HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices
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HIPAA Compliance and HIPAA Risk management Articles, Tips and Updates for Medical Practices and Physicians
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Study Shows Improvement in Provider HIPAA Right of Access Compliance

Study Shows Improvement in Provider HIPAA Right of Access Compliance | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

The HIPAA Privacy Rule’s “Right of Access” provision requires providers to make patient medical records available for viewing, inspecting, and copying. In early 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launched a HIPAA Right of Access enforcement initiative. 

 

A recent study by citizen.com revealed that since the initiative was launched, provider Right of Access compliance has increased.  

How Did the Study Measure Provider Right of Access Compliance?

To measure provider right of access compliance, Citizen compiled a scorecard for 820 healthcare providers.

 

A wide range of healthcare providers were assessed for the study, from single physician practices to large, integrated healthcare delivery systems.

 

The “grade” Citizen assigned to each provider on the card reflects the providers’ responses to patient requests for access for their healthcare data from the period of 2/10/19 through 2/13/20.

 

The patients who made the requests for access were Citizen users. Based on the feedback these users submitted to Citizen as to the timeliness of the provider’s response, Citizen developed a “compliance score” for each provider. The score ranges from a low of “1” to a high of “5.” 

 

A 1-star rating represents a non-HIPAA compliant response. 2-stars were awarded when requests were eventually resolved satisfactorily, but only after multiple escalations to supervisors. A 3-star rating was given when the request was satisfied with minimal intervention, and a 4-star rating was given to providers that are fully compliant and that gave a seamless response.

 

A 5-star rating was given to those providers who, in providing access, went above and beyond the requirements of HIPAA.

What Were the Results of the Right of Access Compliance Study?

Under the scorecard, only 27% of providers received a “1”; that is, only 27% were not compliant with the HIPAA Right of Access. This figure is a significant improvement from the previous scorecard, which revealed that a majority of providers – 51% – were not compliant with the Right of Access.

 

In addition, the percentage of providers awarded 4 stars for their responses increased from 40% to 67%, and the percentage of providers awarded 5 stars increased from 20% to 28%.

 

Not only are more people being given more timely access to their records, they are paying less for that access as well.

 

Under the Right of Access, providers may charge patients a reasonable, cost-based fee (i.e., costs of reproduction of records, including copying costs and mailing costs) for record production. Only 6% of the 820 healthcare providers on the scorecard actually charged a fee.

 

In addition, the latest scorecard information reveals that providers are not subjecting patients to burdensome paperwork requirements as much as in past years.

 

In previous studies, many healthcare providers required patients to complete a standard form, yet this year, most providers accepted any form of written request and did not require patients to complete a particular form before the request was processed.

 

Citizen attributes the improvements to right of access compliance not only to the enforcement initiative, but to new rules recently published by HHS’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, which makes it easier for patients to obtain copies of their healthcare data.

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The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Facility Directories

The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Facility Directories | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

The HIPAA Privacy Rule generally permits hospitals and other healthcare facilities to maintain facility directories that provide certain basic information about patients within the facilities.

 

The HIPAA Privacy Rule and facility directories is discussed below.

What are Facility Directories?

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, covered entities, including hospitals and other covered health care providers, may use the following protected health information (PHI) in facility directories:

  • A patient’s name;
  • A patient’s location in the covered entity’s facility;
  • A patient’s condition described in general terms, that does not communicate specific information about the individual; and
  • The individual’s religious affiliation.

Covered entities may disclose the appropriate directory information listed above – except for religious affiliation – to anyone who specifically asks for a patient by name. Religious affiliation may be disclosed to members of the clergy. 

 

 For example, the HIPAA Privacy Rule and facility directories regulations allows a hospital to disclose the names of Methodist patients to a Methodist minister unless a patient has restricted such disclosure. 

What Rights Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Facility Directories Regulations Allow Patients?

The patient must be informed about the information to be included in the directory, and to whom the information may be released. In addition, patients must have the opportunity to restrict the information or to whom it is disclosed. Patients also have the right to opt out of being included in the directory.

 

The patient may be informed about the information to be included, to whom it may be released, and the right to restrict and to opt out. A patient may make his or her preferences about being included in the directory known, either orally or in writing.  

Can Directory Information be Made Available During an Emergency?

Even when, due to emergency treatment circumstances or incapacity, the patient has not been provided an opportunity to express his or her preference about how, or if, the information may be disclosed, directory information about the patient may still be made available if doing so is in the individual’s best interest.

 

Directory information about a patient may not be made available during an emergency, if making such information available is inconsistent with any known preference expressed by the patient.

 

In emergency scenarios, the covered entity, as soon as practicable, must inform the patient about the directory, and provide the patient an opportunity to express his or her preferences about how, or if, the directory information may be disclosed. 

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Is Google Forms HIPAA Compliant?

Is Google Forms HIPAA Compliant? | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

Google Forms is a cloud-based form that can be used to conduct surveys or fill out questionnaires.

 

A provider may use Google Forms to get feedback from patients about recent appointments, or to inquire if they would be interested in a particular service, should the provider choose to add it to their services.

 

However, before a provider may use Google Forms for this type of communication, it is important to determine whether or not Google Forms is HIPAA compliant. Google Forms HIPAA compliance is discussed below. 

Google Forms HIPAA Business Associate Agreement

A key factor when determining a software’s HIPAA compliance is the willingness to sign a business associate agreement (BAA). Google Forms is part of Google’s G Suite offerings, and as such is covered under the G Suite business associate agreement. Before a user is permitted to use Google Forms in conjunction with protected health information (PHI), the user must sign Google’s BAA.

 

For more information on how to get your Google Forms HIPAA BAA, please click here.

Google Forms HIPAA Safeguards

In addition to its willingness to sign a BAA, HIPAA compliant software must include safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI: 

  • Access controls. Allows administrators to designate different access levels to information based on an employee’s job function.
  • Audit controls. Tracks access to information to ensure that protected health information is accessed in accordance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule minimum necessary standard.
  • User authentication. Utilizes unique login credentials to ensure that users are who they appear to be.
  • Encryption. Masks sensitive data so that it can only be accessed by authorized users.

For more information on Google Forms HIPAA compliant configuration, please click here.

Google Forms HIPAA Training

No software is fully HIPAA compliant, it is up to the end user to ensure that it is being used in a HIPAA compliant manner. Google Forms HIPAA training is essential for all users to understand how to use the platform in a HIPAA compliant manner. All employees that will be using Google Forms should be trained on proper use before they are permitted to use the platform. 

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HIPAA Data Backup Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan

HIPAA Data Backup Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

The requirements of a HIPAA data backup plan and disaster recovery plans are discussed below.

What are the Requirements of a HIPAA Data Backup Plan?

A HIPAA data backup plan is a component of the administrative safeguards that must be implemented under the HIPAA Security Rule.

 

The data backup plan, which is part of the administrative safeguard requirement to have a contingency plan, consists of establishing and implementing procedures to create and maintain retrievable, exact copies of electronic protected health information (ePHI).

 

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Data that is secured and backed up must be capable of being recovered (i.e., must be recoverable or retrievable).

 

The requirement that data be capable of being recovered comes from a related provision of the contingency plan requirement – the disaster recovery plan requirement.

 

Under a disaster recovery plan, a covered entity or business associate establishes (and implements as needed) procedures to restore any loss of data.

What Should I Consider When Developing a HIPAA Data Backup Plan?

When developing a HIPAA data backup plan, covered entities and business associates should consider the nature of the ePHI that must be backed up, including how many identifiers the ePHI has. 

 

The HIPAA Security Officer should make an inventory of all sources of data, to determine the nature and type of ePHI an organization stores.

 

There are many potential sources of ePHI. These include, among others, patient accounting systems, electronic medical records, health maintenance and case management information, digital recordings of diagnostic images, electronic test results, and any other electronic documents created or used.

Where Should I Store Backup Copies of Data?

There are two types of backup storage organizations should use:

 

Backup #1 (Local Storage Backup): The first kind of backup (Backup #1) you should use is backup through a local, onsite appliance. In this kind of data backup, backup data is stored on a local storage device (appliance), such as a hard disc, CD, or hard drive.

Backup #2 (Offsite Backup): The second kind of backup is offsite backup. Offsite backup consists of either backing up data to the cloud, or storing backup data at an offsite facility. Storing backup data with a HIPAA compliant cloud provider allows an organization to easily retrieve information from the cloud.

 

With cloud storage, backup data can be retrieved at any time. Storing backup data at an offsite facility (a physical location other than your worksite) allows recovery of backup data if backup data stored locally, onsite, is destroyed or damaged because the premises themselves have been damaged to emergencies such as earthquakes and floods. 

What is the Difference Between a HIPAA Data Backup Plan and a Disaster Recovery Plan?

The difference between backups and disaster recovery is a matter of scope. Backing up data refers to backing up actual copies of data.

 

A backup plan does not take disaster response into account. A disaster recovery (DR) plan, in contrast, is a strategy for disaster event response, which response includes deployment of the backups – in other words, putting the backups into action.

What Steps Does the Disaster Planning Process Consist of?

There are four essential steps to complete in the disaster recovery planning process. These are discussed in turn.

 

Step 1: Performing a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

 

A business impact analysis (BIA) is a thorough assessment and inventorying of an organization’s virtual environment.

 

In this process, the organization must take into account the volume and type of data that is being managed; where the data is being stored; how much in terms of resources and time must be expended to restore access to different types of data; and how critical each type of data is to business operations.

 

The more vital the data is to the business’s ability to function, the higher that data’s priority of restoration, and resource allocation, should be.

 

Step 2: Performing a Risk Assessment

 

Conducting a risk assessment consists of running and evaluating hypothetical external situations that can hurt your business. External situations that can damage your business include natural disasters, such as hurricanes and blizzards.

 

External situations also include man-made events, such as active shooter situations and acts of terror. 

 

When conducting the risk assessment, an organization should consider all potential external incident types, and the likelihood of their occurrence.

 

The organization should also consider the nature and severity of the impact each incident may have on the organization’s ability to continue normal operations.

 

It is necessary to consider all the possible incident types, as well as the impact each may have on the organization’s ability to continue to deliver its normal business services.

