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The Compliance INSIDER

Why You Need to Host Quarterly Corporate Compliance Committee Meetings

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) highly encourage every healthcare organization to establish a compliance committee that advises your Compliance Officer and assists in the...

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Changes to the Stark Law Are on the Horizon

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) just issued a Request for Information seeking recommendations and input from the public on how to address any undue impact and burden of the physician self-referral law – commonly referred...

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The Five Essential Elements of Telehealth Compliance

In an effort to reduce medication errors and harm, healthcare professionals, such as nurses, may utilize the "five rights" of medication administration: the right patient, the right drug, the right dose, the right route, and the right...

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Policies and Procedures: Critical for Healthcare Organizations

In the healthcare industry, written and implemented policies and procedures should help an organization and its employees make decisions, take the appropriate action, and ensure activities are in compliance with laws. Policies and procedures are...

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When is Your Cloud-based Phone Provider a Business Associate?

Several years ago, Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) was the most common option for communications over a telephone network. Now, there are a variety of other communications options to consider, such as cellular and Voice over IP (VoIP). While...

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Can a Vendor Propose Changes to your Business Associate Agreement?

We are occasionally asked questions by our clients regarding business associates and business associate agreement (BAAs). Recently, we were asked if it is okay for vendors to propose changes to a covered entity's BAA: Response Under the HIPAA...

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Important Considerations for File Sharing and Cloud Computing

Included in recent guidance regarding file sharing and cloud computing published by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) were recent survey results regarding file sharing and collaboration tools used by organizations from a variety of industries...

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Impermissible Disclosure in Press Release Results in $2.4 Million Settlement

An organization in Texas has agreed to a $2.4 million monetary settlement and a comprehensive corrective action plan for an impermissible disclosure in a press release. The impermissible disclosure in a press release follows a permissible...

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Asking for Date of Birth at the Front Desk?

Compliance Q&A:  Can we ask a patient their date of birth at the front desk while checking them in? Law:  The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not prohibit covered entities from engaging in common and important health care practices; nor does it...

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Settlements Ranging From $31K  to $650K for No BAA!

A Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is not optional. If you have a vendor who performs certain functions or activities involving protected health information (PHI), you must have a signed BAA in place. Recently the U.S. Department of Health and...

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The HIPAA Dilemma: With All There Is To Do…..What Should I Do?

There are just a few requirements in the statutes, like too many to count along with various interpretations and opinions.  The Federal Government is famous for many things, but specificity is not one of them.  So maybe you got the...

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Technical Support At Your Fingertips

Over the years, Healthcare Compliance Pros (HCP) has prided itself in easily accessible and personalized customer service. Our representatives are always on the ready to answer a call or respond to an emailed request for website assistance and...

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Section 1557 Frequently Asked Questions

In mid-October 2016, CMS requirements under Section 1557 Final Rule began. Healthcare Compliance Pros has answered several questions regarding Section 1557. The following list includes answers to the top frequently asked questions we have...

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Importance of Identifying and Managing Risks

Whether your practice accesses, creates, modifies, or stores electronic protected health information (ePHI) you must do everything possible to reduce, and eliminate as much as possible, any risks to that information. For one entity, a recent...

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CYA to Prevent CIA

At first when you read CIA in the title of this article, you may have asked yourself why in the world we would write about the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). And you may be wondering why you would need to cover your assets (CYA) from the CIA...

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OSHA's Final Rule Regarding Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule that is effective in 2017 that revised requirements for submitting records of workplace injuries and illnesses. Specifically, OSHA is requiring certain employers to...

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Top 5 Reasons Why Healthcare Organizations Are Not HIPAA Compliant

Given that HIPAA was first enacted in 1996, healthcare professionals have had 21 years to perfectly design, implement, and execute compliance plans.  However, the reality for most organizations is that HIPAA compliance is still a work in...

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HHS Guidance on HIPAA, Same-sex Marriage and Patients' Loved Ones

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently published "Guidance on HIPAA, Same-sex Marriage, and Sharing Information with Patients' Loved Ones." The new FAQ OCR issued was developed in...

