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HIPAA Final Rule Compliance Deadline: Background

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Mon, Sep 09, 2013 @ 10:56 AM

An important deadline is coming up. By 9/23/13, healthcare providers need to come into compliance with the final HIPAA rule. Because our iClickCare hybrid store and forward collaboration system was developed with HIPAA in mind, we want to share some time-saving experience with you. This week, we're covering 3 aspects of the deadline. Today is overall background; Wednesday we're talking about steps to get in compliance; Friday we're discussing HIPAA and telemedicine.

Healthcare providers have a way of focusing on the "now." There's always another patient to see -- and future deadlines can slip. Plus, truth be told, we get tired of the endless regulatory hoops to jump through.

That said, it's crucial to understand our regulatory context, and the time to avoid expensive andHIPAA secure telemedicine difficult violations penalties is now. After the background below, jump to the button at the end of the post to start the assessment process immediately and quickly, without expensive consultants. 

Some background on this September 23rd HIPAA deadline: 

In the mid-90s, the internet bubble was expanding and the world wide web was born. Amid all that connection, concerns about privacy and insurance arose, and in 1996, HIPAA was passed: the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act. In exchange for the ability to transfer, access to continuing health insurance, and healthcare fraud monitoring, the act mandates processes to protect health information. It controls more than digital electronic information, however: it controls paper charts, locks on doors and conversations as well.

HITECH is the acronym for Health Information Technology of Economic and Clinical Health Act. It is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and stipulates that healthcare providers be offered financial incentives for demonstrating meaningful use of electronic health records. It also provides for penalties for not using them and increases fines and jail terms for disclosure of health information.

The 9/23 Deadline
Since the passing of HIPAA in 1996, rules and revisions have been added to clarify and add to the regulations. Most recently, in January of this year, the HIPAA "final rule" -- the 2013 Omnibus -- was released. Part of that release was a mandate that all healthcare providers covered under HIPAA must come into compliance -- typically involving an assessment. There are 492 questions that comprise the rule's components, though-- a daunting asessment for any practice.

The quick and easy way
We've created a tool that reduces the 492 compliance questions to only 32, while still meeting the HIPAA standards. You will eventually need more work in this area, but this is a start. Of course, be aware that we are not lawyers, you shouldn't take action on information in this post alone, and we do not represent the government.

Click below for a quick-and-easy version of the assessment and come into HIPAA compliance. 

Free Tool-Kit

Tags: HIPAA, HITECH, telemedicine and hippa, compliance

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