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The Compliance INSIDER

An Increase of Domestic Violence Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and this year the coronavirus pandemic has made everyone vulnerable to the dangers of the virus and to an increased risk of domestic abuse and neglect stemming from stay-at-home orders,...

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OCR Demonstrates the Seriousness of Adhering to the HIPAA Right of Access Initiative

OCR Settles Eighth Investigation in HIPAA Right of Access Initiative On October 7th, 2020, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Dignity Health, while doing business at St....

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How to be Prepared for this Year's Influenza Season During the Ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic

The leaves are beginning to change and drop, school is in session (virtually, in-person, or a combination of the two), and the temperature outside is starting to cool down. We have officially made it to Autumn, which includes everything pumpkin...

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"We are Fine! Hurricane Sally is Not Coming Our Direction."

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the fire season impacting states like Oregon and California, and a busy hurricane season, this has been a remarkable year...

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HHS Announcement: New Phase 3 Provider Relief Funding

On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Trump administration is providing $20 Billion in New Phase 3 Provider Relief Funding. "HHS has worked to ensure that all American...

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HIPAA Business Associate Pays $2.3 Million to Settle Breach Affecting Protected Health Information of Over 6 Million Individuals

CHSPSC LLC, ("CHSPSC") has agreed to pay $2,300,000 to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and to adopt a corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance...

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Lessons Learned from the OIG After an Audit of Outpatient Outlier Payments

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently announced their findings from an audit of outpatient outlier payments. The OIG selected an entity that had an increase of outlier payments from $82,555 in 2015 to $2.6 million in 2016. According...

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Suicide Awareness Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

There is a lot to become stressed about in the current events going on throughout the world right now. There are massive fires, hurricanes, and extreme weather conditions occurring across the country. In addition to the natural disasters...

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Preparations for Labor Day 2020

Labor Day is about celebrating American workers and this year amidst the coronavirus pandemic and with the recent natural disasters affecting many across the country, we would like to say THANK YOU to healthcare professionals everywhere!...

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A Report of Sexual Harassment Results in Retaliation and Violation of Federal Law

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently sued a Tampa-based pediatric medical practice for violating federal law for retaliating against a female registered nurse who was a victim of sexual harassment. The retaliation...

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Is Your Organization Implementing these 5 HIPAA Security Rule Requirements?

A Costly Lesson that Shows the Importance of Security Rule Compliance A recent settlement demonstrates the importance of complying with and implementing HIPAA Security Rule requirements. The settlement, announced by the Office of Civil...

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Compliance Support for Healthcare Professionals During COVID-19

Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States on January 20th, 2020, the nation, and the world has had to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic quickly. Beginning with restrictions on traveling between countries with higher levels...

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CDC Updates Guidelines: Consideration for Who Should Get Tested

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidelines for COVID testing. Previously, the CDC said, "Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of the...

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CMS Press Release: Routine Inspections of All Medicare and Medicaid Certified Providers and Suppliers to Resume in Nursing Homes

In response to the coronavirus, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had previously suspended certain routine inspections amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to prioritize infection control and reduce the spread of the virus. "At...

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Telemedicine & HIPAA During COVID-19 and Beyond

A recent report conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) showed a dramatic uptick in telehealth utilization by Medicare beneficiaries. Before COVID-19, Medicare primary care telehealth visits were less than one percent....

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Back to School and Back to Basics... COVID Style

It is time for students everywhere to return to school, but like many things in this world, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is affecting back to school as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued out guidance. Preparing...

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CMS Releases 2021 Proposed Rule for Quality Payment Program

In our ongoing efforts to always keep our clients aware of changes that may affect them, we have an update on proposed policies released from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the 2021 performance year of the Quality...

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Recent Update from OSHA Regarding the Safety of Wearing Masks

How safe is it to wear a medical/surgical mask or cloth face covering? Does it cause unsafe oxygen levels or harmful carbon dioxide levels to the wearer? In a recent FAQ, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) answered this...

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Social Media Ethics During a National Emergency

What's in Your Social Media Policy? A few years ago, when we posted our article titled Posting with Caution: Social Media and HIPAA Compliance, we mentioned how powerful social media could be for communicating...

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Breaking News: CMS and CDC Announce Provider Reimbursement Available for Counseling Patients to Self-Isolate at Time of COVID-19 Testing

CMS and CDC Announce Provider Reimbursement Available for Counseling Patients to Self-Isolate at Time of COVID-19 Testing On July 30, CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are announcing that payment is available to...

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Provider Relief Fund: Important Information You Need To Know

More financial relief to individuals and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic is expected from Congress in the coming days. This funding is referred to as "Phase 4" a follow-up to the financial assistance provided in the...

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Demonstrating Confidence Through COVID

COVID has created a lot of ongoing chaos this year with debates over misinformation, the severity of the virus, the best preventative measures, and how best to proceed. Even with this uncertainty, one thing is for sure; organizations must...

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What's Your Social Distancing Strategy for Your Facility?

Social distancing also called "physical distancing," means keeping space between yourself and other people. To practice social or physical distancing we are advised to stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms' length) from other people. The...

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Strategizing the Next Phase of COVID-19 Challenges

As the country begins to open back up to a pre-COVID-19 kind of life, there are several challenges, especially for those working in healthcare to contemplate. One of the biggest challenges for healthcare organizations is finding common...

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Lines of Communication are Essential for Building a Culture of Compliance

Essentials for Establishing a Culture of Compliance In a healthcare organization, a successful compliance program details the organization's commitment to ethical behavior. Compliance must be embedded in...

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What's in a Name? The Potential for an HHS Fine!

This past year was a busy year of complaints, breaches and OCR settlements! It appeared to be a year where "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" proved to be an accurate proverb. Several of the enforcement activities and settlements that were...

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Its a New Year: Are Your Systems Up to Date?

Something about Calendar Year 2020 feels futuristic. Afterall, it is two decades past the year 2000 (Y2K) - the year when significant problems were anticipated due to the computer programming shortcut related to the formatting and storage of...

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It's the Final Countdown!

2020 is almost over, and what a relief that is! While we've learned a great deal this year, we've also had to adapt to the ongoing challenges thrown at us. Along the way, important compliance tasks, such as completing your annual...

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