Tag Archives: compliance

Dental Office HIPAA: 3 Key Factors to Success

 

Creating a HIPAA Compliance Program for your dental office can be an arduous task.  Just thinking about implementing the new HIPAA Omnibus Rules can be intimidating to say the least.  And yes, HIPAA all changed as of September 23, 2013.  So if you did not yet update your HIPAA Program to the new Omnibus Rule Standards, take-heed to our key recommendations for implementing a successful present-day HIPAA program.   Reading the information below can make the difference between complete, comprehensive HIPAA Omnibus Rule Compliance and a “heaping HIPAA mess”….

 

1.   Comprehensive is Key:  Last September (2013), Federal HIPAA laws all changed.  Make sure to choose a comprehensive HIPAA training solution.  Implementing this without professional guidance may leave too many loose ends.  These new laws are very precocious!  Be sure your program includes:  Employee Training, An new HIPAA Manual (written to Omnibus Rule Standards), Required Paper work for your Employees & Business Vendors, a Breach Reporting Protocol and new updated paperwork for patients too. Note that the new HIPAA law standards may be referred to as either “the Omnibus Rules” or “the Final Rule”.  Choose a program that reflects such.

 

2.   Work with HIPAA Experts:  Make your life easier by choosing experts in this new area of HIPAA law.   One that has had legal guidance when writing their program.  Be sure that your HIPAA coaches will also offer updates to their program and that they can speak to all of the new Omnibus Rules with finesse.

 

3.   Create a Relationship with your HIPAA Coach Be sure you can relate and interact with your new HIPAA coaches with ease.  This subject matter is convoluted and complicated enough!  You want to be sure you have an ally in the HIPAA Coach that you choose, not a heavy militant approach.  Be sure that your HIPAA Guide can make themselves available via phone or email to answer questions and make clarifications as you implement these new cumbersome protocols.

 

HIPAA…It’s the new OSHA!  But the new HIPAA laws are even more intense and expensive.  Don’t be caught off-guard or out-of-sync. Get hip with a comprehensive HIPAA solution.

 

Written by Jill Obrochta & Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements.

State vs. Federal OSHA Compliance: What You Need to Know

It’s important to understand that OSHA Compliance is federally mandated.  But State Protocols may apply and these trump the Federal laws.  Pay attention, if you live in these States, you will have to seek out and apply the specific protocols within your State:

Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee,  Virginia, Washington, Wyoming.

You may also want to take into consideration that where OSHA leaves off local Health Department Protocols & State Dental Practice Acts Rules may hold you more accountable as well. 

How do you keep track of all the many requirements that you may be subject to?  It’s hard to “know what you don’t know”.  Finding out the comprehensive facts can be next to impossible for the average dental practice.

 

Don’t sweat it.  Make sure when you are choosing an OSHA Compliance Solutions Company that you ask the right questions.  A good company will “hold-your-hand” over into “State Protocol and Dental Practice Act land”.   A unique feature that is value-added whenever you purchase any OSHA Training Package from Dental Enhancements is that you receive access to their private State Protocol Webpage for both OSHA & HIPAA specifications.  This takes the guesswork out of what you need and how to get it.  Ahhh— a huge blessing.

So now you know:  All OSHA is not created equal!  Align with an OSHA Training Solutions Company that will extend a hand and take you the full distance with your OSHA & HIPAA compliance obligations. 

 

Written by Jill Obrochta & Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements

Top 10 HIPAA Compliance Requirements

 

If you need to put some “hip” into your dental offices HIPAA Compliance, listen up!  HIPAA law all changed as of September 23, 2013.  The government took 500 pages of HIPAA that existed in January of 2012— added 80 more pages and combined the two sets to create the new HIPAA Omnibus Rules.  These new HIPAA mandates were due to be functioning within all USA healthcare facilities by September 23, 2013.  Here is what is important:

 

1.   A HIPAA Manual—written to the new Omnibus Rule standard.

2.  Proof-of-Employee Training— a training session with particular components needs to be presented to each employee and all employees need to sign-off that they were trained.

3.  Employee Confidentiality Agreements—these need to be kept on file for each employee too.

4.  Business Vendor Confidentiality Agreements—Business Vendors who “see or use your Patient PHI” need to sign these agreements to protect your patient’s PHI.

5.  New Patient Paperwork

6.  New Business Protocols with regards to handling Patient Protected Health Information (PHI).

7.  New protocols for handling PHI within your computer systems and email—A good HIPAA training company will interface with your IT tech or Dental software company on this one.