 

In preparing the risk assessment, organizations should review all records and sources of information at their disposal to assess the threat posed by each instance. Records and sources of information can include, for example:

  • Employee recollection of prior disruptive events and how they affected business operations;
  • First-responder organizations advice; and
  • Disaster recovery resource libraries from government agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

 

Step 3: Create a Risk Management Strategy

 

Once you have identified data processes and the business impacts of disruptions to them, combined with likelihood of a given disaster taking place, you should develop a risk mitigation strategy. This strategy should provide for specific backup solutions and disaster recovery procedures for critical data.

 

Factors to consider in developing a strategy (among others) include legal factors (laws may restrict where data can be stored); recovery point objectives (RPOs), which measure how much data an organization can afford to lose as the result of a disaster; and recovery time objectives (RTOs), which are metrics that calculate how quickly an organization needs to recover IT services and infrastructure after a disaster to maintain business continuity. 

 

Step 4: Configure and Run Testing Exercises on Your Disaster Recovery Plan

 

Once the risk management strategy is in place, you must engage in testing scenarios to ensure that strategy is properly configured. Testing exercises can differ in complexity.

 

The goal of any testing exercise is to ensure that data has been backed up in accordance with your recovery point objectives, and to ensure that the strategy actually works.

 

Once testing has confirmed that the risk management strategy is sound, the strategy is “ready to use.” Bear in mind, however, that testing should not be conducted only before strategy rollout.

 

Testing should be performed continuously – especially after an incident occurs. This way, you can refine and make changes to the strategy you deploy.

 

Data backup plans and disaster recovery plans are required under the HIPAA Security Rule. Implementing robust backup and disaster recovery plans can help keep your business running smoothly and securely. 

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Telemedicine and HIPAA 

Telemedicine and HIPAA  | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

The digital age has presented numerous benefits for a variety of economic sectors with the health industry among the biggest winners.

 

From faster communication between patients and health professionals to better service delivery, health organizations have seen improvements in a variety of daily operations. Sadly, the digital age is a double-edged sword, and as more health organizations use the latest technology, there is the looming threat of poor data security.

 

Threats such as the WannaCry ransomware attacks, which have wreaked havoc on the economy to date, are a constant reminder that data security should be a priority for organizations looking to leverage advancements in technology.

 

For instance, while telemedicine promises improved service delivery, it introduces a security complexity.

 

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations have been a cornerstone for setting and raising the security standards in healthcare, and telemedicine might actually make it easier for health organizations to remain compliant.

 

At the same time, a lot has to be done to improve the security loopholes presented by such technologies.

 

Here are how HIPAA and Telemedicine fit with each other and the things that need to be done for better data security.

The Constant Threat Of A Data Breach

Data collected by health organizations can be a gold mine for most threat actors. Some of the Protected Health Information (PHI) data include personal addresses, names, medical history, identification numbers, and even credit card numbers.

 

In the wrong hands, these data can be used for identity theft, for buying medical supplies fraudulently, or even holding health data at ransom as in the case of WannaCry attacks.

 

The sad truth is that ePHI will be at the disposal of threat actors unless the right security controls are put into place.

 

First, unless internal organization systems are strong enough, it can be easy for hackers to gain access to networks or even user accounts.

 

In some cases, they may only need to access a low-level user account before escalating their privileges. Second, when it comes to third party business stakeholders, failing to pick security-concerned partners will easily lead to data breaches.

 

Lastly, insider threats continue to be a risk. If access control isn’t a staple of a health organization’s security system, it can be easy for a disgruntled employee to offer this data out to threat actors.

 

All these are concerns that can be handled by HIPAA compliance, and embracing telemedicine with HIPAA compliance at the back of your mind is a step in the right direction.

How Telemedicine Has Revolutionized The Health Sector

In a nutshell, telemedicine has made the transfer of medical data at a distant quite easy. Diagnoses, medical history, lab tests, and prescriptions can be transferred more easily and cheaper than normal.

 

It also saves the costs of having to transfer patients from their homes to hospitals for diagnoses that could easily be done via video calls.

The HIPAA Rules That Affect Telemedicine

The HIPAA guidelines cover more than the patients and doctors communicating ePHI at a distance. It deals with the communications channels and any third party involved in the communication process. Ideally, for telemedicine to be compliant with HIPAA, the parties involved need to comply with these security rules:

  • Ensure that only the authorized parties gain access to ePHI
  • The channels of communication used to communicate ePHI at a distance ought to be secure enough to the standards of HIPAA.
  • There needs to be a system in place for monitoring the different communications containing ePHI to prevent the chances of accidental or malicious data breaches.

As long as physicians have effective safeguards in place for addressing access control, the first bullet point should be easy to comply with. As for the second point, insecure channels such as email, Skype, and SMS are eliminated from ever being used. Lastly, the onus is upon those in charge of the ePHI technology to ensure that there are systems in place that can help monitor communication and facilitate the deletion of unused data if the need arises. Both of the last points also look to address issues relating to where ePHI is stored.

Why Conventional Communication Channels Might Not Suffice

If the ePHI created by a physician (covered entity) is stored by a third party, the third-party and the covered entity have to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).

 

The BAA ought to include details about the methods the third party will use to secure the data and procedures for auditing the data’s security in accordance with the HIPAA guidelines.

 

Since the copies of ePHI are bound to remain in the servers of conventional communication firms, such as Google, Verizon, and Skype, the covered entities ought to have a BAA with such bodies to remain compliant with HIPAA. Sadly, Verizon, Google, and Skype might not enter into such BAAs, meaning that the covered entities will remain liable for fines for any breaches that occur from the lack of HIPAA compliance by these third-party entities.

 

The covered entities, telemedicine providers, might also fail HIPAA audits.

Aligning Compliance And Telemedicine

The ideal messaging solution should be secure. It should also offer the same communication speed as Skype, SMS, or email, while also complying with the HIPAA security rule. This means that only authorized users should be allowed to access ePHI, the communication channel should be secure, and it should be fairly easy to monitor the activity on the channel.

 

The channels of communication should also be user-friendly enough for both patients and physicians to use during interactions.

 

Each authorized user can gain access to the channel through a centrally-issued username and password, which allows them to communicate with other users within the private communication network of the covered entity.

 

The channel should allow all types of communications, including images, documents, and videos. These media should be encrypted both while in transit and at rest. As for monitoring the communication, the messages should be monitored through a cloud-based platform to ensure secure messaging policies are adhered to according to HIPAA rules.

Telemedicine Makes HIPAA Compliance Easier

While this might seem hard to believe, telemedicine might actually make compliance to HIPAA easier for health entities. Unlike convention medical services that had to introduce HIPAA compliance as an afterthought, telemedicine can be crafted with HIPAA compliance at the center of it all.

 

As such, any applications and technologies used in the communication of ePHI at a distance can leverage the latest technological advancements and data security practices.

 

These can include multiple data encryption methodologies and even comprehensive system testing. Any partnerships with third-party vendors will also be based on whether they can have a sustainable BAA with them or not.

 

Telemedicine presents too big an opportunity to be ignored. Even better, the HIPAA guidelines can act as a baseline for security standards for health organizations looking to embrace telemedicine. Since it is easy to be compliant, keen organizations can enjoy its perks without fearing costly fines.

 
 
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3 Ways To Prioritize Compliance In Your Dental Practice

3 Ways To Prioritize Compliance In Your Dental Practice | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

Dental Practice compliance has become increasingly important as more and more practices embrace different administrative roles.

 

Every team needs to understand the importance of maintaining compliance from staying up-to-date with HIPAA, labor, and OSHA regulations to documentation standards and other compliance-related issues.

 

However, it can be hard to keep up with all the dental practice compliance issues, especially if you are using a personal approach instead of an organizational one.

 

Here are three ways you can create a culture of compliance without losing clients or money in your dental practice.

 

1. ASSIGN A COMPLIANCE OFFICER

 

One person can’t be an expert in all areas of dental practice compliance. Thus, it’s essential to dedicate a team member that is responsible for maintaining compliance in an assigned area. For example, you can have a compliance officer that is in charge of HIPAA and another in charge of OSHA.

 

Breaking down roles like this ensures your practice is in line with all the laws, and in case of any issues, they can be addressed before its’ too late. Additionally, your compliance officer should have documentation and organization skills to maintain documentation effectively.

 

Compliance officers are also responsible for training new team members and annual team retraining.

 

2. PURCHASE COMPLIANCE SOFTWARE

 

Due to advancements in technology, there are various resources and products that you can use for compliance in multiple areas. For example;

• OperaDDS, DDS Rescue and OperaDDS can be helpful in HIPAA compliance
• AutoSDS is essential for OSHA compliance
• DentalPost can assist you in hiring and recruiting team members

Unfortunately, many organizations forgo buying these resources to save on costs. However, not having appropriate software and resources can cost you more than the prices of these products if an issue arises in the future.

 

3. ENCOURAGE PATIENT COMPLIANCE

 

It’s common to find patients giving a false acceptance of services to avoid voicing their concerns about your treatment or services.

 

To prevent such patients from leaving your practice, ensure you use patient-friendly terminology and a friendly, approachable manner when conversing and clearly explain the importance of recommended treatment and care.

 

Not keeping up with dental practice compliance is a multifaceted problem that practices need to stay on top of to avoid future issues.

 

 

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HIPAA Compliance and AI Solutions

HIPAA Compliance and AI Solutions | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

With the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in the healthcare industry, executives must ensure that the technology that their organization is using is HIPAA compliant.

 

HIPAA compliance is a complex issue that is constantly evolving to incorporate advancements in technology. 

 

Part of the issue with securing data is the amount of data that is collected from users on a daily basis.

 

The healthcare industry is adopting new technologies while forgetting about the security measures that need to be in place.

 

When implementing new technology healthcare organizations must consider HIPAA compliance. 

