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Showing 19 posts in Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act).

NIST standards provides an oasis of mobile device security in the EHR desert

The healthcare industry has long awaited some certainty in the arena of mobile devices in light of the continued push for electronic health records (“EHR”) and coordinated care. The prevalence, convenience, and speed of such devices is beyond discussion. According to the 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey, found that 90% of healthcare providers use them in their organizations. Mobile devices provide clinicians with quick access to information at the point of care. However, the use of mobile devices brings a mountain of security risks for covered entities, including the loss or theft of the mobile device and unsecure exchange of health information. When every individual entering a facility has a mobile device, the large number of mobile devices using a facility’s network can overload the system. More >

HIPAA Rules and Procedures in the Event of a Data Breach, Part One

Posted In Data Breach, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

As discussed in my prior post, recent massive data breaches at major retailers and health insurance providers paint a bleak picture of modern data and emphasize the importance of strong security safeguards and plans for handling suspected security breaches for electronic protected health information (“ePHI”). In the healthcare context, a security breach of a covered entity or a Business Associate’s (BA) data security system triggers the Security Rule and can trigger certain breach notification requirements under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”). This post will discuss the investigation needed to determine whether a breach has taken place, while the next post will discuss the necessary notifications in the event of a breach. More >

Lessons Learned from Recent Data Security Breaches, Part Two

Posted In Data Breach, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

In Tuesday’s post, I discussed how the recent data breaches at Anthem, Inc. and Target occurred. Today’s post will turn to the implications of these breaches under HIPAA/HITECH rules and what health providers can learn from them. More >

Lessons Learned from Recent Data Security Breaches, Part One

Posted In Data Breach, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

The recent series of security breaches at Target, Sony, Home Depot, and Anthem Inc. serve as stark reminders that all organizations, even the ones with most secure networks, face significant cybersecurity threats and challenges that could cause substantial financial costs and reputational damage. The Anthem security breach, in particular, should sound alarms about the need to improve the security of protected health information (“PHI”) for every covered entity. This week’s posts will discuss what health care providers can learn about preventing data breaches based on the breaches at Anthem and Target. More >

Telehealth/Telemedicine: An Opportunity for Physicians and Providers to Add a New Line of Service

The cost effectiveness of providing health care via telemedicine or telehealth promises to be an effective tool to increase coverage and reimbursement of healthcare provided remotely or through telehealth. Towers Watson, a national consulting company, recently published a 2014 study that suggests that telemedicine could save $6 billion annually for the health care industry. "Achieving this savings requires a shift in patient and physician mindsets, health plan willingness to integrate and reimburse such services, and regulatory support in all states," according to Dr. Allan Khoury, a senior consultant at Towers Watson.[1] Recent studies have assigned significant cost savings generated by telehealth use that include cost savings of $537 million per year for emergency departments using telehealth to reduce transfers and spending reductions of 7.7% to 13.3% per person per quarter in the cost of care for chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries using a health buddy via telehealth. [2] As the cost effectiveness of providing services via telehealth and telemedicine is proven, Medicare, most state Medicaid programs and commercial insurers are increasing coverage as well as reimbursement for telehealth services. State law requirements for providing telehealth and coverage differ greatly. Consequently, physicians and health care providers should be aware of the complexity of providing telehealth and its requirements, but should also incorporate telehealth services into their practices as a new way of providing services and a new line of business. More >

Have You Reviewed Your Existing Business Associate Agreements?

Pursuant to the HIPAA Final Omnibus Rule (“Final Rule”), covered entities and their business associates were required to enter into new business associate agreements (“BAAs”) or modify existing BAAs by Sept. 23, 2013. However, existing BAAs that (i) were entered into on or before Jan. 25, 2013; (ii) met the requirements that were applicable prior to the promulgation of the Final Rule; and (iii) were not modified after March 26, 2013, have until Sept. 23, 2014 to be updated. That deadline is quickly approaching. More >

OCR Offers “Lessons Learned” Regarding HIPAA Compliance

Two recent reports issued by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), pursuant to the HITECH Act, reveal some interesting information about HIPAA data breaches. The Annual Report to Congress on Breaches of Unsecured Protection Information (“Breach Report”) and the Annual Report to Congress on HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rule Compliance (“Compliance Report”) should remind covered entities and their business associates about the many risks associated with HIPAA and the importance of compliance. More >

Small Devices & Big Consequences: Why Medical Practices Need Encryption

On Tuesday, I shared information about the U.S. Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights’ (“OCR”) first settlement with a medical practice for alleged violations of the breach notification provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act. The $150,000 settlement was made with Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, P.C., (“the Practice”) after the entity reported a stolen jump drive that contained PHI of approximately 2,200 patients. More >

Coming to a Medical Practice near You: HIPAA and Hi-Tech Audits

On December 26, 2013, the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced  its first settlement with a covered entity for not having policies and procedures in place to address the breach notification provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act. Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, P.C., (“the Practice”) of Concord, Massachusetts agreed to settle potential violations with a $150,000 penalty and corrective action plan. More >

Top Ten Health Law Issues for Physicians, Health Systems and Providers in 2014

Posted In Audit, Health Care Law, Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), House Bill 1, Meaningful use incentives, Medicaid, Medicare, Stark Laws

Change is the one constant that physicians, health systems and other providers face in 2014 as the ACA and its myriad regulations become effective along with increasing review and scrutiny from not just state and federal regulators, but also private companies with state and federal contracts to review and audit claims, cost reports, and billing practices.  So, listed below are the top ten areas that physicians and other providers should watch in 2014. More >

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