8.  New Requirements to Upgrade Microsoft XP to more current HIPAA supported versions.

9.  New Breach Reporting Protocols—you need to know how to handle accidental or misguided mis-use of patient PHI and how to report it promptly.  

10.   New Daily Data Back-Up Requirements—again you will need some interface with your IT Tech or dental software company for this one.  HIPAA Training coaches or your dental supplier can also help explain these requirements.

 

Is your head spinning right about now?  It should be!  The Omnibus Rules are pretty intense.  So are the fines for non-compliance (ranging from $10,000 – $1.5M)

What is an Omnibus anyway?  By definition “omnibus”  means “previous published parts combined to create a new volume”.  Funny enough comic book series are written and republished in this fashion.  But, truly, this is no joke!  The new HIPAA Omnibus Rules (also referred to as “the Final Rule”) are pretty serious.  If you need help wrapping your head around all of this, be sure to choose a compliance company that offers a Complete HIPAA Training Solution.

One that offers: training , paperwork, electronic versions of required forms, new HIPAA manual written to the new Final Rule Standard and guided help if you need it.

 

A great comprehensive training package that will give you everything you need and help you breathe a sigh of relief (as you can speak directly with a HIPAA exert as you implement this stuff) is crucial!

 

Get “hip” to the new HIPAA Omnibus Rules.  The risk for non-compliance is just too costly.

 

Written by Jill Obrochta & Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements.

 

 

Top (6) HIPAA Finable Offenses

Is your dental office ready for a HIPAA Audit?  Do you know what HIPAA Auditors will be looking for within your dental office?

HIPAA laws all changed as of September 23, 2013.  The new HIPAA Omnibus Rules can be overwhelming, confusing and difficult to implement. 

It’s important to get your entire team trained up on these new HIPAA Omnibus Rules and also be aware of what HIPAA Auditors will be checking for at your dental office.  Finding a HIPAA Compliance Training Company that will provide comprehensive insight on these new HIPAA laws is critical.  Listed below are HIPAA Auditors top (6) favorite finable HIPAA offenses:

1.        Implementing all new HIPAA Omnibus Rules within your office— This means having all new forms and written policies to the new HIPAA Omnibus Rule standard in place and functioning within your dental office.  This will include:  new Patient Forms, New Proof-of-Employee Training and even new Vendor Confidentiality Agreements to protect your patient’s private information.

2.       New HIPAA Manual written to the new Omnibus Rule Standards— With HIPAA laws changing to this new Omnibus Rule Standard all of your HIPAA  required forms and policies within your HIPAA Manual will need to be revised and updated.  Best to update and obtain a new one.  Also, keep in mind that several forms will need to be updated for patients, employees and vendors with regards to HIPAA.

3.       New HIPAA Omnibus Rule Forms— As aforementioned, you will need new forms for all patients to sign, a new notice of these HIPAA Omnibus Rules, and Business Vendors as well as Employees will need proof-of-acknowledgement that they understand how to handle and protect Patient Protected Heath Information (PHI).

4.       Daily Data Back-Up & Contingency Requirements—  This is a grey area that leaves a lot to interpretation.  But it is also one of the first areas that a HIPAA Auditor will look into.  Make sure you understand how to best have your data backed-up to the standard:  “Off-Site & Encrypted”.  Best Practices will have you backing up to a cloud that is either “live-cloud streaming” or “snapshot” of your important business and patient data.  Talk to a HIPAA internet expert to make sure you get this one right!

5.       Encryption on Out-Going Emails from your office— If your office uses outgoing email accounts like:  Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo or Aol, and you send patient info within these emails, you will need to add an encryption software to your outgoing emails.  Your current dental software provider,  dental supplier or IT tech can help you secure this HIPAA required service.  Good news is that is does not cost much.  Usually just $2-$3 per month.

6.       Updates to your Microsoft XP Software— As of April 8, 2014 dental offices using Microsoft XP will no longer be HIPAA compliant.  Microsoft will stop providing free updates forcing dental offices to comply with the new Federal Standards.   If you are using computers within your dental office, you must have HIPAA compliant software operational within your office.  Upgrading to Windows 7 or 8 will do the trick.  These are written to the new HIPAA compliance standard.  

How do you feel now?  Are you HIPAA Auditor ready?  If not, stop stalling!  Find a HIPAA Expert that can help you scrutinize your HIPAA protocols and provide all of the forms, training and guidance you will need.  Get “hip” to the new HIPAA Omnibus Rules.

Written by Jill Obrochta and Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements.