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Are You Fully Aware of the HIPAA Awareness Policy?

aware HIPAA policy

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is brimming with regulations that pertain to the various practices and procedures within a healthcare operation - are you sure that you and your team are 100% aware of them all? One of the biggest problems that health organizations face is that HIPAA rules have changed throughout the years. Veterans of your facility may still be following old and dated procedures which can actually create confusion for newer employees who have been trained to act in a different way. It's extremely difficult to operate in a way that's compliant with HIPAA regulations when everyone is handling things in their own way. If this has created issues for you and your staff, it's time that you take the time to re-train all employees on your HIPAA awareness policy.   

Never get fined again with these Release of Information Best Practices

release of information best practices (1)

Whether you've ever been fined for violating HIPAA regulations as they apply to release of information procedures or are simply worried that it could happen to you in the future, it's important that you're able to avoid any problems before they happen. Unfortunately, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is very lengthy and complex, leaving many healthcare professionals scratching their heads or feeling less-than confident in their ability to comply. As a result, it's absolutely imperative that all of your staff are trained to recognize how, exactly, HIPAA pertains to the release of information process. So what should you include in your HIPAA training and awareness policy? Here are a few best practices to follow:

How to Spot - And Avoid - Harassment From Third Party Requestors

third party requestors

Although it's unfortunate, a growing number of third party requestors have begun to adopt practices to harass healthcare providers for access to protected health information (PHI) that they are not authorized to access. In recent years, these third parties have adapted their methods and figured out new ways to either trick their way into obtaining this confidential data, or bully release of information technicians in the attempt to do so. Each outside entity has its own reasons for trying to unlawfully review PHI. Some may be looking for ways to avoid making a full payment for services - or to make any payment at all. Others may be interested in obtaining information that could be damaging to a public figure, such as certain cosmetic treatments. Still others might be attempting to illegally raise insurance premiums for patients based upon genetic information. Whatever the reasoning, though, it's important for all those associated with the release of information process to be aware of what is going on, and to know what they should be looking out for. To help you protect your facility and the privacy of your patients, here are a few of the most common ways that third party requestors are harassing healthcare professionals for PHI.

Why should I stay up-to-date with a current HIPAA awareness policy?

hipaa awareness policy

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountable Act (HIPAA) is nothing new. For years, healthcare professionals have been required to adhere to rigid standards regarding patient's rights and privacy in order to avoid auditing, fines, and penalties. Everyone working within your facility should be well-versed in the law and very familiar with HIPAA requirements. As a result, you may find yourself wondering why you need to bother with a current HIPAA awareness policy. Isn't it just a waste of time and effort? The short answer to this question is no, but the reasoning behind that answer is much more extensive. Regardless of where you think you and your staff stand, it's more important now than ever that you make HIPAA awareness a top priority within your organization. Here's why:

Retaining HIPAA Compliance on Release of Information: Is it hard?

hipaa compliance on release of information (1)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) can strike fear into the hearts of even the most seasoned health professionals - especially those who work on release of information requests. While those working outside of the healthcare industry may not understand what the big deal is, for those of us who are familiar with the stringent rules and regulations set forth by the federal government, it's all too clear. Although HIPAA is all about protecting patient privacy and rights, release of information processes actually take private patient information and allow it to be shared with an outside party. Of course, there are specific laws in place that make it possible for protected health information (PHI) to be transmitted, there are many rules and stipulations required for the process to be handled in a way that's HIPAA compliant. So how hard is it? Let's take a closer look at what HIPAA requires of release of information practices.

Electronic Medical Records: How to stay HIPAA Compliant

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Electronic medical records (EMRs) are a hot topic right now. The federal government is making a push towards the usage of digitized healthcare information, and a growing number of organizations are making the switch. But can you remain HIPAA compliant while embracing EMRs? It's actually easier than you may think. Here's how to adhere to HIPAA standards while going digital.

7 Release of Information Best Practices to keep you in HIPAA compliance

release of information best practices

Hospitals, physician practices, and other healthcare facilities are flooded with requests for confidential patient information each and every day. As a result, administrative staff are required to respond to release of information requests. Unfortunately, this process can be quite stressful and daunting, as every single step must be completed in a way that's HIPAA compliant. Even a simple mistake could compromise the rights and privacy of your patients, damage your operation's reputation, and cost you dearly in fines and penalties. In an effort to help you avoid these problems, we've put together a list of 7 tips for remaining HIPAA compliant throughout the release of information process.

Why It’s Imperative To Keep Release of Information Processes HIPAA Compliant

hipaa compliance on release of information

Have you ever heard your staff or colleagues grumbling about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act? With stringent rules in place regarding patient rights and privacy, most healthcare facilities insist upon frequent training for their employees, and constant reminders on compliance issues. Unfortunately, there are those individuals who find this to be tiresome after a time. But while your team may believe that they know everything that there is to know about HIPAA compliance issues as they pertain to release of information requests, all it takes is one mistake for everything to go wrong. It's because of this that it's so important that the training never stops, and that staff are educated about why HIPAA compliance is so important. During your next staff meeting or training session, be sure to go over the reasons why constant diligence is required throughout the release of information process.

Do you have a HIPAA compliant medical office?

hipaa compliant

Staying on top of the rules and regulations set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act should be at the top of every healthcare professional's list of priorities - especially considering that there's so much at stake. Failure to comply with HIPAA could result in harm to patients, a damaged professional reputation, and extremely hefty fines and penalties. Unfortunately, many medical practices employ hundreds, and even thousands, of individuals, making it difficult to be absolutely sure that everyone is on-board with adhering to the letter of the law. As a result, every healthcare facility should adopt a policy that promotes HIPAA awareness. It's not enough for you and your team to be aware that rules are in place, you must also take measures to ensure that everyone is constantly reminded of the importance of following them. Here are a few suggestions for a strong HIPAA awareness policy.

Are Your Records Requests For Post Payment Audits Being Misrepresented in the Request Letter?

records requests letter

The rollout of the Affordable Care Act (sometimes referred to as "Obamacare") has made some significant changes to the healthcare industry. One of the key ways in which the federal government is hoping to reduce healthcare costs is through making a strong push towards the development of accountable care organizations (ACOs). These organizations are to be comprised of primary care physicians, specialists, hospitals, and insurance companies who work together as a unit to provide coordinated care for patients. When ACOs are able to improve efficiency, they are rewarded with financial incentives. In order for these groups to qualify, however, they must be able to provide pre and/or post-payment audit information to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

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