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Roger Steven's Blog (81)

HIPAA privacy and the social media

Misuse of social media is a critical area of HIPAA privacy. A random act of carelessness by a healthcare worker can result in a Protected Health Information (PHI) breach, inviting actions from the HHS. As is known, protection of patient health information is what HIPAA is essentially all about. Many safeguards and safety mechanisms have been put into HIPAA to ensure this.

However, the rise of the social media has brought in a new dimension to PHI. Patient confidentiality can be…

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Added by Roger Steven on November 15, 2017 at 5:45am — No Comments

An understanding of Federal-Wide Assurances

The Federal-Wide Assurance (FWA) is an assurance given by an institution that is carrying out NIH-funded studies. Through this written assurance, which is required to be filed with the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP); the institution commits itself to compliance with the terms of requirements set out in the HHS Protection of Human Subjects regulations at 45 CFR part 46. It is the only type of assurance that the OHRP accepts and approves.

The FWA must clearly outline the…

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Added by Roger Steven on November 10, 2017 at 6:35am — No Comments

HIPAA and the role of the Security Officer

Security Officers or Compliance Officers have their task cut out when it comes to HIPAA implementation. With the changes taking place at the Health and Human Services (HHS) in relation to HIPAA enforcement; both Covered Entities and Business Associates need to insulate themselves from being vulnerable to audit risk. Any small letup will allow individuals whose PHI has been wrongfully disclosed due to bad IT or internal…

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Added by Roger Steven on October 30, 2017 at 7:50am — No Comments

Administering injectable and oral diabetic medications among cardiac patients

Hypertension is the silent killer of our times. Over thirty million Americans -one eleventh of the entire country’s population -suffer from this condition. It is rightly termed the silent killer because not only does it not show obvious symptoms; it works silently against the system when it is present. Neglected hypertension is a sure cause for strokes and heart attacks.

There is a highly undesirable, but strong and almost irrefutable link between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and…

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Added by Roger Steven on October 27, 2017 at 7:17am — No Comments

Easing the complexity of HIPAA enforcement

In the dozen years from the time of its enactment, change in thinking has been one of the palpable aspects of HIPAA. The advising and counseling outlook that characterized the initial years of its existence is now history. HIPAA is today noted for its very stringent and arm-twisting attitude. Its methods of enforcement are dreaded, to put it mildly. The coaxing and wheedling method used by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is now passé. The OCR is extremely unrelenting in its expectations…

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Added by Roger Steven on October 25, 2017 at 7:14am — No Comments

Working with Physician Extenders to increase efficiency and profitability

A Physician Extender is one who is not a physician, but is of a lesser qualification, who helps physicians by carrying out many activities usually carried out by physicians. As the name suggests, Physician Extenders work to supplement the functions of a physician and could take a considerable load off her shoulders. In most cases, an advanced nurse practitioner or a physician assistant work as a Physician Extender.

A nurse practitioner is usually prepared and trained to impart the…

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Added by Roger Steven on October 18, 2017 at 6:46am — No Comments

De-Identification of PHI under HIPAA

As health information grows, sharing it among healthcare providers and researchers is necessary for providing and advancing healthcare services and healthcare research. But the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 severely limits how Protected Health Information (PHI) can be…

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Added by Roger Steven on October 13, 2017 at 7:42am — No Comments

Medical records retention and disposition is a complex activity

In a scenario where today’s healthcare environment is fast paced, diverse and straddle many disciplines; retention and disposition of medical records -both paper and electronic -is fraught with complexities. There are different rules set out by the state agencies, as well as by HIPAA statutes…

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Added by Roger Steven on October 11, 2017 at 7:12am — No Comments

Understanding HIPAA requirements for safeguarding PHI

Meeting the legal requirements required of a healthcare provider hinges on and depends directly on a clear grasp of HIPAA compliance requirements. A thorough grasp of HIPAA compliance entails being fully equipped with all the knowledge needed to put the proper policies and procedures in place.…

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Added by Roger Steven on October 9, 2017 at 7:30am — No Comments

Understanding the Anti-Kickback Statute is a must for healthcare providers and professionals

A proper understanding of the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) is completely necessary for healthcare providers and professionals.  It is among the strongest weapons in the government arsenal for enforcing the federal fraud and abuse laws. Along with Stark II (the federal physician anti-referral law), the Anti-Kickback Statute can be and is being used as the basis for an action brought under the Federal False Claims…

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Added by Roger Steven on October 5, 2017 at 7:02am — No Comments

Ensuring patient engagement that is HIPAA compliant

The major reason for which there are widespread violations of the HIPAA Rules for communicating with patients by unencrypted email and text message is that healthcare providers and Covered Entities and their Business Associates are ignorant of the rules. Although the HIPAA Rules are pretty straightforward and easy to follow; providers and Business Associates who don’t implement them in accordance…

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Added by Roger Steven on October 3, 2017 at 6:02am — No Comments

Managing Risks under HIPAA – HITECH for 2017 and beyond

With HIPAA now being fully enforced and the government getting stricter and stricter about its implementation; practice or business or compliance officers need to be absolutely thorough about all the areas of HIPAA implementation. Given that there are enormous issues of risks that Covered Entities and their Business Associates need to address; the need to be fully aware of the changes that the Omnibus Rule has brought…

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Added by Roger Steven on September 26, 2017 at 7:07am — No Comments

Clinician stress and burnout related to user of the EHR

The introduction of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) has certainly brought about a major change in the way healthcare is administered in this vast country.

EHR's have evolved in a big way from the time they first came to be used in a moderate way in the healthcare industry a few decades ago. From then on, although the push towards making all health records online has been on -and the US economy saves close to $80 billion a year on paper and other aspects -the rate of penetration of…

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Added by Roger Steven on September 21, 2017 at 7:25am — No Comments

How to Get a Job in Compliance with no Experience? Learn New Skills for $10

For people on a job hunt, the reason for not offering one is almost invariably the same: You lack experience. How do you convince the organization that one can gain no experience unless one has a job? This is a typical chicken and egg conundrum: You are not given a job because you have no experience, and…

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Added by Roger Steven on September 18, 2017 at 6:52am — No Comments

Education, training and tools for ensuring healthcare frontline food safety

Food technology has been growing at a quick pace, having come under the influence of the twin paradigms of the late 20th century, technology and globalization. As populations keep moving from one part of the world to another in the millions; it is natural that they get influenced by the food behavior of the place to which they move, while also bringing their own influences into it.

It is not just with the itinerant population that food service and movement are paired and…

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Added by Roger Steven on September 11, 2017 at 7:20am — No Comments

Complementing MACRA and MIPS with HIPAA brings about better patient engagement

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is a federal Act that regulates the manner in which physicians have to be paid when they treat patients who come to them under Medicare. It modifies and supersedes the earlier legislation on this topic, namely the Balanced Budget Act, which was in force from 1997. 

From the time the Balanced Budget Act linked physician payments to budget cuts and economic growth; it has reduced physician payments by over a fifth. In…

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Added by Roger Steven on September 7, 2017 at 7:32am — No Comments

HIPAA’s guidelines need to be understood to prepare for, prevent, respond and recover ransomware

Ransomware is dangerous and malicious software that infects the operating systems of computers that are vulnerable. It blocks access to files, and demands a ransom for releasing it. After the ransom is paid, usually in the form of virtual cash, through means such as Bitcoin, the block may be released. Many ransomware attacks, like ransom seekers in real life, blackmail and harass the victim for prolonged periods of time. Sometimes, ransomware can block the user’s access to the entire…

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Added by Roger Steven on September 1, 2017 at 7:47am — No Comments

HIPAA breach evaluation and reporting

Protected Health Information (PHI) is a very valuable piece of information. It is valuable for the patient, for the healthcare provider, and for the insurer. Unfortunately, there is one source to which it is more valuable than to all these: Hackers. Protected Health Information is meant to be protected, but this information is coveted in the black market more than credit cards and social security.

The reason is simple: The PHI contains very vital, but confidential information about a…

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Added by Roger Steven on August 29, 2017 at 7:55am — No Comments

HIPAA should be implemented alongside MACRA and MIPS to foster better patient engagement

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), a federal Act that governs the way in which physicians need to be paid when they treat patients who come to them under Medicare, alters and replaces the earlier Act in this regard, namely the Balanced Budget Act, which was in force from 1997.  

Since the Balanced Budget Act linked physician payments to budget cuts and economic growth; it brought down physician payments by 21 percent. MACRA, on the other hand, introduces…

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Added by Roger Steven on August 24, 2017 at 7:28am — No Comments

How do campuses respond to students with mental issues?

Perhaps no educational campus is free of students with some or another kind of mental or emotional issues. Considering the wide diversity of students that enroll into American colleges and the varied backgrounds they come from; it is no surprise that American colleges will have to deal with such students.

There is a need for institutions that come across students with emotional or mental issues to learn to deal with the issue. While on the one hand, administrators of educational…

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Added by Roger Steven on August 9, 2017 at 7:41am — No Comments

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