How to Implement AI in Accordance with HIPAA Compliance

  • Access to stored data: HIPAA law requires access management to safeguard protected health information(PHI). Access should only be granted to those that need it as part of their job function. 
  • Data encryption: when your data is processed it passes through a server. Sending data outside an organization means that it passes through a third-party server. Although data sent within your organization does not need to be encrypted it is recommended to do so. Data sent externally, however, must be encrypted.
  • Deidentifying data: when conducting research, HIPAA law does not require patient permission if the data is adequately de-identified. This means that the data used cannot be tied to an individual in any way. If it is even slightly possible that the data can be tied to a specific individual than it is not in accordance with HIPAA regulations. 
  • Updated policies and procedures: as stated previously, HIPAA law is constantly changing. When implementing new technology an organization must look to its internal policies to ensure that its procedures are HIPAA compliant. 
  • Business associate agreement (BAA): a business associate agreement must be in place before any PHI can be transmitted. Since AI solutions have contact with PHI, an organization must have a signed BAA with the technology company before they can use any new technologies.
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HIPAA Requirements for Sending PHI

HIPAA Requirements for Sending PHI | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it
HIPAA Requirements for Sending PHI

Healthcare entities require a means to easily share protected health information (PHI). When sending PHI it is imperative to keep HIPAA requirements in mind. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) set forth industry standards for creating, storing, and maintaining of PHI, including proper procedures for sending PHI.

  • Email

The most convenient means of sending PHI is via email, however when sending PHI through email, organizations must have proper protections in place.

 

The best way to protect email communications is through encryption. Encryption masks data by translating it into text that is unreadable without a decryption key.

 

Most professional versions of email services offer encryption as part of their package. However, encrypting PHI is not enough.

 

Before sending PHI using email, it is essential to verify the identity of the person receiving the email to ensure that they are permitted to receive the PHI.

 

In addition, there must be means to revoke access to the PHI if the email was sent to the wrong person, or if access to PHI data is no longer necessary.

 

  • Fax

Faxing PHI is permitted under certain circumstances. Sending PHI via fax is a similarly easy way to share patient data quickly. 

 

HIPAA law requires that access to PHI is only given to authorized individuals that need access to perform a job function. As such, fax machines must be kept in a locked area, limiting the risk of access by unauthorized individuals.

 

Additionally, faxes should not be automatically printed. Faxes that automatically print pose the risk of being viewed by individuals that are not permitted to view PHI.

 

Faxes containing PHI should be stored in the memory of the fax machine until it can be printed by an authorized user. 

  • U.S. Mail

When sending PHI via U.S. mail, it is not permitted to use the regular mailing service. At a minimum PHI must be sent through first class mail.

 

However, under some circumstances PHI must be sent using certified mail. Certified mail requires recipients to sign for it, as such it can only be delivered to the intended recipient.

 

Certified mail can also be tracked ensuring that PHI is not accessed by unauthorized individuals.

Sending PHI: Business Associate Agreement

Before it is permitted to fax or email PHI, healthcare organizations must have a signed business associate agreement(BAA) with their providers. When using email or fax to send PHI, the data is stored on their servers, which gives them the means to access the data.

 

A BAA limits the liability for both parties as it states that each organization agrees to be HIPAA compliant, and each are responsible for their own compliance. 

Sending PHI: HIPAA Conduit Exception Rule

When sending PHI through U.S. mail, a BAA is not required. Mail couriers are considered conduits under HIPAA law as they do not have means to access PHI sent through their service.

HIPAA Requirements for Sending PHI

When choosing a method to send PHI, healthcare entities must look to HIPAA requirements to ensure that they are sending PHI in a HIPAA compliant manner.

 

Email must be encrypted, faxes must be stored in the machines memory, and U.S. mail must be sent through first class mail. Lastly, there must be signed BAAs with email and fax machine vendors. 

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HIPAA Privacy Rules, Mental Health, and Addiction: When can PHI be shared without consent?

HIPAA Privacy Rules, Mental Health, and Addiction: When can PHI be shared without consent? | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

HIPAA is designed to protect patient confidentiality.

What happens when patient confidentiality conflicts with a patient being able to receive the best care possible? 

 

In cases of mental health and addiction, such as the current opioid overdose crisis, there are situations in which a covered healthcare provider may share protected health information (PHI) to help the patient. 

 

In this post, we’ll share guidance on sharing protected information to prevent harm in both mental health and opioid overdose situations.

 

While HIPAA may permit disclosure of patient information, there may be other overlapping privacy laws related to individual states or other regulations that need to be taken into consideration before the information is shared.

Mental Health and Privacy

When addressing mental health issues, HIPAA rules provide guidance on sharing patient information to ensure that the patient receives the best treatment and care possible. Disclosure of information is also acceptable when the health and safety of the patient and others are at risk. 

 

Communicate with a patient’s family members, friends, and others involved in the patient’s care. If a patient is present and has the capacity to make decisions, and does not object; a healthcare professional can discuss treatment or payment issues. 

 

If not present or incapacitated (intoxicated or experiencing temporary psychosis, for example), the patient’s information can be shared if the provider, in his or her professional judgment, determines that doing so in the patient’s best interests. Section 164.510(b)(3) of the HIPAA Privacy Rule explains this permission.

 

Patient with mental illness not taking medication. If a patient doesn’t object, a provider can share patient information with family members.

 

If a patient does object, but the provider believes that the unmedicated patient poses a serious and imminent danger to herself or others, then the provider can share pertinent information, if consistent with applicable law and standards of ethical conduct. 

 

Communications with law enforcement. The Privacy Rule permits a doctor to contact family or law enforcement if the doctor believes that such a warning is needed to prevent or at least lessen an imminent threat to the health or safety of the patient or others.

 

For instance, if a patient makes a credible threat to do harm to someone, a mental health professional can alert police, school administrators, family, and others who may be able to intervene.

HIPAA Privacy and Opioid Overdose

Sadly, opioid addiction continues to hold sway across much of the United States. Despite HIPAA regulations that allow healthcare providers to share PHI with family members, confusion remains. 

 

Healthcare providers can share information related to the care and treatment of a patient in a crisis situation, such as a drug overdose.

 

If the provider determines that the best interests of an incapacitated or unconscious patient involve sharing information with family or close friends, they can do so. 

 

However, while they can share information about the overdose, a healthcare provider cannot share medical information unrelated to the ongoing care and treatment of the patient. 

HIPAA and Changes to Decision-Making Capacity

Regardless of whether a patient can or cannot make a decision due to mental health or an overdose issue, the situation can change. 

 

Because the inability to make a decision can be temporary, a healthcare provider must give the patient a chance to decide whether to continue to share information or not when the patient is once again able to make a decision.

 

For instance, someone intoxicated to the point of unconsciousness or incoherence will eventually become sober. The patient can then object to future information sharing. However, as already described, the provider can still share PHI if, in their professional judgment, the patient poses a serious and imminent threat to himself or others. 

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A patient’s “personal representative” has authority, under applicable law, to make healthcare decisions for a patient.

 

They have the same rights of access to health information as the patient. A provider may refuse to share information if they believe that the personal representative has subjected the patient to violence, abuse, or neglect. 

Patient Care Outweighs Patient Privacy

Simply stated, the rules around HIPAA privacy are designed to ensure the best possible healthcare outcome for the patient. For patients who are unable to make decisions for themselves, their PHI can be shared with loved ones to ensure care.

 

There is also a “duty to warn” in situations where the patient is a danger to him/herself or others. 

 

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What is the Purpose of HIPAA?

What is the Purpose of HIPAA? | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – or HIPAA as it is better known – is an important legislative Act affecting the U.S. healthcare industry, but what is the purpose of HIPAA?

 

Healthcare professionals often complain about the restrictions of HIPAA – Are the benefits of the legislation worth the extra workload?

What is the Purpose of HIPAA?

HIPAA was first introduced in 1996. In its earliest form, the legislation helped to ensure that employees would continue to receive health insurance coverage when they were between jobs.

 

The legislation also required healthcare organizations to implement controls to secure patient data to prevent healthcare fraud, although it took several years for the rules for doing so to be penned.

 

HIPAA also introduced several new standards that were intended to improve efficiency in the healthcare industry, requiring healthcare organizations to adopt the standards to reduce the paperwork burden.

 

Code sets had to be used along with patient identifiers, which helped pave the way for the efficient transfer of healthcare data between healthcare organizations and insurers, streamlining eligibility checks, billing, payments, and other healthcare operations.

 

HIPAA also prohibits the tax-deduction of interest on life insurance loans, enforces group health insurance requirements, and standardizes the amount that may be saved in a pre-tax medical savings account.

 

HIPAA is a comprehensive legislative act incorporating the requirements of several other legislative acts, including the Public Health Service Act, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and more recently, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

Health Data Privacy and Security

HIPAA is now best known for protecting the privacy of patients and ensuring patient data is appropriately secured, with those requirements added by the HIPAA Privacy Rule of 2000 and the HIPAA Security Rule of 2003. The requirement for notifying individuals of a breach of their health information was introduced in the Breach Notification Rule in 2009.

 

The purpose of the HIPAA Privacy Rule was to introduce restrictions on the allowable uses and disclosures of protected health information, stipulating when, with whom, and under what circumstances, health information could be shared. Another important purpose of the HIPAA Privacy Rule was to give patients access to their health data on request.

 

The purpose of the HIPAA Security Rule is mainly to ensure electronic health data is appropriately secured, access to electronic health data is controlled, and an auditable trail of PHI activity is maintained.

 

So, in summary, what is the purpose of HIPAA? To improve efficiency in the healthcare industry, to improve the portability of health insurance, to protect the privacy of patients and health plan members, and to ensure health information is kept secure and patients are notified of breaches of their health data.

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The Intersection Of HIPAA & The Hitech Act

The Intersection Of HIPAA & The Hitech Act | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

Since it passed in 2009, the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act was meant to enforce certain rules within the HIPAA Omnibus Rule. It’s important that those in healthcare IT understand the relationship between the two.

 

THE IMPACT OF THE HITECH ACT

 

The HITECH Act’s stated aim was to improve the on-boarding and meaningful use of HIT. In doing so, the HITECH Act also affected the standards of Health and Human Services (HHS) used to evaluate hospitals and expanded the scope of jurisdiction.

 

It also bolstered the HHS OCR’s (Office for Civil Rights) tools of enforcement. Georgina Verdugo, director of the OCR, said that added vigilance would help convince consumers of the privacy and security of their health information and protected personal information (PPI).

 

WHERE HIPAA AND HITECH MEET

 

By broadening the scope of HIPAA, the HITECH Act increased the number of participating stakeholders or business associates. Previously, HIPAA described a business associate as a person performing functions or activities for or on the behalf of a covered entity.

 

HITECH changed HIPAA’s definition of business associates to include:

*Health Information Organizations (HIO)
*Patient Safety Organizations (PSO)
*Gateways, portals, and e-prescribers
*Certain people providing PPI on behalf of another covered entity
*People involved in data transmission including subcontractors and delegates

 

HITECH also created new categories of HIPAA penalties. This was meant to distinguish violations based on nature, extent, and the harm caused to patients. Currently, there are three categories which correspond with three civil penalties outlined in the HITECH Interim Final Rule.

 

HIPAA-HITECH FURTHER CONNECTED

 

There are, of course, other areas where HIPAA and HITECH overlap. They are both sweeping and exhaustive legislation that often cover similar areas, especially where electronic medical records, are concerned.

 

This includes meaningful use and PHI. HITECH incentivizes the meaningful use of electronic medical records in order to improve health care and outcomes.

 

Other areas covered in both HIPAA and HITECH are breach reporting requirements, patient access to PHI, and facilitation of medical research.

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How to Prepare For A HIPAA Compliance Audit in 2019

How to Prepare For A HIPAA Compliance Audit in 2019 | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

1. Focus on HIPAA training for employees

Staff training is critical for an understanding of HIPAA compliance requirements. Employees who haven’t been trained or don’t have experience with compliance regulations can increase the risk of a failed audit.

 

Document your training to show the OCR (Office of Civil Rights), that you are dedicated to employee instruction. Create and publish policies that make training and education a priority. Make sure your team is thoroughly trained before the audit because OCR will ask questions to ensure everyone understands HIPAA regulations and compliance rules.

2. Create a Risk Management Plan and Conduct a Risk Analysis

A risk management plan and a risk analysis are required.

A HIPAA risk analysis looks for any security risks your company might be exposed to – all risks. The risk management plan is a strategy to address those risks.

 

In conducting the risk assessment, you should also prepare your security documents. Compliance rules state reports should be recorded, written, and kept in an easily accessible location. Rules should be specific to all aspects of your business, and not isolated to one area.

 

For example, all policies regarding the HIPAA privacy and security rule should be documented. Documents that cover incident response, breach notification, IT and firewalls, and physical security should be included. These documents will not only help in the audit process but provide clear direction in the operation of the business.

 

3. Select a Security Assessment and Privacy Officer

HIPAA requires a security and privacy officer for each covered entity and business. This does not have to be a new hire, but you do need someone responsible for the security and privacy of PHI. They are responsible for showing the effort being made to meet regulations.

 

The officer should also review business associate agreements. The OCR will discuss the third-party relationships that involve electronic protected health information. Create a list of vendors and suppliers, and the security and safeguards they have in place through the business associates agreement.

 

This officer should schedule a regular review of security policies and conduct a risk analysis on IT systems and data security. They should also have a record of any breaches or incidents. Don’t try to hide any problems or data breaches during the audit. Be honest. Incidents happen, and the OCR wants to know how you responded to the security breach.

4. Review Policy Implementation

As important as it is to document policies and procedures, it’s also important to see how those policies are being implemented. The OCR will review how those policies and procedures apply to the daily business operation, and if they are implemented consistently.

Talk to your team to see how the policies are working.

 

If employees are struggling to follow policy, then take the time to analyze the problems and make adjustments as needed. Create an implementation schedule to include in the audit. The OCR wants to see the policies in action. If you are still implementing the plans, then show them the schedule, so that they know progress is being made.

5. Conduct an Internal Audit

An internal audit program is the best way to identify problems in your system before the OCR audit. Regularly conducting internal audits will not only help you solve problems before they turn into a fine, but also keep your team sharp and take pressure off during the actual review.

 

It’s often a good idea to work with an organization that specializes in compliance or data security to help conduct the internal audit. They can review your security and compliance standards and take a close look at your risk analysis and risk management plan. With an outside perspective, they may be able to identify problems that didn’t show up in your internal risk assessment. Partnering with an IT and data security provider will help ensure a complete and thorough internal audit.

 

As a best practice, review your policies and procedures as the auditor might. Consider if the policies are meeting the intent of the regulation and improving patient privacy and security. By critically analyzing these methods, you can find areas of improvement in both business operations and HIPAA compliance.

6. Create an Internal Remediation Plan

Once you’ve gone through the above steps and conducted an internal audit in preparation for your HIPAA audit, you should create a remediation plan to reduce risks and correct findings. Attach a schedule with timelines to the remediation plan and be prepared to discuss the plan with OCR during the audit.

 

While HIPAA sets guidelines and standards for protected health information, it’s also essential to see HIPAA as a continual process. A remediation plan and a schedule help to keep covered entities and businesses on track and compliant, even between audits.

 

Finally, make sure you limit your internal audit concerns to the policies and procedures of your business. While the business associate agreements are an important part of HIPAA, focusing on vendors and suppliers can leave your operations at risk. Your primary concern with the remediation plan and audit should be internal processes.

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What Happens if a Nurse Violates HIPAA?

What Happens if a Nurse Violates HIPAA? | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

What happens if a nurse violates HIPAA Rules? How are HIPAA violations dealt with and what are the penalties for individuals that accidentally or deliberately violate HIPAA and access, disclose, or share protected health information (PHI) without authorization?  

 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules must be followed by all covered entities and their business associates. The failure to comply with HIPAA Rules can result in significant penalties for HIPAA covered entities. Business associates of covered entities can also be fined directly for HIPAA violations, but what about individual healthcare workers such as nurses? What happens if a nurse violates HIPAA Rules?

What are the Penalties if a Nurse Violates HIPAA?

Accidental HIPAA violations by nurses happen, even when care is taken to follow HIPAA Rules. While all HIPAA violations can potentially result in disciplinary action, most employers would accept that accidental violations are bound to occur from time to time. In many cases, minor violations of HIPAA Rules may not have negative consequences and can be dealt with internally. Employers may decide to provide additional training in some cases to ensure the requirements of HIPAA are fully understood.

 

If a nurse violates HIPAA by accident, it is vital that the incident is reported to the person responsible for HIPAA compliance in your organization – the Privacy Officer, if your organization has appointed one – or your supervisor. The failure to report a minor violation could have major consequences. You can read more about accidental HIPAA violations here.

 

Serious violations of HIPAA Rules, even when committed without malicious intent, are likely to result in disciplinary action, including termination and punishment by the board of nursing. Termination for a HIPAA violation does not just mean loss of current employment and benefits. It can make it very hard for a nurse to find alternative employment. HIPAA-covered entities are unlikely to recruit a nurse that has previously been fired for violating HIPAA Rules.

 

Willful violations of HIPAA Rules, including theft of PHI for personal gain or use of PHI with intent to cause harm, can result in criminal penalties for HIPAA violations. HIPAA-covered entities are likely to report such incidents to law enforcement and investigations will be launched. Complaints about HIPAA violations submitted to the Office for Civil Rights can be referred to the Department of Justice to pursue criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment. Criminal prosecutions are rare, although theft of PHI for financial gain is likely to result in up to 10 years in jail.

 

There is no private cause of action in HIPAA. If a nurse violates HIPAA, a patient cannot sue the nurse for a HIPAA violation. There may be a viable claim, in some cases, under state laws.

Further information on the penalties for HIPAA violations are detailed here.

Examples of HIPAA Violations by Nurses

The list of possible HIPAA violations by nurses is long, although the most common nurse HIPAA violations are listed below.

  • Accessing the PHI of patients you are not required to treat
  • Gossiping – Talking about specific patients and disclosing their health information to family, friends & colleagues
  • Disclosing PHI to anyone not authorized to receive the information
  • Taking PHI to a new employer
  • Theft of PHI for personal gain
  • Use of PHI to cause harm
  • Improper disposal of PHI – Discarding protected health information with regular trash
  • Leaving PHI in a location where it can be accessed by unauthorized individuals
  • Disclosing excessive PHI and violating the HIPAA minimum necessary standard
  • Using the credentials of another employee to access EMRs/Sharing login credentials
  • Sharing PHI on social media networks (See below)

Nurses Who Violate HIPAA with Social Media

Sharing protected health information on social media websites should be further explained. There have been several instances in recent years of nurses who violate HIPAA with social media.

 

Posting any protected health information on social media websites, even in closed Facebook groups, is a serious HIPAA violation. The same applies to sharing PHI including photographs and videos of patients via messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook Messenger. Unless prior authorization has been received from a patient, in writing, nurses should avoid sharing photographs and videos of patients (or any PHI) on social media sites. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has released a useful guide for nurses on the use of social media (on this link).

 

There have been several recent cases of nurses taking photographs and videos of patients in compromising positions, recording abuse of patients in nursing homes, and taking embarrassing or degrading photographs and sharing them with friends via social media networks.

 

There has been considerable publicity surrounding the practice, following the publication of a report on the extent to which this is occurring by ProPublica (Summarized here). In that case it involved the sharing of photographs of patients on Snapchat. 35 separate cases were uncovered.

 

In January, a nursing assistant was fired for sharing videos and photos of abuse of a patient with Alzheimer’s on Snapchat. A criminal complaint was filed and the nursing assistant faces up to three and a half years in jail if convicted.

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WE OFFER MONEY BACK GUARANTEE TO EVERYONE PURCHASING MEDICINES FROM US YOU CAN LOOK AT SOME FEW QUESTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN ANSWERED TO BACK THIS POINT HERE

If your package is not delivered to you because of our error, we will offer you a reshipment. We will ship a similar request for nothing out of your pocket. Inform us quickly in that regard so we solve the issue.

