Archive for month: July, 2019

Things to Remember When You Have a Lease Coming Up for Renewal

Categories: Articles

THINGS TO REMEMBER prior to a lease renewal.
1. Create or have a LEASE ABSTACT prepared at lease expiration.
2. Give yourself TIME prior to expiration.
3. Consider ALTERNATIVES to your current space.
4. THINK LONG TERM as well as short term.
5. REVIEW the LEASE DOCUMENT even if you renew.
6. Use the renewal or relocation as a time to RETHINK OFFICE OPERATION.

LEASE EXPIRATION STARTS AT THE LEASE EXECUTION.
Planning for your next lease expiration starts early at the execution of the lease. Shortly
after lease execution you should prepare or have a professional prepare a lease abstract. A
lease abstract is synopsis of the most significant terms of the lease including information
on any expansion and renewal options. The information on expansion options will
include the notice that must be given the renewal option and the terms which were agreed
to in the original lease. Use this document as reference for your path as you approach
lease expiration.

GIVE YOURSELF TIME PRIOR TO LEASE EXPIRATION.
Make sure that you start the process early enough so that you will have enough time to
properly evaluate alternatives prior to any notice which must be given for a renewal
option, which is included in the original lease. Don’t create a scenario where you have
too little time to do a proper evaluation all of your available alternatives. As with
anything else, it is always better to have too much as opposed to too little time. If you
start too early you can always slow down but if you start too late the advantage goes to
the Landlord, which is never a good idea. How much time is enough? To figure this out
in your particular situation, estimate how much time you realistically need for each
component of the search, taking into account that this will not be your only activity.
There will need to be 1) time to review your lease abstract to determine the terms
available in your current lease, 2) time to look at the market and assemble good
alternatives, 3) time to tour those alternatives, 4) time to request and receive proposals,
5) time for lease negotiation and 6) time for any buildout, which might be required either
at your current space or at another building of your choosing. In the case of a 5,000 sf
lease space, you should figure on 30 days to review your lease abstract and determine
what options are available. It is a good idea to find five or six options which might work.
Allow a minimum of 30 days to work thru those options which would include doing test
fits on the top two or three options. Efficiencies differ between different buildings and
floorplates.

CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES TO YOUR CURRENT SPACE.
Take the time or hire a professional medical office broker to find a reasonable number of
alternatives. Once you have identified five or six possibilities, tour those alternatives
paying particular attention to such thing as visual appeal of the building ingress and

egress to and from the building, the total number of parking spaces available in the
building (minimum 4 spaces per 1,000 square feet of leased area but ideally 5 or 5 per
1,000). Parking is the silent killer of a practice. If there aren’t enough spaces it will cause
patients to be late for their appointment, it will create angst on their part as they drive
around looking for a space, further aggravated as they are harassed by staff for being late
to the appointment. They may not complain to the practice but just not come back. Once
you have toured the options, made notes on what you have seen to keep the details of the
alternatives straight. Send out requests for proposal (RFPs) to each, telling them what
information you want. The idea behind an RFP is to get identical information from each
option so that you can make an apples to apples comparison. Remember that despite your
best efforts landlords will always respond in such a way as to accentuate the positive and
minimize the negative aspects of their property. To the extent they are successful, this
makes the job of comparing alternatives more difficult. Once you receive the proposals,
from the options you will want to put the competing buildings on a spreadsheet and
compare them both in terms of their economics and the more subjective issues such as
appearance, ingress/egress and parking.

THINK LONG TERM RATHER THAN JUST SHORT TERM.
Concurrent with requesting RFPs you will want to do test fits with the best two or three
options. This will allow you to compare layouts, highlighting their relative efficiencies.
In commissioning a test fit look long term, considering the things which currently work
in your space and those things that don’t. Think long term. Consider the number of exam
rooms? Consider the seating in the reception area. Have the practice consider whether it
wishes to use a “pod concept” where the exam rooms serving a particular doctor, the
doctor’s office and the doctors nurse or nurses are all bunched together in a pod; or the
concept which seems to be more favored in the current changing medical environment
which is to have all of the exam rooms together with the nurses station and have the
doctors all together apart from the exams, using charting stations interspersed among the
exam rooms.

REVIEW THE LEASE DOCUMENT EVEN IF YOU ARE GOING TO RENEW.
Many practices are content to just sign an amendment renewing their existing lease
without looking back at the original lease. You should always review your existing lease
to become reacquainted with what was agreed 3, 5 or even 10 years earlier. The times are
always a changing, healthcare has changed and will continue to change. Your practice’s
situation has most likely also changed in those intervening years. Management may also
have changed and the direction and focus of new management may be different. For all
these reasons you need to review the original lease with a lawyer and or a real estate
professional to determine how your current space may address the current objectives and
focus.

