HIPAA just got a little bolder!
This week I had an opportunity to attend a special legal update webinar about the new PHASE I & PHASE II HIPAA AUDITS that all healthcare offices are subject to --throughout the USA.
As a HIPAA Trainer & Coach I have to attend HIPAA updates constantly. While some are boring and tedious---this one had information ---that all dentists need to know about,see and be prepared to endure!
Historically, HIPAA Audits were the result of a patient or disgruntled employee report. As of 2016, the Office of Civil Rights / The Department of Health & Human Services will begin to randomly sending out (e-mailed) PHASE 1 HIPAA Surveys to healthcare offices. These government issued surveys will request detailed information about your HIPAA Practices. I had a look at this survey (and you can peek at it to-- click here). It includes a lot of questions that pertain to your revenue and income! It may even seem overly focused on income-- and pretty intrusive ---which might make you ponder---"What else will they do with this information?"
HHS/OCR will send these PHASE 1 HIPAA Surveys out via email--and they want you to watch your SPAM just in case the survey lands there. If you do not respond to the survey, OCR will use public info to create its audit subject pool. (which might be more private!).
If you get thrown into the "HIPAA Pool" then you can be subject to a "HIPAA Audit": A live visit and inspection that they are calling the PHASE II IN-OFFICE HIPAA AUDIT. Those audits can last up to 18 months and bring $10K to $150K fines typically to a small healthcare setting.
So what do you do? Make sure you have your HIPAA protocols prepared! Include:
HIPAA Omnibus Rule Employee Training with Proof-of-Training Certificate
Updated HIPAA Manual written to the Omnibus Rule Standards
(8) Updated HIPAA Forms---for use in your dental office
A written Risk Assessment Protocol for your office
HIPAA PHASE I & II Audits are real and they are happening now. Make sure to click those links above to be educated on how to best prepare.
If you need more help wrapping your head around all of this---feel free to email me privately or call me for a discussion. I am happy to help you get educated and organized with regards to these very robust HIPAA Omnibus Rules and the new PHASE I & II audits.
Privacy & Security--- now you know!
JILL OBROCHTA RDH BS
Dental Enhancements, Inc.