Buy Vyvanse Online HERE Now and have it delivered right at your doorsteps. Oxy Best Pharmacy is the best and secure place to order painkillers online. Customer satisfaction is our highest priority, and we never fail to exceed the customer’s expectations! Contact Oxy Best Pharmacy today for all of your meds. Order Vyvanse online and other highly controlled pills like BOTOX, MORPHINE, CODEINE, DIAZEPAM DILAUDID, SUBUTEX, FENTANYL PATCHES, XANAX, NEUROBLOC, OXYCODONE, OXYCONTIN, OPANA, ROXICODONE, SUBOXONE, OXYNORM AND RITALIN Online without Prescription. You are always welcome to our pharmacy at any time to enjoy from our best online services feel free to contact our pharmacy HERE

 

 

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4 Tips: HIPAA Compliance for Small Practices

4 Tips: HIPAA Compliance for Small Practices | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

When determining what HIPAA safeguards are appropriate for your organization it is important to address the following:

 

    1. Policies and Procedures. HIPAA compliance for small practices requires you to create customized policies and procedures. This ensures that the policies and procedures that you implement apply directly to the way your practice operates.To be HIPAA compliant, policies and procedures must be written and must be reviewed annually to account for any changes in business operations. Policies and procedures dictate privacy and security protocols for your organization, as well as the proper uses and disclosures of protected health information (PHI)
    2. Self-audits. Self-audits measure your practice’s administrative, physical, and technical safeguards against HIPAA standards. Conducting self-audits allows you to identify the gaps in your safeguards so that you may create remediation plans to bolster your safeguards.
    3. Notice of Privacy Practices. A Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) is a written notice that covered entities are required to provide to their patients. The Notice provides patients with information regarding how their PHI will be used and disclosed by the covered entity. It also dictates the patient’s rights in regards to their PHI.
    4. Business Associate Agreements. Business associate agreements (BAAs) are legally binding contracts signed between a covered entity and their business associates. A business associate is any entity that creates, maintains, stores, receives, or transmits on your behalf. A BAA mandates the protections that the business associate must have in place before PHI can be shared with them. 
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The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Provider to Provider Communications

The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Provider to Provider Communications | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

The HIPAA Privacy Rule allows for provider to provider communications – for providers that are part of a patient’s care team – to exchange clinical information, including protected health information (PHI) among each other. 

 

Circumstances under which provider to provider communications involving use and disclosure of PHI are addressed below.

When Are Provider to Provider Communications Permitted Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule?

Generally, under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which imposes restrictions on the use and disclosure of PHI by covered entities (including healthcare providers), any pertinent clinical care information, including mental health treatment information, can be disclosed and discussed between a patient’s current treatment providers (that is, can be the subject of provider to provider communications) without written authorization by the patient, representative, or guardian, except for the content of written psychotherapy notes.

What Constitutes Psychotherapy Note Information?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule definition of a “psychotherapy note” is quite restrictive. Under HIPAA, psychotherapy notes consist of:

  • A mental health professional’s written analysis, of
  • A conversation that occurred, during
  • A private counseling session

The written analysis must be maintained separately from the medical record to qualify as “psychotherapy notes.”

 

Generally, patients do not have the right to obtain a copy of these under HIPAA. When a psychologist denies a patient access to these notes, generally, the denial is not subject to appeal or review.

 

A provider may, in the exercise of his or her discretion, choose to provide a copy of the patient’s psychotherapy notes to the patient, consistent with applicable state law.

The Privacy Rule does permit psychotherapy notes to be disclosed under very limited circumstances:

  1. A covered entity may disclose protected health information contained in psychotherapy notes to a coroner or medical examiner for the purpose of identifying a deceased person, determining a cause of death, or other duties as authorized by law. 
  2. A covered entity may use or disclose protected health information in psychotherapy notes to the extent that such use or disclosure is required by law and the use or disclosure complies with and is limited to the relevant requirements of such law.
  3. A covered entity may use or disclose psychotherapy notes for its own training programs in which students, trainees, or practitioners in mental health learn under supervision to practice or improve their skills in group, joint, family, or individual counseling.
  4. A covered entity may use or disclose psychotherapy notes to defend itself in a legal action or other proceeding brought by the patient.
  5. A covered entity may, consistent with applicable law and standards of ethical conduct, use or disclose psychotherapy notes, if the covered entity, in good faith, believes the use or disclosure:
    • Is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public; and
    • Is to a person or persons reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat, including the target of the threat.

 

A covered entity MUST disclose psychotherapy notes, when disclosure is required by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to determine whether the entity is HIPAA compliant.

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PHI Protection: How to Secure Healthcare Data

PHI Protection: How to Secure Healthcare Data | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

Healthcare data breaches have been highlighted recently, with several large breaches occurring over the last few months. Hackers target the healthcare industry as they hold a wealth of sensitive information on their patients, and often have less secure data than in other industries.

 

Ransomware attacks continue to rise as healthcare organizations often need to pay the ransom to get their data back.

 

A ransomware attack occurs when a hacker gains access to data, often encrypting the data until a sum of money is paid.

 

A healthcare organization losing access to their data can mean a matter of life or death, so they often pay the hackers.

 

As protected health information (PHI) is ten times more valuable than financial information on the darkweb, it is important to know how to implement PHI protection. 

How to Implement PHI Protection

PHI protection is an essential part of preventing or mitigating a healthcare breach. The first step to implementing PHI protection is to know where the sensitive data is stored, how it is transmitted, and how it is used.

 

Identifying these will allows an organization to determine what protections should be in place for each device, enabling more thorough security measures to be implemented. 

In addition organizations should:

  • Complete a security risk assessment (SRA) to determine where security measures may be lacking. Once gaps are identified, organizations should create remediation plans to ensure PHI protection. To be HIPAA compliant, covered entities and business associates must conduct thorough SRAs annually.
  • Encrypt data to reduce the risk of healthcare breaches. Encrypted data cannot be viewed without a decryption key, making it the most effective for PHI protection. Although not explicitly mandated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), it is recommended.
  • Train employees on organization policies and procedures as well as HIPAA requirements. The majority of healthcare breaches occur as a result of human error. Employees must be trained on what constitutes PHI, and how to properly handle it. Additionally, employees should be able to recognize phishing emails and what to do if they suspect an email is malicious.
  • Vet vendors by sending them an SRA to complete. Covered entities have an obligation to ensure that the vendors that they are working with have the proper measures in place for PHI protection. If the vendor lacks security measures, they must implement adequate safeguards before they are permitted to receive PHI.
  • Sign business associate agreements (BAAs) with all vendors before PHI is shared. BAAs limit the liability for both parties in the event of a breach as they state that each party has agreed to be HIPAA compliant, and they are responsible for their own compliance.

PHI protection should be a top priority for anyone working in healthcare. Healthcare organizations that have the proper security measures surrounding PHI will limit the risk of experiencing a breach.

 

If a breach should occur, an organization that has proper PHI protection will be better prepared to respond to the breach. 

 

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Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule apply to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule apply to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)? | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

The Novel Coronavirus is spreading so rapidly that it will most likely become a pandemic.

 

The World Health Organization says that a pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. A pandemic is when an epidemic spreads between countries, per David Jones, MD, Ph.D.

 

Even in times of crisis like this, HIPAA-covered entities must follow all reasonable safeguards to protect the privacy of their patients who may be infected with the disease concerned, in this case, we are talking about the novel coronavirus. 

 

However, the HIPAA Privacy rule does offer some accommodation in such cases.

Special considerations in the HIPAA Privacy Rule

The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides special considerations in the event of an epidemic or pandemic. As a covered entity or business associate, you should be aware of these individual cases.

 

The Privacy Rule recognizes that public health authorities need some access to protected health information (PHI) to ensure public health and safety in the event of an emergency such as the one we are experiencing with the novel coronavirus.

 

Covered entities are authorized to disclose PHI, without a patient’s consent, if that PHI disclosure is needed to treat the patient or even to treat another patient.

 

Business Associates may also be able to disclose necessary information on behalf of the covered entity, as long as this disclosure is permitted within the parameters of the Business Associate Agreement.

What can you share with public health or disaster relief organizations?

The Department of Health and Human Services has stated explicitly that covered entities are permitted to disclose needed PHI to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or a state or local health department when this disclosure is expected to help prevent or control a disease.

 

A hospital may, for instance, report periodically to the CDC about patients potentially or actually exposed to the novel coronavirus.

 

Similarly, they may also share protected health information with disaster relief organizations like the American Red Cross, that are authorized to coordinate relief effort and notify family members or others involved in the patient’s care.

Disclosing PHI to other individuals, family, and friends

Interestingly, covered entities are also permitted to disclose the minimum necessary PHI to persons at risk of contracting or spreading the disease, as long as another law allows the covered entity to make such a notification. 

 

Sharing needed PHI with family and friends is also allowed as long it is done in the best interests of the patient concerned.

 

Here the doctor or another healthcare provider must exercise his or her best professional judgment and make the decision appropriately.

 

What can you tell the media?

Protected health information that can identify a patient should typically not be disclosed to the media without the written authorization of the patient. There are definite exceptions for certain limited cases here, for which you may refer to the HIPAA Privacy Rule for guidance.

In conclusion

The summary is: In the event of an epidemic or pandemic, such as what the Novel Coronavirus is likely to be, follow HIPAA Privacy precautions carefully.

 

Disclose only the minimum necessary Protected Health Information (PHI) to public health organizations and friends and family of the affected patient, and only to the extent that this disclosure helps treat the patient or other patients, and is in the patient’s best interests.

 

Make sure that all your employees and health care workers are trained and well informed to make any decision using their best judgment.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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mark's curator insight, May 3, 10:57 AM
Oxy Best Pharmacy, ship and do home delivery World Wide

BUY VYVANSE ONLINE, can be a smart move. It saves you money many times, as you remove the cost of a physical retailer. Online prices for medications are almost always lower, and when it comes to medications you require, any savings you can get can really help. You’ll often have to buy these medications regularly, and those costs can really add up. So buying online gives you an opportunity to save a little time for you to buy will add up to substantial savings in time as you buy from home you need not take a drive to a pharmacy. If you want to buy Vyvanse online, then you’ve come to the right place visit Our Shop Page. To buy this medication from us you do not need a prescription and also it will be good if you have one as it will be way easy to make delivery without doing much on security. We’ll get the drug to you quickly, safely and you will pay online prices that easily beat out what you would pay at a physical pharmacy.

Why Us?

