June 27th, 2018 | Updated on June 17th, 2021
Since the debut of the Health insurance portability and Accountability Act in 1996, it has served the providers & the patients in many ways.
This bill has additionally tended to issues regarding patient confidentiality. With the invention of the digital platforms, such as Electronic Health Records (EHR), the focus of HIPAA has tilted towards patient confidentiality.
The introduction of the HIT for economic and the clinical health act in 2009 has become the duty of a medical billing service provider to comply with the mandate. Otherwise heavy penalties and fines are imposed if found in violation
A HIPAA violation fine can be very harming, not only to a healthcare facility’s finances but also to its reputation. The best way to avoid these fines is by not committing these violations.
The following are some useful tips for a billing service to avoid HIPAA violations.
1. Use of Protective Software
The first step is the most obvious, but it bears repeating. The computers at the medical billing services should have protected software such as firewall installed to restrain the risk of cyber-attack.
More significantly, the Personal Health Information (PHI) should be guarded by encryption software. This software works as a complete billing solution and is inexpensive, very easy to use and highly capable of protecting confidential data.
2. Have Clear Guidelines
Creating office-wide guidelines is a very important task for a medical billing service. Every individual working in the office should know about HIPAA compliance, and the seniors must relay all the information regarding HIPAA to staff in a clear, and concise manner.
The guidelines should include the information about the penalties and fines in case of any violation of the rules and regulations of HIPAA.
3. Provide Educational Seminars
As we are all familiar with the exhaustive nature of HIPAA rules, the confusion among the staff about HIPAA compliance is pretty common. The best way to avoid these confusions is to hold routine seminars regarding best practice procedures for HIPAA compliance.
4. Never Leave a Computer Unattended
This is the most common mistake that professional workers make. Leaving a computer unattended increases the chances of security breaches.
This is a common sense rule applied to all employees from executive management to receptionists that never leave a computer unattended.
If it is mandatory to leave it on, then the employees should log out their personal profiles from the computer.
5. Consider Hiring a Privacy Officer
According to the organization Dentistry IQ, it is vital for a large medical billing company to hire a privacy officer that focuses mainly on managing HIPAA compliance efforts.
6. BAN Taking Pictures
It may be surprising to hear that taking photographs can actually end violating HIPAA, but it is true. It is possible that a picture taken by a staff member could show other individuals or the computer screen in the background.
This picture may then end up being uploaded on social media sites, and the data privacy of the patient will be undermined, resulting in HIPAA compliance violation.
While complaints about these kinds of violations are very rare, it’s very important for medical services to proceed with caution.
P3Care is a medical billing service that follows the rules and regulations of HIPAA and avoids their violation.
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