Simone keeps this in mind and is open to different views and opinions and tries to incorporate them into her day to day.  If she keeps the goal in sight and knows there different ways to get there, she stays focused and shares the same vision with her colleagues.

Matthew J. McCall MD at Atlanta Clinical Care states, “Simone is an integral member to our team/family and therefore I cannot use the term “office manager” when it relates to her.  She has been with us for over 5 years and has vastly contributed to the ongoing success which we have been blessed to have. Her diligence, intelligence, and management skills are unparalleled. She wears too many hats with her job duties to describe in a few sentences.  What I can say is that each hat is worn with 100 percent precision and the job(s) are always handled to perfection. The great success of our practice lies greatly on the back of Simone. I cannot imagine being in a practice, or owning a practice, without the assistance of Simone. I would rather this would be a “Practice Manager of the years” nomination, rather than a monthly nomination as it does not do justice to my gratitude to Simone.  The greatest compliment I can give is that if the time ever came for her to have a better opportunity for her or her family, I would have a hard time writing all of my recommendations on a single form as I cannot imagine ever running a business without her.”
Simone’s focus outside of work is keeping up with the lives of her two adult daughters.  One is a registered nurse in California, and the other opened a law firm in Atlanta.  Simone loves to travel, especially to the mountains to ski.  Her list of mountains to conquer is Park City, Smokies, Steamboat, and Heavenly.  She will be meeting her brother in Austria soon and also hopes to travel to Alberta.

Simone Flack was nominated by Sheila Fox-Lovell of Shandy Creative Solutions.  She describes Sheila as the sweetest and most positive person.  The relationship started with business cards, then needed some help to redevelop the website, and just continues to grow.  She appreciates Sheila’s patience as often their projects together will be working on something for a bit, then has to take break to focus on other areas as Practice Manager.   She looks forward to continuing their friendship and business relationship with other future projects.

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