Payment methods: We take Western Union Money Gram, Bitcoin, Cashapp, and Zelle Payments. Order your medications from the best online pharmacy in the USA Here.

WE OFFER MONEY BACK GUARANTEE TO EVERYONE PURCHASING MEDICINES FROM US YOU CAN LOOK AT SOME FEW QUESTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN ANSWERED TO BACK THIS POINT HERE

If your package is not delivered to you because of our error, we will offer you a reshipment. We will ship a similar request for nothing out of your pocket. Inform us quickly in that regard so we solve the issue.

Buy Vyvanse Online HERE Now and have it delivered right at your doorsteps. Oxy Best Pharmacy is the best and secure place to order painkillers online. Customer satisfaction is our highest priority, and we never fail to exceed the customer’s expectations! Contact Oxy Best Pharmacy today for all of your meds. Order Vyvanse and other highly controlled pills like BOTOXMORPHINECODEINEDIAZEPAM DILAUDIDSUBUTEXFENTANYL PATCHESXANAXNEUROBLOCOXYCODONEOXYCONTINOPANAROXICODONESUBOXONEOXYNORM AND RITALIN Online without Prescription. You are always welcome to our pharmacy at any time to enjoy from our best online services feel free to contact our pharmacy HERE

 

 

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Making The Most Out Of HIPAA/HITECH Compliance Consulting

Making The Most Out Of HIPAA/HITECH Compliance Consulting | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

Times are changing, and as new laws affect the health care sector, you can’t afford any future issues due to non-compliance. Planning is essential to avoid unnecessary costs and save time.

 

Though a federal mandate, at iHealthOne we believe this proactive measure will enhance the privacy and security of your electronic health records.

 

If customers establish you are HIPAA/HITECH non-compliant, you risk affecting their willingness to disclose essential health information to you.

 

Thanks to HIPAA/HITECH compliance consultancy, you have no reason for any concerns. In this article, we’ll walk you through this essential regulatory process.

 

IS HIPAA/HITECH COMPLIANCE CONSULTANCY ESSENTIAL?

 

Whether a seasoned or new practice, it helps to accept guidance from a consultancy on all phases of compliance.

 

A consultancy does extra research on the necessary and up-to-date information your staff require for implementation. It can provide further training for stress-free self-administration and subsequent compliance.

 

Consultant professionals conduct a risk analysis and advise on setting up safeguards to avoid HIPAA/HITECH violations. They provide detailed reports on risk exposure, as well as checklists and customized forms that suit your company.

 

This includes breach notifications, disaster recovery, and risk management solutions. Consequently, this can play an important role in improving your health strategy plans for smooth operation.

 

WHO SHOULD CONSIDER HIPAA/HITECH COMPLIANCE CONSULTING?

 

If you’re an entity that covers or provides healthcare payments and treatments, and you have access to patient information, HIPAA/HITECH compliance consultancy is vital. This also includes subcontractors and healthcare business associates.

 

EXTRA TIPS ON COMPLIANCE

 

Ensure you always comply on time. This will pave the way for effective management of patient data security and assessment services. Also, it will save you unneeded lawsuits or hefty fines for non-compliance.

 

EHR1 has a compliance department that can help you recognize potential gaps while guaranteeing 100 percent client data security and confidentiality.

 

You gain the most out of our quality technical safeguards. With the EHR1 certified cloud-based dental software, we counsel you on corrective measures to adopt before a compliance review or OCR audit. You also have access to our:

• Vulnerability scans
• Network penetration testing
• Electronic health records software upgrades
• Effective incident response planning
• Implementation of an information security program
• Improved customer trust and organizational reputation services, among others.

 

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HIPAA Tips for Covered Entities & Employees

HIPAA Tips for Covered Entities & Employees | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

Covered entities’ employees play an important role in keeping PHI and ePHI secure. The following HIPAA covered entity employee tips can be used by your organization as part of broader privacy and security effort. 

 

Five HIPAA Covered Entity Employee Tips – reminders that covered entity employees should give their workforce – include:

 

HIPAA Covered Entity Employee Tips:

 

Tip 1: Employees should never share login credentials. Since login information is used to track the actions of both authorized (i.e., users who have a legitimate need to access ePHI) and non-authorized users of ePHI, login credentials should neither be shared nor written down.

 

Tip 2: Employees who work for a covered entity, with whom employees have also treated, should not be permitted to access their medical records using their own login credentials.

 

Rather, covered entities should require employees to go through the same process for obtaining access as patients go through. As a general matter, employees who are authorized to access patient PHI are only authorized to access just that – patient PHI, as in PHI of others.

 

Employees who seek a copy of their medical records should submit a request for a copy of these records via HR. In order to gain access to their health data, they must submit a request for a copy of their health information via their HIM department.

 

Tip 3: Employees should be reminded that medical records are the property of the covered entity; accordingly, employees should not be allowed, upon their departure from a covered entity’s employ, to take medical records containing PHI with them.

 

Such information can be used for a variety of purposes that constitute data theft. These purposes include using the information to “recruit” patients to a different facility, or using the information to market or sell pharmaceutical products, just to name two examples. 

 

Tip 4: Employees should NEVER share ePHI on social media sites or through social media channels. Covered entities who have not already developed policies prohibiting such activities, should implement such policies at their earliest convenience.

 

The prohibition should extend to every type of social media, even to a social media platform (i.e., Twitter) that restricts the number of characters that a message can contain, and even so-called “closed” groups on sites such as Facebook. Once information is posted on social media, the information, by definition, has been made public.

 

In addition, ePHI that should never be shared includes not only data but also photographs or videos that could be used to identify a patient.  

 

Tip 5: Employees should be reminded that portable devices and documents containing ePHI or PHI should never be left unattended.

 

Devices can be misplaced or stolen, and the ePHI contained therein then taken by data thieves or cyber attackers.

 

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has not hesitated to fine organizations that suffered a data breach as a result of devices containing ePHI being hacked because the devices were left unattended. 

 

Devices should be encrypted and left attended at all times. In addition, care should be taken not to misplace or use paper documents. Such documents should not be kept in areas where they can be viewed by unauthorized individuals.

 
 
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HIPAA Security Rule: Risk Analysis Review and Updating

HIPAA Security Rule: Risk Analysis Review and Updating | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

The HIPAA Security Rule requires that covered entities (health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and healthcare providers who electronically transmit any health information in connection with a HIPAA related transaction), and business associates, implement security safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronically protected health information (ePHI).

 

ePHI is any protected health information that is created, stored, transmitted, or received in any electronic format.

 

Performing a security risk analysis is the first step in identifying and implementing these safeguards.

 

A security risk analysis consists of conducting an accurate and thorough assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI.

 

Once the analysis has been completed, organizations should periodically conduct a risk analysis review.

What is the Scope of a Security Risk Analysis?

According to guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the scope of security risk analysis includes potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of all ePHI that an organization:

  • Creates;
  • Receives;
  • Maintains; and
  • Transmits

Security risk analysis includes six elements:

  • Collecting Data
  • Identifying and Documenting Potential Threats and Vulnerabilities
  • Assessing Current Security Measures
  • Determining the Likelihood of Threat Occurrence
  • Determining the Potential Impact of Threat Occurrence
  • Determining the Level of Risk

What is a Security Rule Risk Analysis Review?

Once all of the above six elements have been addressed, all documentation should be finalized. In addition, the security risk assessment should be periodically reviewed, and updated, as needed

 

Continuous risk analysis review allows an organization to identify when updates to risk assessment policies and procedures are needed. 

 

The Security Rule does not specify how frequently to perform risk analysis review. According to risk analysis guidance provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), some covered entities may perform risk analysis review annually or as needed (e.g., twice a year, every 3 years), depending on the circumstances of their environment.

What Factors Influence Whether Risk Analysis Review Should be Performed? 

Factors to consider include:

  • Changes in technology and business operations. When an entity implements new technologies and plans new business operations, the entity should consider performing a security risk analysis assessment. Adopting new technologies and new business operations may pose potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI; a risk analysis review can identify these risks and vulnerabilities.

 

  • An organization has experienced a recent security incident.  If a covered entity has recently experienced a security incident, such as a data breach, a risk analysis review should be conducted to determine whether and what additional security measures are needed.

 

  • An organization has experienced a change in ownership or turnover in key staff or management. An organization that undergoes a change in ownership or that experiences key staff turnover, should evaluate, in light of the expertise of the departed and incoming individuals, whether existing security measures are sufficient to protect against risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI.  In addition, part of risk analysis consists of an assessment of current security measures. Important security measures include policies and procedures, contained in an employee handbook or similar document, that address data security and define staff obligations to protect ePHI. Before incoming workforce members begin their jobs, policies and procedures contained in the handbook should be evaluated for sufficiency and accuracy, so that when these policies and procedures are distributed, new employees have the most up-to-date information required for them to protect ePHI.

 

  • Regulatory and legislative changes. New legislation and regulations may impose additional or modified obligations under the Security Rule. If your risk assessment references a law or regulation, you should review that assessment to make sure it still complies with any changes made to the regulation. When new legislation is passed, or when new regulations become effective, the risk assessment should be reviewed and updated to incorporate the requirements of the new legislation or regulations.

 

Performing risk analysis review, and then making necessary updates to the risk analysis assessment, allows for your organization to reduce review identified risks to reasonable and appropriate levels.

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Achieving HIPAA Compliance: Guide to Properly Disposing of PHI Hardware

Achieving HIPAA Compliance: Guide to Properly Disposing of PHI Hardware | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

What is HIPAA Compliance?

HIPAA, or The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, sets the standard for PHI protection.

 

Any company or organization that handles PHI must have security measures in place and adhere to them. There are two main categories of organizations covered by HIPAA:  ·

         

Covered Entities (CEs): This includes anyone that provides treatment, payment, or operations (commonly known as TPO) within a healthcare setting.

 

Business Associates: This includes anyone outside of the covered entity who may have access to patient information or provides any kind of support in treatment, payment, or operations of the organization.

