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CORONAVIRUS

AMA puts out telemedicine guide

The American Medical Association (AMA) has compiled a guide to help physicians get telemedicine up and running so they can safely care for patients. The telemedicine quick guide outlines the first steps to get started and lays out key considerations to implementing telemedicine and explains policy, coding and payment. Even if your practice didn’t use telemedicine before, it may be an option now. Federal government agencies temporarily relaxed certain federal privacy regulations during the COVID-19 crisis and expanded payment policies. For example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is letting physicians provide beneficiaries a wider range of health care services without having to visit a health care facility. This CMS fact sheet explains more. Also, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General is waiving Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 treatment delivered via telehealth from a doctor’s office or hospital emergency department. Learn more with… . . . read more.

TELEHEALTH

Public health emergency jumpstarts remote care

From video chats to relaxation of state licensing requirements, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote and virtual healthcare services. Here is an update from CMS: Medicare Telehealth Visits: Effective for services starting March 6, 2020, and for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), Medicare will make payments for Medicare telehealth services furnished to patients in broadened circumstances. During the PHE, clinicians can use popular applications that allow for video chat such as Apple FaceTime and Skype, thanks in part to enforcement discretion by the HHS Office of Civil Rights. Clinicians who seek additional privacy protections for telehealth while using video communication products should provide such services through technology vendors that offer HIPAA business associate agreements (BAAs) with their video communication products. In addition, clinicians… . . . read more.

INFORMATION SECURITY

HIPAA enforcement takes a dramatic new direction

Historically, HIPAA enforcement has focused predominantly on the failure of covered entities to keep protected health information (PHI) private and secure; but now the scope is broadening to encompass keeping PHI too private and too secure. The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the agency that enforces HIPAA rules, has broken new ground by fining a Florida hospital for failing to provide access to PHI to the individual it relates to. Here’s a look at the case and what it portends about the new direction in HIPAA enforcement. The HIPAA Right of Access When you hear the term “HIPAA Privacy Rule,” the first thing likely to jump into your mind is the obligation to keep PHI secure and refrain from disclosing it to third parties without appropriate authorization. But there’s… . . . read more.

HIPAA compliance with document management

By Andreas Rivera bio Recordkeeping can be one of the most stressful aspects of running a healthcare business since privacy compliance is scrutinized in healthcare more than any other industry. Anyone with experience in the healthcare industry knows that violating HIPAA comes with steep penalties. It’s a constant anxiety to make sure your records are being stored in an appropriate manner, with all the security and privacy requirements being met for each new record added. Even if you’re being diligent with how you file your paperwork, having physical paper exacerbates the possibility of human error occurring. Most of the time, the most common HIPAA violations usually occur without the facility realizing it. Here are a few common HIPAA violations when it comes to electronic data storage. Insufficient or lack of… . . . read more.

BLOG

5 essential steps to ensure an effective HIPAA program

By Danika Brinda  bio
HIPAA Compliance is a term that is often thrown around the healthcare industry; however, I commonly ask myself: Is the meaning of HIPAA Compliance the same throughout the…


. . . read more

COMPLIANCE

The 10 policies you need to stop employee PHI breaches

Safeguarding personal health information (PHI) data from hackers, identity thieves and other cyber threats isn’t just a legal obligation but…


. . . read more

CYBERSECURITY

The 10 things HHS says you should be doing to stop phishing, ransomware and other threats

HHS has published a Guidance on cybersecurity for healthcare organizations. Even though it’s voluntary, the new HHS Guidance is significant to the…


. . . read more

SAFEGUARDING PHI

Traps to avoid: Giving ex-practice employees access to PHI

Your medical office staff understands the imperative of safeguarding personal health information (PHI) and wouldn’t let strangers…


. . . read more

SAFEGUARDING PHI

Model HIPAA Privacy Reminder to Reception and Other Staff

Why you need this memo:

Your medical office staff understands the imperative of safeguarding personal health information (PHI) and wouldn’t let strangers roam about the facilities freely. But it’s easy for them to lower their guard when a former employee comes back to the practice, e.g., to pick up a final paycheck or just make a social call.

. . . download here


NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

HIPAA Refresher: Is your practice on top of NPPs?

By Ranadene K. Tapio, MBA, CMRS, CMC, Guest Contributor  bio
I know, HIPAA is old news. And ALL of your offices are presenting your patients with a HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) already…


. . . read more


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