CMS released proposed rules that require many types of insurers to provide electronic health data in a standard format by 2020.
HIPAA AND THE TCPA
Did you know that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and HIPAA go hand in hand?
Recently in 150 countries around the world, WannaCry ransomware infected more than 200,000 computers in hospitals and healthcare information systems. The initial virus has been slowed thanks to a “kill switch” developed by a British researcher; however, it’s suspected that another wave of copycat malware could hit the healthcare community.
Medicare overpaid physicians $6.7 billion in 2010 for evaluation and management services, HHS’ Office of Inspector General said in a study released Thursday. The overpayments, which allegedly stemmed from incorrect coding and poor documentation, accounted for more than one-fifth of the $32.3 billion the CMS paid for E/M services that year. E/M services are basic patient health assessments performed at a physician’s office or clinic.
Today, more than ever, people have the ability to automate the dull tasks of daily living, so there is more time to spend on activities of value. Bills can be set to autopay, so you can spend the evening with your family instead of hunched over a checkbook or laptop. Even dog food can be autoshipped, so you can take Fido on a hike on Saturday morning instead of schlepping to the pet store because there’s no more kibble. The benefits of automation in your personal life are clear to see, so why spend so much time on repetitive, manual tasks in your professional life? It feels like “work,” but that doesn’t mean it is valuable.
In light of the recent $750,000 settlement agreement reached by The University of Washington Medicine (UWM), following the conclusion of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigation into a claim of a potential data breach compromising the medical details of thousands of patients, it might be a good time for medical practices and healthcare organizations of all sizes to review their electronic security protocols, to ensure that they are not running afoul of HIPAA and patient confidentiality laws (even by accident – it still counts as a breach even if an organization is not aware of it!)
You don’t have to be told how time-consuming it can be to track down medical billing records when they’re in paper form. Yet, you still haven’t made the move to paperless for one reason or another.
When you think of good medical practice management, you likely think of all the things you can do to keep your bottom line strong, such as going paperless or being more efficient. Of course, steps such as those are crucial, but it’s easy to overlook another aspect of good practice management that’s just as essential: avoiding mistakes.