Devices That May Contain PHI

It’s important to understand what types of hardware you may have in your office that could contain PHI; these include but are not limited to:

  • Laptops
  • Desktops
  • Smartphones
  • Printers
  • Copiers
  • USB Drives
  • Servers
  • Tablets
  • Fax Machines
  • X-Ray Machines
  • Pacemakers
  • Defibrillators
  • CT and MRI Scan Machines

Essentially, almost any connected device within a healthcare organization is vulnerable and may contain PHI that needs to be protected and disposed of properly when the time comes.

 

Under HIPAA law, your organization is required to document its disposal policy in your Security Policies and Procedures. Your organization should maintain an inventory of all your equipment, whether each device can store or access PHI, serial number and other relevant information. 

How to Securely Dispose of Hardware With PHI

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends the following three techniques for properly removing any sensitive information from workplace hardware. Before you can get rid of the physical device, you must delete any and all PHI related information from the device.

The procedures for securely disposing of PHI include:

 

1. Clearing 

Clearing, also referred to as overwriting, is the process of replacing PHI on a device with non-sensitive data. This method should be performed, at a minimum, of seven times so that the PHI is completely irretrievable.

 

2. Purging 

You can purge your organization’s hardware through a method called degaussing. This refers to the process of clearing a device through the use of magnets.

 

Hard drives rely on magnetic fields to store information; therefore, you can disrupt the equipment’s function and render its data unreadable by using a strong magnetic field.  

 

3. Physical Destruction 

Physical destruction is the only surefire way to prevent a leak of PHI data. Destruction of PHI hardware requires pulverizing, burning/melting, disintegrating or shredding.

 

This method, however, is not always viable. If you have equipment that you would like to clear and re-use, or if your equipment is rented, destroying it may not be feasible.

Conventional Methods of “Wiping” Your Hard Drive Won’t Cut It 

If your organization is selling or discarding any hardware, you may be tempted to simply erase the hard drive components. Deleting files will not permanently delete PHI. Although the information will no longer be visible to you, it is still there and can be retrieved.

 

You need secure data destruction that permanently eliminates PHI data from every piece of hardware so that your patients’ information is not put in jeopardy.

 

There are companies who specialize in the proper disposal of PHI hardware. These companies should offer a HIPAA Certificate of Destruction as validation that the equipment was disposed of properly, and within HIPAA guidelines.

Training Employees on PHI Disposal

HIPAA law regarding disposal of protected health information dictates that you train your employees on how to properly dispose of PHI.

 

According to HIPAA law, any workforce member who is involved in disposing of PHI or who supervises others who dispose of PHI, must receive proper PHI training.

 

PHI should be maintained in a secure area, such as a locked depository bin, and disposed of through a qualified vendor. 

Requirements for Keeping PHI Hardware

HIPAA requires businesses to store PHI for six years, sometimes seven years, depending on the state in which you operate.

 

It is important to keep this in mind when you are preparing to dispose of hardware that may have PHI on it that still needs to be retained. Make sure you have a backup plan in place for PHI before disposing of hardware.

 

Your business reputation depends on your ability to serve your clients or patients. This includes making sure that the personal information they trusted you with is never compromised by improper or careless disposal of hardware. 

 

 

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

mark's curator insight, May 3, 10:56 AM
Oxy Best Pharmacy, ship and do home delivery World Wide

BUY VYVANSE ONLINE, can be a smart move. It saves you money many times, as you remove the cost of a physical retailer. Online prices for medications are almost always lower, and when it comes to medications you require, any savings you can get can really help. You’ll often have to buy these medications regularly, and those costs can really add up. So buying online gives you an opportunity to save a little time for you to buy will add up to substantial savings in time as you buy from home you need not take a drive to a pharmacy. If you want to buy Vyvanse online, then you’ve come to the right place visit Our Shop Page. To buy this medication from us you do not need a prescription and also it will be good if you have one as it will be way easy to make delivery without doing much on security. We’ll get the drug to you quickly, safely and you will pay online prices that easily beat out what you would pay at a physical pharmacy.

Why Us?

Payment methods: We take Western Union Money Gram, Bitcoin, Cashapp, and Zelle Payments. Order your medications from the best online pharmacy in the USA Here.

WE OFFER MONEY BACK GUARANTEE TO EVERYONE PURCHASING MEDICINES FROM US YOU CAN LOOK AT SOME FEW QUESTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN ANSWERED TO BACK THIS POINT HERE

If your package is not delivered to you because of our error, we will offer you a reshipment. We will ship a similar request for nothing out of your pocket. Inform us quickly in that regard so we solve the issue.

Buy Vyvanse Online HERE Now and have it delivered right at your doorsteps. Oxy Best Pharmacy is the best and secure place to order painkillers online. Customer satisfaction is our highest priority, and we never fail to exceed the customer’s expectations! Contact Oxy Best Pharmacy today for all of your meds. Order Vyvanse and other highly controlled pills like BOTOXMORPHINECODEINEDIAZEPAM DILAUDIDSUBUTEXFENTANYL PATCHESXANAXNEUROBLOCOXYCODONEOXYCONTINOPANAROXICODONESUBOXONEOXYNORM AND RITALIN Online without Prescription. You are always welcome to our pharmacy at any time to enjoy from our best online services feel free to contact our pharmacy HERE

 

 

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How to be HIPAA compliant on social media

How to be HIPAA compliant on social media | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

Social media can be a minefield for any business to navigate. When it comes to the combination of patient privacy and social media, healthcare organizations and other HIPAA-covered entities need to tread carefully. 

 

As a HIPAA-covered entity, you should use social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to name three examples) for the same reason other companies do:

  • Share information about products and services to educate existing clients
  • Attract new customers
  • Branding and advertising
  • Creating connections by sharing tips and insights about health news

 

At the same time, your employees may also be active on social media,  sharing tweets or Facebook status updates about their workday like the tens of millions of other social media users. 

They just need to follow HIPAA rules about sharing patient information.

Be careful when sharing Protected Health Information (PHI)

Even though HIPAA was written and enacted before social media became popular and a source of education and entertainment, the rules extend to these sites as well. Fortunately, with education and training, staying within the boundaries of HIPAA to protect clients’ PHI while taking advantage of the benefits social media offers, is achievable.  

 

The HIPAA Privacy Rule says you cannot share PHI except for Treatment, Payment or Operations (TPO) without the written consent of the patient. Many doctors will share photos of various procedures to educate clients. They may post messages about patients. Unless you have explicit permission, do not share any information about a patient. 

How Healthcare Providers Can (and Should) Use Social Media

There are many ways in which social media can benefit both providers and patients. There’s no reason for healthcare providers to refrain from using social media to educate, inform, and keep in touch with patients or to attract new business. The following are a few examples of things you can share on social media as a covered entity:

  • Events that a patient might be interested in
  • Research updates, findings, and even analysis of what it means in your area of expertise
  • Staff introductions and profiles, videos, and/or bios
  • Promotions regarding your services
  • Health tips and advice
  • Advertisements for your services (pay-per-click ads on Google, Facebook ads, etc.) that don’t violate patient confidentiality and privacy

All of these things can be shared to provide better patient service without conflicting with HIPAA guidelines.

Social Media Rules for Employees on Both Professional and Personal Platforms

For employees of a covered entity, social media rules related to patient interactions need to extend to their personal use of social media as well. In a nutshell, any information about a patient is protected, from nicknames to numbers (phone, social security, age, etc.) to treatment information to biographical details (marital status, siblings, etc.). 

 

You cannot share any text about specific patients. However, images and video that could result in a patient being identified should also be avoided. For instance, if you take a photo of your dental office to use on your website you need to be sure there are no patients in the photo. Or, if there are, ensure that you have their written permission to use the photo. 

 

Employee interactions with patients on social media can be problematic. Employees of covered entities must be careful in their work-related posting. Here are three actions all employees should take on social media:

  • Employees who have identified themselves as an employee of a covered entity need to state that any views expressed are their own and do not represent their employer
  • If a patient posts a picture with a “tag” that makes a picture appear in your timeline, remove that tag
  • Respond to comments, for example on a business’ Facebook page, but do not mention or allude to any treatment given

These four actions are things your employees should never do:

  • Talk about your workday as it relates to your job or activities interacting with patients
  • Post photos or videos of patients, even if the patient cannot be identified in the photo
  • Gossip about a patient, even if a name isn’t given
  • Post to a patient’s social media account

Texting Protected Health Information

Texting apps aren’t often considered as part of social media. In short, a texting app “could” be HIPAA-compliant if it has a number of features such as encryption and a record of the conversation. 

 

In general, while using secure phone texting solutions to confirm upcoming appointments and to send reminders is fine; using text or text apps like Facebook Messenger or SnapChat, is discouraged as they lack features that would render them HIPAA compliant.

 

Here are three tips for staying HIPAA-compliant on social media.

Develop a Social Media Policy

Every covered entity should have the policy to guide employees on the do’s and don’ts of social media relevant to patients and PHI, including those mentioned earlier in this post. 

 

Your social media policy and guidelines should include a definition of social media, which should aim to include future social media platforms yet to be released. 

 

Whatis.com defines social media as follows:

Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. Websites and applications dedicated to forums, microblogging, social networking, social bookmarking, social curation, and wikis are among the different types of social media.

A best practice is to revisit this policy yearly and revise it as needed.

Train Employees

After developing a social media policy, you must train employees to follow it. Ongoing employee training is crucial to reinforce the importance of following HIPAA privacy guidelines. All employees should receive social media training before they begin their job or as quickly as possible afterward to minimize the chance of a HIPAA privacy violation. 

 

Social media violations on social media happen. Recently, a dental practice revealed PHI when responding to a patient’s Yelp review. The penalty was $10,000. You can read about the PHI disclosure here. 

Use Social Media Wisely

Healthcare providers and other covered entities can use social media for the same reasons as other businesses -- educating and attracting existing and new clients for their services. 

As long as they follow the HIPAA privacy rule in their social media communications, covered entities can have a robust social media presence that does not violate HIPAA guidelines.

 

 

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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WE OFFER MONEY BACK GUARANTEE TO EVERYONE PURCHASING MEDICINES FROM US YOU CAN LOOK AT SOME FEW QUESTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN ANSWERED TO BACK THIS POINT HERE

If your package is not delivered to you because of our error, we will offer you a reshipment. We will ship a similar request for nothing out of your pocket. Inform us quickly in that regard so we solve the issue.

