HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA Certified: What Does it Mean?

HIPAA COMPLIANCE NEWSHIPAA Certified Does Not Mean You Are Compliant. Being HIPAA certified means that you have successfully undergone a course designed to train and teach you the information you need to enable your business or organization to become HIPAA compliant. It does not mean that you are compliant, but that you have been taught the terms…

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HIPAA Compliance Training — Is it Necessary?

HIPAA COMPLIANCE TRAININGHIPAA Compliance Training is Crucial. If you work in any company that either provides a form of health service, traditional or otherwise, or a firm that is a business associate of such a company, then you should receive HIPAA training. A business associate may be a health insurer, a provider of software designed to store…

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HIPAA Compliant — Are You?

The Importance of Compliance to HIPAA Well, are you HIPAA compliant? If not you might have some problems shortly because you should have been compliant by now with a comprehensive HIPAA policy written up and all the procedures and processes in place that are needed to comply.  You should have regular review meetings set up…

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HIPAA Compliance Requirements

HIPAA information securityHIPAA Compliance Requirements To be HIPAA compliant essentially means that an entity or office is cooperating with and following the laws set forth by Congress in all three waves of HIPAA legislation. The government has mandated that all “covered entities” must meet HIPAA Compliance specifications. These so-called “covered entities” include practitioners and their offices, health…

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HITECH ACT Summary: Definition and Meaningful Use

HITECH Act Summary Definition The HITECH Act came into being because of the increasing use of technology. The acronym stands for Health Information Technology for Economics and Clinical Health Act – a perfect example where the name of the legislation was obviously devised after the acronym! Notwithstanding that, it is a powerful piece of legislation…

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Curiosity and HIPAA Compliance Don’t Mesh

HIPAA Compliance does need to be taken seriously and followed. Is it really a crime to have wandering eyes?  In short, yes.  Well, at least when it comes to the personal health information of other people.  HIPAA has, at least to some degree, been scoffed at over the last several years.  It seemed to be…

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Common Misconceptions About HIPAA Heard at Smaller Medical Faculties

If you are a fully trained HIPAA professional whose day to day existence revolves around maintaining compliance this post is not for you. If on the other hand you are a busy member of staff at a doctors office or other smaller medical facility it probably is, since even after all these years there is still a huge amount of confusion about what does and does not constitute a HIPAA violation. Here are some of the most common myths about HIPAA compliance that are heard in medical facilities across the country over and over again:

HIPAA only regulates electronically transmitted data – Oh if only it were so, the life of a HIPPA compliance officer (and anyone else in the medical field) would be so much easier. But no, HIPAA applies to all forms of communication: written, verbal and any form of electronic transmission, including personal e mail notes and social networking posts.

If improperly released information is not exploited, there is no violation of the law – In many of the cases of improperly released PI that have hit the headlines over the last several years no one had any way of telling how and if patient data had been been exploited after the release of information but they still got hit with the big fines and penalties. It is the act of improperly releasing the information that is the violation.

Dentists, optometrists, nurses, and pharmacists are exempted from HIPAA regulations – We actually heard this one – from an individual employed in one of the aforementioned professions -and were flabbergasted. HIPAA governs anyone and everyone who creates or handles patient records – right down to the high school kid who works part time filing charts. Hopefully the professional who was under this misguided impression has now taken a serious crash course in HIPAA compliance.

Little HIPAA violations don’t matter, no one will ever find out – This is unfortunately the mentality of many employees in smaller medical offices. In fact though all it takes is one patient complaint and the whole office will be under serious scrutiny. And just as a reminder, the maximum fines and penalties for failure to comply with the HIPAA laws are $250,000 and 10 years imprisonment. Not to mention the damage the resultant inevitable bad publicity will have on any practice in both the short and the long term.