|In the News
HIPAA Compliance Audits at a Theatre Near You?
On June 10, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded to KPMG a $9.2 million contract to create an audit protocol and then audit covered entities' and business associates' compliance with the privacy and security requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The contract calls for as many as 150 audits of entities varying in size and scope before Dec. 31, 2012.
Co-Owner of Two Health Care Companies Convicted on Multiple Health Care Fraud Charges
On Friday, July 8, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services announced that the co-owner of two health care companies was convicted late Thursday on multiple health care fraud charges related to his participation in a scheme to defraud Medicare. Read the entire release http://go.usa.gov/Z6t
July 7, 2011
University of California settles HIPAA Privacy and Security Case involving UCLA Health System Facilities
Following an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the University of California at Los Angeles Health System (UCLAHS) has agreed to settle potential violations of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules for $865,500 and has committed to a corrective action plan aimed at remedying gaps in its compliance with the rules.
| Products now available in the HSG Store.
|We are also pleased to announce our Combo Package which includes:
- Business Associate Agreement: HITECH Ready Model Contract
- Breach Notification Framework
- Breach Notification Policy
- The Security Rule Under HITECH: a Business Associate's Perspective
HIPAA Breach Notification Framework
Our HIPAA Breach Notification Framework walks you through the process of analyzing security incidents to determine what actions you must take to ensure your response complies with the HITECH Breach Notification requirements. The Framework discusses HITECH breach compliance in simple terms and uses twelve flowchart diagrams to help you navigate the process. It also includes tools and templates that help "jump start" your breach notification compliance initiative.
Our HIPAA Breach Notification Policy
This policy implements section 13402 of the HITECH Act which requires HIPAA covered entities and their business associates to provide notification following a breach of unsecured protected health information. The policy was derived from our HIPAA Breach Notification Framework and is included as a FREE gift that product.
Business Associate Agreement: a HITECH Ready Model Contract
Our model Business Associate Agreement includes provisions that meet the requirements of HIPAA/HITECH and is fully annotated with links to the relevant statutory/regulatory authority that underpins each Contract clause. The Contract package also includes a complete "User's Guide," with a clause-by-clause explanation of the issues addressed in the Contract.
The Security Rule Under HITECH:
a Business Associate Perspective
The most important step for building a "good SR compliance story" is for the business associate to get started. The approach in The Security Rule Under HITECH is to build the story iteratively over time. Most business associates (large or small) will likely need help in creating the story. The framework discussed throughout this document provides a good road map to follow.
HIPAA Survival Guide Third Edition
The Third Edition of the HIPAA Survival Guide updates various substantive text of the first two editions and adds completely new material. The HITECH Act has indeed proven to be transformational. In order to deal more effectively with its changing regulatory landscape we have decided to release an updated version available here and on Amazon's Kindle platform.
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Welcome to the August 2011 HITECH / HIPAA Compliance Newsletter.
We are pleased to announce a discount on our HITECH Ready Model Contract for our Newsletter subscribers only. The retail price of our Contract is being discounted from $129.95 to $89.95. This discount will be available for the entire month of August. Enter the discount code of "HFBAA1" (without the quotes) to realize the savings. We are also pleased to announce our Combo Package which includes four products with over $100 dollars in savings.
The featured article this month is entitled Meaningful Use: How do you verify that you are meeting the requirements?
This article addresses the kinds of information that must be tracked in order to receive your EHR Incentives under the meaningful use stage 1 requirements. Clearly there is quite a bit of information that needs to be tracked, most of which will be coming from the provider's EHR system. However, the information in an EHR system is not static. Therefore, providers must capture all required information to legally attest to HITECH Act compliance as a snapshot in a point in time, which is not a trivial task given the complexity of the objectives.
Meaningful Use: How do you verify that you are meeting the requirements?
|This article addresses the kinds of information that must be tracked in order to receive your EHR Incentives under the meaningful use stage 1 requirements. Clearly there is quite a bit of information that needs to be tracked, most of which will be coming from a provider's EHR system. However, the information in an EHR system is not static. Therefore, providers must capture all required information to legally attest to HITECH Act compliance as a snapshot in a point in time, which is not a trivial task given the complexity of the objectives.
We assume that most readers are now familiar with the concept of meaningful use, but we will nonetheless provide a brief introduction to set the stage. We will also discuss other issues regarding meaningful use such as the attestation process, CMS audits, and tools that can help you comply. The focus here will be on Stage 1 meaningful use objectives and measures. Stages 2 and 3 remain too ill defined to warrant further comment at this time.
What is Meaningful Use?
The answer to this question warrants an entire article to do it justice. However, because the concept has been much discussed a brief over should suffice for our purposes. Essentially, if an Eligible Professional ("EP") or an Eligible Hospital (EH) meets the Stage 1 meaningful use objectives and measures with Certified EHR Technology then they qualify for the incentives provide for in the HITECH Act. Qualifications for incentives differ between Medicare and Medicaid. A good FAQ that provides an extended overview can be found here.
What are the 2011 Objectives & Measures?
Although the link above to the "Stage 1 meaningful use objectives and measures" contains the required information as regulatory text, it is otherwise more or less indecipherable from a practical perspective. This Meaningful Use Objectives & Measures presentation summarizes the information in a much more readable format (or you can review this spreadsheet if you prefer Excel).
The meaningful use policy priorities are as follows, not all of which have to be met for Stage 1:
- Improve quality, safety, and efficiency.
- Engage patients and their families.
- Improve care coordination.
- Improve population and public health.
- Ensure privacy and security protections.
In general, and as presented in more detail in the presentation above, the objectives and measures can be summarized as follows:
- Capturing health information in a coded format.
- Using the captured information to track key clinical conditions.
- Communicating captured information outside of the organization for care coordination purposes.
- Reporting on key quality clinical measures and public health information.
Of course the devil, as always when dealing with regulatory compliance issues, is in the details and in the processes implemented to ensure compliance. Neither the regulatory text nor a summarized view present and adequate roadmap for achieving the desired result. The remainder of the article attempts to provide such a roadmap.
| 3Lions Publishing, Inc. is now the owner/operator of the HIPAA Survival Guide website and the official sponsor of this newsletter. Our mission is to bring you HITECH / HIPAA statutes and regulations in an easy to read and digestible format, products that help reduce the burden of compliance, and "news you can use" via our newsletter.
We take a partnering and collaborative approach to the marketplace. If you would like to see specific topics covered in this newsletter, or additional products, then please let us know.
Carlos Leyva, CEO
3Lions Publishing, Inc.