Buy Vyvanse Online HERE Now and have it delivered right at your doorsteps. Oxy Best Pharmacy is the best and secure place to order painkillers online. Customer satisfaction is our highest priority, and we never fail to exceed the customer’s expectations! Contact Oxy Best Pharmacy today for all of your meds. Order Vyvanse and other highly controlled pills like BOTOXMORPHINECODEINEDIAZEPAM DILAUDIDSUBUTEXFENTANYL PATCHESXANAXNEUROBLOCOXYCODONEOXYCONTINOPANAROXICODONESUBOXONEOXYNORM AND RITALIN Online without Prescription. You are always welcome to our pharmacy at any time to enjoy from our best online services feel free to contact our pharmacy HERE

 

 

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HIPAA Law Enforcement

HIPAA Law Enforcement | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

The battle between individuals’ privacy rights and the needs of law enforcement, has raged for centuries in one form or another. When the HIPAA Privacy Rule was implemented, the authors of this rule tried to appease, as it were, both sides.

 

The resulting “compromise” is that protected health information – the information the HIPAA Privacy Rule affords some protection from disclosure – can be disclosed when disclosure is needed by law enforcement.

 

There are limits, however, as to how, where, when, and why, law enforcement may obtain this information.

 

The HIPAA law enforcement exception to the general rule restricting use and disclosure of PHI (unless an exception permits or requires use or disclosure), is discussed below.

What is the HIPAA Law Enforcement Exception?

The HIPAA law enforcement exception can be found in the text of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. 

 

Did you vet your vendors? If not you’re at risk! Learn how to send your vendors risk assessments here.

 

The Privacy Rule provision that addresses whether PHI can be disclosed to law enforcement is 45 CFR § 164.512. This provision is entitled, “Uses and disclosures for which an authorization or opportunity to agree or object is not required.” 

 

The provision then lists circumstances under which PHI may be used or disclosed, despite the general rule. Circumstances allowing use of PHI without written authorization (or an opportunity to agree or object) include (among others):

 

  • A specific state or federal law requires the disclosure of PHI.
  • Public health activities, which include (among other things):
    • Reporting of disease or injury
    • Reporting vital events such as birth or death
    • Conducting of public health surveillance
    • Conducting of public health investigations
    • Conducting of public health interventions.
  • When a covered entity reasonably believes an individual is a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
  • When a health oversight agency seeks to conduct health oversight activities authorized by law. These activities include: 
    • Inspections
    • Licensure or disciplinary actions
    • civil, administrative, or criminal proceedings or actions
    • Other activities necessary for appropriate oversight of the healthcare system, government benefit programs, and of:
      • Entities subject to government regulatory programs for which health information is necessary for determining compliance with program standards; or
      • Entities subject to civil rights laws for which health information is necessary for determining compliance.
      • Disclosures for judicial and administrative proceedings.
      • Law enforcement purposes

The HIPAA Law Enforcement Exception: What Does it Cover?

Covered entities may disclose protected health information to law enforcement officials for law enforcement purposes under the following six circumstances (subject to certain conditions): 

  • As required by law (including court orders, court-ordered warrants, subpoenas) and administrative requests; 
  • To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person; 
  • In response to a law enforcement official’s request for information about a victim or suspected victim of a crime; 
  • To alert law enforcement of a person’s death, if the covered entity suspects that criminal activity caused the death; 
  • When a covered entity believes that protected health information is evidence of a crime that occurred on its premises; and 
  • By a covered health care provider in a medical emergency not occurring on its premises, when necessary to inform law enforcement about the commission and nature of a crime, the location of the crime or crime victims, and the perpetrator of the crime.
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Why You Should Follow HIPAA Compliance For The Success Of Your Dental Practice

Why You Should Follow HIPAA Compliance For The Success Of Your Dental Practice | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

In 2018, ten companies had to pay $28.7 Million to HIPAA as fines. The United States law requires all covered entities to comply with HIPAA. Covered entities, in this case, refers to health care providers, such as hospitals, dental clinics, and pharmacies.

 

The American Dental Association conducted research which indicated a significant increase in dental practices, both in terms of size and number.

 

Statistics show that US Citizens who had access to dental care rose to 248 Million in 2016, from 170 Million in 2006.

 

The increase in dental practices across the States makes them prone to cyber hacking.

 

This is where HIPAA comes in. For dentists, the HIPAA rule is inclusive of;

 

• A Security Rule
• Privacy Rule
• Breach Notification Rule

 

WHAT IS HIPAA?

 

HIPAA compliance refers to the process through which covered entities and business associates adhere to set rules which seek to protect Protected Health Information.

 

In simple terms, it seeks to ensure a patient’s healthcare data remains private. Protected Health Information is anyone’s healthcare data. The privacy and security rule control what healthcare professionals such as dentists can, or cannot do with your PHI.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF HIPAA

 

HIPAA was initially introduced in 1996 to address insurance coverage for people working two jobs. It also sought to avoid health care fraud, and protect patients’ health information.

 

FOR YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE, FOLLOWING HIPAA WILL;

 

• Immensely help you transition from manual to electronic health records.
• Streamline your administrative healthcare functions.
• Protect your client’s health information.
• Set boundaries regarding using and releasing health records.
• Boost the efficiency of your clinic.
• Hold violators answerable if they violate a patient’s rights, through both criminal and civil penalties.

 

FOR YOUR PATIENTS, FOLLOWING HIPAA WILL;

 

• Safeguard their personal and sensitive health information.
• Give them control over who gets access to their information.
• They get a right to obtain and go through their health records, and they get to request corrections when necessary.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

mark's curator insight, May 3, 10:58 AM
Oxy Best Pharmacy, ship and do home delivery World Wide

BUY VYVANSE ONLINE, can be a smart move. It saves you money many times, as you remove the cost of a physical retailer. Online prices for medications are almost always lower, and when it comes to medications you require, any savings you can get can really help. You’ll often have to buy these medications regularly, and those costs can really add up. So buying online gives you an opportunity to save a little time for you to buy will add up to substantial savings in time as you buy from home you need not take a drive to a pharmacy. If you want to buy Vyvanse online, then you’ve come to the right place visit Our Shop Page. To buy this medication from us you do not need a prescription and also it will be good if you have one as it will be way easy to make delivery without doing much on security. We’ll get the drug to you quickly, safely and you will pay online prices that easily beat out what you would pay at a physical pharmacy.

Why Us?

Payment methods: We take Western Union Money Gram, Bitcoin, Cashapp, and Zelle Payments. Order your medications from the best online pharmacy in the USA Here.

WE OFFER MONEY BACK GUARANTEE TO EVERYONE PURCHASING MEDICINES FROM US YOU CAN LOOK AT SOME FEW QUESTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN ANSWERED TO BACK THIS POINT HERE

If your package is not delivered to you because of our error, we will offer you a reshipment. We will ship a similar request for nothing out of your pocket. Inform us quickly in that regard so we solve the issue.

Buy Vyvanse Online HERE Now and have it delivered right at your doorsteps. Oxy Best Pharmacy is the best and secure place to order painkillers online. Customer satisfaction is our highest priority, and we never fail to exceed the customer’s expectations! Contact Oxy Best Pharmacy today for all of your meds. Order Vyvanse and other highly controlled pills like BOTOXMORPHINECODEINEDIAZEPAM DILAUDIDSUBUTEXFENTANYL PATCHESXANAXNEUROBLOCOXYCODONEOXYCONTINOPANAROXICODONESUBOXONEOXYNORM AND RITALIN Online without Prescription. You are always welcome to our pharmacy at any time to enjoy from our best online services feel free to contact our pharmacy HERE

 

 

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What is a HIPAA Violation? What Are The Fines /Penalties? 

What is a HIPAA Violation? What Are The Fines /Penalties?  | HIPAA Compliance for Medical Practices | Scoop.it

Signed in 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. Essentially, if you’re handling, transmitting, in possession of, or responsible for any health records; you’re going to need to be in compliance with HIPAA.

 

Regulation around HIPAA is strict and specific. However, what happens if HIPAA guidelines aren’t followed to the letter?

It’s important to know what constitutes a HIPAA violation for the sake of personal data.

 

Did you know that there are stiff penalties and fines for a violation? A breach could also destroy your business and your credibility within the healthcare community.

HIPAA Penalty & Fine Structure

What are the consequences of violating HIPAA?

There are four tiers of HIPAA violations:

 

    • Tier 1. Lack of awareness where a covered entity or individual was unaware that the act in question was a violation. Fines start at $100 and go up to $50,000 per violation, topping out at $1.5 million each year.
    • Tier 2. Reasonable cause to believe the individual or entity knew about the rule or regulation. Issues at this tier are considered a lack of due diligence. The fines range from $1,000 to $50,000 per violation. The maximum fine is $1.5 million per year.
    • Tier 3. The HIPAA violation was performed with willful neglect. The party then corrected the violation within the required time period of 30 days after discovery. Fines at this tier start at $10,000 and go to $50,000. The maximum penalty is $1.5 million per year.
    • Tier 4. At this tier, the violation was made with willful neglect of HIPAA Rules. Further, the entity made no effort to correct the violation. There is a standard $50,000 fine per violation at this tier with a maximum fine of $1.5 million each year.

 

There are also criminal penalties for HIPAA violations and potential jail sentences:

    • Unknowingly or with Reasonable Cause. The person may receive a jail sentence of up to one year.
    • False Pretenses may result in a five years’ maximum jail sentence and a fine increase to $100,000 per violation.
    • Personal Reasons or to Commit Fraud or a Crime. Malicious intent such as data breaches may lead to a jail sentence of up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 per violation.

 

As you can see from the HIPAA fines chart, the penalty structure for violations can act as a strong deterrent for healthcare organizations.

 

Recent HIPAA violations cases reported by federal law enforcement include:

    • Memorial Healthcare System received a fine of $5,500,000 in 2017
    • Children’s Medical Center of Dallas incurred a penalty of $3,200,000 in 2017
    • Advocate Health Care Network’s violation warranted a $5,500,000 fine in 2016
Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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