HIPAA Violations

Practice QA: Derail HIPAA Violations When Leaving Patient Messages

QUESTION: I’m trying to prevent staff from making costly HIPAA violations when they leave patient voice mails. What should and shouldn’t you say when leaving voice messages for patients? Anonymous, Chicago, IL   ANSWER: To avoid HIPAA violations, first, it’s important that you have a signed consent form on file for all of your patients. […]

Legal Column: 3 HIPAA Compliance Cases Giving Attorney Nightmares – Heidi Kocher, Esq

There’s a lot at stake if healthcare professionals don’t comply with HIPAA and other government regulations. No one knows this better than myself – a healthcare attorney. The relationship between healthcare attorneys and the practices we serve is a paradox. On the one hand, the healthcare attorney is viewed as the institution’s life raft — […]
medical records requests

Stick to 4 Medical Records Requests Requirements to Avoid HIPAA Fine

With fines for medical record request violations on the rise, you can’t afford to not comply with releasing records the right way. Sure, distributing records can be an irritation in a busy day but dealing with costly HIPAA violations is way worse. Read on for the skinny on medical records requests – what rules to […]
HIPAA Violation nurse giving patient medical records

First Medical Records Patient Access HIPAA Fine Issued

You may have recently seen the announcement that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) had their first patient access enforcement action. The $85,000 payment wasn’t recorded as an actual HIPAA violation, but as as settlement with Bayfront Health of St. Petersburg (Bayfront). So, why should […]
HIPAA Breach Reporting needed or maybe just a data leak

When Your Data Breach Doesn’t Need HIPAA Breach Reporting

It seems like you hear about HIPAA breach reporting more and more each year. And it’s true. As hackers become more advanced, breaching relatively unprotected healthcare data gets easier and easier. Plus, healthcare data is particularly enticing. Unlike passwords or bank account information, healthcare data — like names, birth dates, and social security numbers — […]
medical record subpeonas request for medical records

Responding to a Subpoena for Medical Records – Protect Your Practice

Protecting patient privacy when you release medical records requires careful attention to every detail — even small mistakes can have large financial and legal consequences. The process gets even more complicated when you’re responding to a subpoena for medical records. How you handle responding to a subpoena for medical records can make the difference between […]
Respond to a HIPAA Breach

How to Respond to a HIPAA Breach in 5 Steps

A provider’s laptop is left in a taxi, a front desk sheet lists patients’ names, a practice’s website is hacked, all easy accidents that could happen to you. And how you respond to a HIPAA breach will play a major role in the penalty – if any – assigned. Be sure to follow these compliance […]
HIPAA Violations

5 Ways to Prevent HIPAA Violations – And How to Respond to a Breach

Your network is behind a firewall. Your email is encrypted. You change your EHR passwords every three months. Think you’re safe from preventing HIPAA violations? Think again — and then take a good look in the mirror. Human factors are by far the biggest source of risk, experts say. In fact, more than half (59 […]
Telehealth Security

Telehealth Security: Protect Patient Information and Your Practice

Your practice is responsible for protecting your patients’ ePHI at both the origination site and the distant site. You must ensure that both locations have appropriate administrative, physical, and technical safeguards in place as outlined in the HIPAA Security Rule...