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First HIPAA settlement based on untimely reporting involved hard copy PHI

Occasionally we answer questions regarding what constitutes a reportable breach. Questions such as: Isn't it only a reportable breach if the incident involves electronic protected health information (ePHI)? What about paper? Should these...

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5 Advancing Care Information Facts You Should Know About

Included in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Advancing Care Information replaces the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, a.k.a. Meaningful Use. Advancing Care Information makes up 25% of your 2017 Performance Score and focused on the...

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Gear Up for 2017: Compliance Tips You Need to Know

Understandably, the first of the year presents its fair share of challenges for health care professionals and organizations.  For many of us, especially during the first of the year, it is easier to keep tabs on our day-to-day duties, and...

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Survey Reveals Uncertainty About the Future of the Affordable Care Act

Recently there has been a lot of chatter and questions being asked in health care settings regarding the future of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"): will the Affordable Care Act be repealed? Will most of the law remain...

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Can We Release Records to the Parents of a Deceased Adult patient?

Imagine you work for a practice and you receive a request for medical records from the parents of an adult patient who died.  The patient (their son) did not have a power of attorney assigned.  Under HIPAA are you permitted to release...

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Should we terminate our relationship with our vendor?

Periodically we are asked questions about Business Associates and how to handle a breach. Recently, we were asked the following question: Under HIPAA concerning Business Associates, if you don't have a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with...

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Are You Ready for Nondiscrimination and LEP Posting Requirements?

A few months ago, we published the summary of the final rule the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced to protect individuals from discrimination in health care.  As part of the final rule, covered entities are required to...

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Q&A – Section 1557

Client Question Does Section 1557 apply to solo doctor offices? Law The final rule requires all covered entities to post a notice of consumer civil rights; covered entities with 15 or more employees are also required to have a civil rights...

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What if you receive a Privacy Complaint from a Patient?

Imagine you work for a practice and you have a patient call complaining that an employee has been accessing their patient account and giving personal information to a mutual acquaintance.  You have started investigating the situation but...

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August Webinar: Answers to Frequently Asked Compliance Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Compliance Questions View the webinar Here Augusts' Compliance Webinar will feature a Question and Answer session highlighting issues our clients face every day. This webinar will answer frequently asked questions...

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June Compliance Tip

Wearable Medical Devices – Safe or Sorry? Wearable device shipments will increase from 2.5 million Units in 2016 to 97.6 million by 2021 Wearable medical devices are rising in popularity. The next few years could see the devices become the...

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10 Questions and Answers and 5 Tips from our latest Webinar

During our most recent webinar – Business Associates 101: Everything you need to know about Business Associates and HIPAA Compliance Programs – we received 10 questions during our Q and A session.  Below are the questions and...

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April 2016 Webinar: Business Associates 101

You can view this webinar Here Business Associates 101: Everything you need to know about Business Associates and HIPAA Compliance Programs. Relationships with business associates can be confusing.  During this webinar you'll receive...

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Don't forget Tax Day and Emancipation Day

Did you know this year that April 18, 2016 is the due date for filing your federal individual income tax return? This year Emancipation Day falls on Friday, April 15, 2016 so we have a few extra days to file taxes or request an extension. Please...

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To Encrypt or not Encrypt – is it even a question?

Imagine you work for a busy medical practice.  You have been tasked with collecting on past-due patient accounts.  To help you be more efficient, you decide it is best to download copies of encounters on your company issued...

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2016 Compliance Changes Reference Materials

Compliance Changes and Updates for 2016 Last week HCP presented a round-table Compliance Webinar highlighting Compliance Changes and Updates for 2016. This round-table webinar was designed for those who currently manage a compliance program with...

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Top Issues that will affect Physicians in 2016

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently published the "Top 9 Issues that will affect physicians in 2016."  Crucial developments will emerge in health care regulations, legislation and the health insurance market place....

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California Doctor Convicted of Second-Degree Murder

A California doctor was convicted last week of second-degree murder due to the deaths of three patients who overdosed on narcotics they were prescribed.   While under Dr. Tseng's care a dozen patients died; however, she was only...

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