Tag Archives: health information technology
Posted on 24. Apr, 2009 by .
The scenario: A patient in your financial planner’s office gets too good a look at the planner’s computer screen, which includes other patients’ information. How do you prevent future leaks like this?
The resolution: Use this checklist to help you catch HIPAA violations and track problem areas in your medical office. For each item listed, check whether you observed the activity, the number of occurrences, and any pertinent comments.
• Staff discusses confidential information in public areas.
• Conversations with patient or family regarding confidential information are held in public areas.
• Overhead and intercom announcements include confidential information.
Posted on 21. Apr, 2009 by .
Think the employees at your practice or facility know how to stop an Internet scam in its tracks? Think again. You must educate your staff members on how to react to even the simplest virus or hoax, or risk leaking your patients’ PHI to hackers and identity thieves.
Strategy: Distribute a “Do’s & Don’ts” tip sheet similar to the one below to all your regular e-mail or Web users. Tell them to refer to the sheet each time they spot a suspicious e-mail or are contacted by companies claiming to need personal data, advises Elisabeth Derwin, an information technology specialist with Bennet Health System in San Francisco.
Posted on 01. Apr, 2009 by .
You’ve got less than two months to implement your Red Flags Rule program, but don’t stress too much.
Take a look at these tips, courtesy of Barbara Colburn, director of operations for a medium-sized billing service in Wisconsin, and president of Total Health Care Solutions, a healthcare consulting firm, and set up your program with ease.
1. Identify what the program is and who is affected. Your plan should outline why the practice members need to know about the Red Flags Rule and name all of the covered entities (offsite facilities, labs, clinics, etc.)
2. Identify “red flags.” Make a list letting your staff know what they should be looking for regarding identity theft. For instance, they’ll want to be on the lookout for potentially forged documents or an identification document with a photo, name, or age that doesn’t appear to match the information on their insurance card.
Posted on 31. Mar, 2009 by .
A medical insurance card is worth $500 on the black market. A patient’s medical chart can pull in as much as $100,000.
One unscrupulous practice manager in Mississippi saw big money in her medical practice, charging $120,000 on her physicians’ cards to buy plastic surgery, a hot tub, and an RV. Good times! For more on this wacky story, click here. (Thanks to Medical Office Billing Alert consulting editor and reimbursement newshound Barbara Cobuzzi for the link.)
Identity theft is the fastest growing white collar crime in the U.S., soaring 400 percent in 2008. And medical identity theft can get a thief thousands in ‘free’ medical services.
Because of that, medical practices must comply with the FTC’s Red Flag Rule by May 1st … More …
Plus, stay tuned to Coding News. We’ll show you exactly how to comply with the Red Flag Rule by May 1st.
Posted on 30. Mar, 2009 by .
In a few years, the slip of paper from the doctor that patients hand to a pharmacist may be a thing of the past in the Tampa Bay area.
The University of South Florida and a corporate partner, Allscripts, are pushing region-wide e-prescription, the St. Petersburg Times reported March 17. Electronic prescriptions replace paper and scrawls with computers and phone lines to send a drug order from the doctor’s office to the drug store.
The program, which USF said is the first of its kind in the United States, will start small. But Stephen Klasko, MD, the CEO of USF Health and dean of the school’s College of Medicine, wants $18 million in federal economic stimulus money to hire an “army of e-health ambassadors,” the paper reported. The trainers would visit doctors throughout 10 counties to sell physicians on e-prescribing.
The Money’s Just Waiting to Be Spent
The economic stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama last month included about $19 billion to promote the use of healthcare information technology, including e-prescribing.
Posted on 19. Mar, 2009 by .
And Wal-Mart’s looking to slash prices. $300K to install an EMR system? Phooey, says the big box retailer.
Through Sam’s Club, the company plans to offer EMR for a $25,000 start-up fee for the first physician in the practice, $10,000 for each additional doctor, and an annual maintenance fee of about $5,000 a year … More…
Posted on 27. Feb, 2009 by .
Did you know that ARRA, the new stimulus package, is predicted to drive 90% of physicians to adopt certified electronic health records within the next 10 years? And, that EMR can actually help you with the ICD-10 implementation you need to accomplish over the next 5 years?
Posted on 24. Feb, 2009 by .
The stimulus bill that’s gotten so much press recently offers potentially huge paydays for medical practices, and we’ve got the numbers for you.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 (ARRA) has some good news for medical practices across the country–over $25 billion will go toward healthcare initiatives.
Opportunities for Cash: The stimulus bill will offer annual bonuses for five years to physicians who participate in the federal healthcare programs (such as Medicare) that use meaningful electronic health records (EHRs).
Posted on 04. Feb, 2009 by .
Because physician practices submit claims to Medicare, the government has a lot of information to share about the individual doctors you code for. And that information should be used for a ratings system available to the public, argues a group called Consumers Checkbook. In 2007, a federal court agreed.
Hold up, said an appeals court this week. The appeals court sides with the feds, who want to keep individual providers’ Medicare data out of any public ratings system. Some doctors applaud the appeals court ruling, arguing that freely available individual Medicare data would compromise patient privacy and could easily be misinterpreted … More …
Posted on 02. Feb, 2009 by .
There’s a big boost for ‘back office’ health care jobs in an economic stimulus bill making its way through Congress.
Part of the bill would inject $20 billion into health information technology development, reports National Public Radio. That translates into 200,000 jobs at health care facilities for professionals who set up HIT systems and teach clinicians how to use them, estimates Dr. John Halamka, CIO at Harvard Medical School. More from NPR …