There is a common misconception in the dental office workplace. Most dental offices have implemented HIPAA regulations back in 2003 and feel their efforts are sufficient. This could not be farther from the truth!
In March 2013 Federal Regulations concerning HIPAA in the Healthcare Workplace all changed. The new HIPAA Omnibus Rules require employee training (for all team members), a new HIPAA manual (written to these new standards) and plenty of new policies and paperwork to implement. All of these new regulations and protocols should have been operational within your dental office as of September 23, 2013.
The new HIPAA Omnibus Rule protocols are required by all healthcare facilities– there are no exceptions! Why is HIPAA changing? It is presumed that perhaps up to 70% of Identity Theft in this country could be leaked from a healthcare facility. Protection of the patient’s personal information is foundational. The new laws protect patient PHI (Protected Health Information). There are about 18 common Protected Health Identifiers that all healthcare workers need to safeguard. From paper to computer input to internet activity — all employees need to be trained on these new HIPAA Omnibus Rules and the new protocols need to be set in place
There seems to be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding surrounding HIPAA within the dental field.
HIPAA compliance is not voluntary or recommended– it is required! The new HIPAA Omnibus Rules come with big fines ($10,000 – $1.5M) and a HIPAA Task Force is out doing audits to ensure that these new rules are properly in place. This is a very serious and pressing issue. Make sure you choose a HIPAA Omnibus Rule compliance solution that offers complete compliance. Don’t ignore these new federal regulations. Don’t give Mr. HIPAA Auditor reason to hit you with those big fines! Do you have your HIPAA Omnibus Rules in place? Get your groove on!
Written by Heather Whitt, HIPAA Trainer for Dental Enhancements