USE THE RENEWAL, RELOCATION OR SEARCH FOR A SATELLITE
OFFICE AS A TIME RETHINK YOUR OFFICE OPERATION.
In the case of a satellite certainly, but even in a renewal your office staff may have
grown. This becomes a good opportunity or even a necessity to review aspects of practice
operation. You may decide to tackle this on your own but as you know there are a variety
of vendors who are positioned to look at the various aspects of such a review.

Submitted by Stan Sharp, HealthOne Realty Advisors

ssharp@healthonerealty.com

www.healthonerealty.com

Is it safe to trade-in an old device?

Categories: Articles - Tags: ,

Did you know that more data has been created during the past two years than in the entire previous history of humanity?

The world population is currently about 7.7 billion people and experts believe that by the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for each human being on the planet.

We are also seeing a huge growth in video and photographic data. Every minute up to 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube alone.

Nearly 80% of pictures are now taken on smart phones. We take over 1 trillion photos annually and share billions of them online.

In 2018 alone, roughly 400 million computing devices were shipped globally.

Because of the rapid evolution of technology, many used devices are being exchanged or recycled on the secondary market; often stimulated by financial incentives to “trade-up” to a faster or smarter device or by electronics recyclers offering to take old computers and other hardware from businesses at no charge.

Some people bring their devices to “free”

neighborhood electronics recycling events.

But, have you thought carefully about what happens to the residual data left on your old computer, tablet or cell phone? Are you confident that the people taking your old

 

hardware will securely destroy your personal information before reselling your device?

A recent study revealed that 7 out of 10 used devices contained Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including: online banking credentials, private pictures, voter and other government ID cards, social security numbers, biometrics, etc.

Did you know that re-initializing a device to factory settings does not overwrite stored data?

Removing residual data from hard drives, memory cards and cell phones is a time- consuming, costly, manual procedure. Most electronics intermediaries are not trained, equipped or motivated to do it correctly.

Are you willing to take the risk of suffering a residual data breach?

Shredding is a more permanent solution. A trustworthy shredding company can:

  • Offer On-Site hard drive shredding service, reducing your risk by shredding your hard drives right in front of you.
  • Provide a Certificate of Destruction with the serial number of each hard drive, tablet or cell phone that was shred, should you need to demonstrate your thoroughness in the future.
  • Demonstrate their operating and hiring practices are externally audited and certified by NAID (National Association of Information Destruction) and ISO (International Standards Organization)
  • Document the recycling of the shredded remnant of your devices through R2 certified vendors that achieve high standards in the industrial re-use of recycled material.

For more information, contact Greg Gálvez at greg.galvez@proshred.com or 678-580-1155

Scamming Techniques: 5 Examples and How to Avoid Them

Categories: Articles

E-mail Popup Warning Window Concept

It comes as no surprise that not everyone out there is acting in the best interest of your business. If you’re the owner of any type of business, no matter how big or small, odds are someone has attempted to scam you and your company.

It’s not a great feeling either, and unfortunately, scammers are getting more and more creative and their techniques are becoming more and more sophisticated.

Luckily, people are becoming more aware of scammers, and defensive technologies against them are becoming better too.

To help make sure that you’re a step ahead of would-be scammers, here are a few of the most popular scamming techniques and how to identify them.

Hacking

Hacking is what happens when a scammer attempts to gain access to personal information your company possesses. To do this, they’ll use some sort of technology to break into your network.

This is the area where most scammers are progressing at a fast rate in terms of skill. That makes it all the more important to ensure that you have the proper cybersecurity strategies and practices in place that can alert you of a data breach.

Some tell-tale signs that someone is attempting to hack into your systems are: 

  • Files have been removed
  • Pop-ups on your computer screen
  • An unexpectedly large phone or internet bill
  • Unable to log on to certain accounts

 

Phishing

Phishing has been around for a while and takes the form of emails, where the sender is trying to get sensitive information from the recipient. They pose as a legitimate company, and they may try such tricks as saying that your account has been hacked and that you need to reply with password and username to gain control again.

This can be detrimental to the individual who is preyed upon, as well as the company they work for. If a scammer can successfully trick an employee, then they are well on their way to gaining more information on the company they work for.

The following are signs that someone may be phishing you: 

  • The emails are nosy and have suspicious requests
  • Grammatical errors in the email
  • Wrong or missing recipient on the email

Malware and Ransomware

If you’ve ever gotten a sketchy pop-up that tells you to download something…then you may have had an encounter with malware. Malware scams attempt to trick you into installing software that scammers can then use to access your files.

On the flip side, ransomware is a type of malware that may block you from accessing certain files or even your computer altogether. As the name implies, if you want to get that access back from the scammer, you’ll have to pay them a certain amount of money.

Look for these signs to avoid malware and ransomware: 

  • An excessive amount of pop-ups and your computer is a lot slower after encountering them
  • There are new icons on your desktop
  • Your computer randomly starts to download software without your direction

 

Investment Scams

Investment scams are different than the previous techniques listed. Instead of using technology to try and trick you or access your files, investment scams may occur when speaking with the actual scammer.

Most commonly, this will come in the form of a cold call from someone offering unsolicited advice or investments. When you receive these phone calls or emails, just hang up or don’t respond.

Ways to tell if an “investment opportunity” is indeed a scam: 

  • You receive repeated calls or emails from someone offering an investment opportunity
  • You are invited to attend a free seminar, but follow-up seminars are high in terms of cost
  • The email or phone call incorporates risk-free investments or a similar promise

 

False Billings

False billings are used to try and get you to pay for a service that you never actually signed up for. Scammers who use this tactic rely on the fact that someone who is in charge of admin duties, such as a receptionist, may not be completely up-to-date on what the company has been doing in terms of advertising or promotional initiatives.

They may call or send a letter trying to get you to pay for a fake business directory or to renew your domain name.

Signs to look for when it comes to false billing scams: 

  • You receive an invoice from a directory or publication you’ve never heard of, and they ask you to confirm an entry or advertisement
  • The caller cites the government as a reason your company needs to be listed on their register
  • You receive an unexpectedly high invoice for domain registration or is registered with a different company

 

Need Help Staying Scam Free? Call Medicus IT

At Medicus IT, we work with clients to run phishing scam simulations to determine vulnerabilities within your organization and see where your employees need additional scam-avoidance training.

For those in the medical field, we also specialize in HIPAA and will work with or provide third-party compliance consultants to conduct risk assessments for your practice. It is only through regular assessments and testing that you can ensure that you are minimizing your exposure to attack so that your electronic patient health information (ePHI) is safe and secure.

Contact us today to ensure that your business is protected from scammers.

By: Medicus IT
www.MedicusIT.com
678-495-5900

 

Sheila Fox-Lovell Spotlight

Categories: Team Member Spotlight

Family – married? Children? Pets? Married to Mitch for 24 years. Three step children – all grown, and one lives/works with us. Three cats – one is 18! Best cat on the planet

Where did you grow up? Interests as a child? What did you want to be “when you grew up”? Long Island, South Shore, near Jones Beach. Graduating high school, boys. Originally wanted to be an anthropologist (it sounded cool, then wanted to be probation officer (hence my degree in law enforcement).

What college did you attend? What did you study? Best memories of those years? Bryant College – now known as Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. All four years were a party (hey, it was the 70’s) but the highlight was the year a blizzard hit because school shut down for a week. Yet another excuse for a party!

Where in Atlanta do you live? What brought you here? East Cobb. When criminal justice was no longer attractive, I went to work for my dad who owned an envelope manufacturing plant in NY. When he sold the business, there was a location in Austell that the purchasing company owned, so it was a natural move.

Hobbies? Any charity or philanthropy? Scrapbooking, crochet – all things that help de-stress. Was once an avid tennis player (actually how Mitch and I met).

If money were no issue, what would you do with your time? Travel. For sure. As often as possible.

Favorite food? Worst food? Italian – I’m an aficionado of eggplant parmesan. Anything pesto works for me too. Sushi – never had it, never will.

Cook or clean dishes? Cook.

Favorite sports team(s)? Favorite book? Favorite movie? Braves/Falcons. Movie: Life is Beautiful. Book: The Kite Runner or 1000 Splendid Suns.

Furthest you’ve ever traveled? Best trip of life? Australia with my sister. Also, my honeymoon in Hawaii. Close second is Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta Canada

Speak any other languages? No. Unless “cat” counts.

Mountains, beach, or staycation? Yes. 50/50 mountain/beach.

Role model in your life? My dad, as a business owner.

What is one tidbit of information about you we wouldn’t expect? I’m first generation American. Both my parents came through Ellis Island. Dad came over from London after WWII. Mom came over as an infant from Poland and was quarantined for several months due to small pox.

Picture to share? Mitch and I visiting the “fatherland”.

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