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Complying with HIPAA. Responsible Email and Texting

Complying with HIPAA. Responsible Email and Texting

 HIPAA is an acronym that stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. It provides privacy standards that protect patients' protected health information (PHI). The standard requires covered entities (doctors, dentists, labs, hospitals and other healthcare providers) to establish administrative, physical and technical safeguards to protect this information.   Fortunately these requirements are intended to be scaleable and flexible. "One size doesn't fit all" is a good way to look at the scaleability of HIPAA. Implement technology and safeguards appropriate to your situation. Consider the size of the practice, the cost of implementation and the potential risk to ePHI among other things. Flexibility allows...

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What’s the difference between HIPAA Privacy and Security?

What’s the difference between HIPAA Privacy and Security?

One of the most common questions we receive is to explain the difference between the two HIPAA regulations. Although the Privacy and Security Rule work together, they’re distinct have have a unique purpose. In a nutshell, the HIPAA Privacy Rule focuses on the rights of the individual and their ability to control their protected health information or PHI. It allows practices to use the information for treatment, payment and other required functions, but otherwise it must remain confidential. This is an assurance that the information will be safeguarded from unauthorized disclosure. The Privacy Rule covers the physical security and confidentiality...

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OSHA and the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard

OSHA and the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard

 OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogen Standard was created to protect workers occupationally exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). This means any employee that might come into contact with infectious materials as a result of their job. Employers obligations are defined in the standard and the key components are highlighted in OSHA's Fact Sheet. We wanted to take this a step further and break down each bulleted point in more detail. Establish an exposure control plan. This is a written plan to eliminate or minimize occupational exposures.The employer must prepare an exposure determination that contains a list of job classifications in...

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Choosing the Right PPE for the Task - Healthcare and Dentistry

Choosing the Right PPE for the Task - Healthcare and Dentistry

There's an old saying "If the shoe fits, then wear it." It's got a ring to it, but it certainly wouldn't be good advice if we were talking about PPE use. The fact is when it comes to personal protective equipment (PPE), it's important to enforce minimum requirements to keep employees safe. In many cases this will be as simple as following manufacturers' recommendations, but in some cases it's up to the employer to set and enforce these minimum requirements. The procedures you perform that require PPE to eliminate or reduce likely exposure to blood or OPIM are listed in your Exposure...

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2017 HIPAA fines and settlements already piling up

2017 HIPAA fines and settlements already piling up

 We're not even into March yet and we've already seen a busy start to 2017. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced the 4th settlement of the year with Memorial Health Systems of Hollywood, Florida. They paid $5.5 million to settle claims it violated HIPAA requirements under the Privacy and Security Rules.. The other settlements in 2017 were Children's Medical Center in Dallas to a tune of $3.2 million, MAPFRE, a life insurance company out of Puerto Rico for $2.2 million and Presence Health from the Chicago area.  Presence Health is interesting in the fact it was the first violation stemming from the Breach...

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