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Questions Surround Houston Breach
Paperwork containing PHI from approximately 1800 patients has been discovered abandoned in a Houston street by an employee of TV station KBOU.HIPAA Journal reports that the paperwork contained information such as patients’ names, birth dates, diagnoses, treatment information, medications, vital...  Read More
HIPAA: Who Can You Trust?
A tenured employee of the emergency department of Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn is alleged to have stolen the protected health information of at least 100 individuals while working at the hospital and disclosed that information to another individual using an encrypted smartphone app.In June...  Read More
Nurse Fired for Social Media Violation
A nurse at a Texas children’s hospital has been fired for violating HIPAA by posting protected health information on a social media website.The pediatric nurse posted comments on Facebook about a rare case of measles at the hospital.  While the nurse did not post the child’s name on Facebook, her...  Read More
Risks to Privacy:  Focused on the Wrong Things?
The Center for Identity at the University of Texas at Austin reminds us that the odds of dying in an airplane crash this year are approximately 1 in 11,000,000.  The odds of your pre-18 child being abducted by a stranger are 1 in 1.5 million.   However, your odds of being an identity theft victim...  Read More
HIPAA Changes Unlikely for 2019
Smart Training’s Certified HIPAA Professional says it’s unlikely there will be any substantive changes to patient privacy documents or to HIPAA policies for 2019. “I think we’re a couple of years away from seeing big changes in the way HIPAA is managed and enforced,” Jim Moore said recently.  “That...  Read More
HIPAA – A Role of the Compliance Dice
by Jay Hodes - President, Colington ConsultingSome organizations may view HIPAA compliance as a roll of the dice because, let’s face it, the chances of any type of random audit are slim to none. Those are pretty good odds, right? The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the agency that enforces HIPAA...  Read More
HIPAA – Why is Compliance So Hard to Achieve?
by Jay Hodes - President, Colington ConsultingIf you track the healthcare sector like I do, then it should not come as a big surprise how many HIPAA data breaches are occurring on a regular basis. Almost every day there is another news article announcing breaches large and small. Why is that? Why...  Read More
HHS Promises HIPAA Review
 At a July 27 address at The Heritage Foundation, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, explained that HHS will be undertaking several updates to health privacy regulations over the coming months, including updates to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act...  Read More
HIPAA Class Action Lawsuits a Reality
For the past several years, we’ve been warning clients of the dangers of class action lawsuits filed against practices that breach patient privacy.  A good example is the class action lawsuit filed in the wake of an employee-related data breach at Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Alabama in 2014. In...  Read More
What Are HIPAA Physical Safeguards?
Under HIPAA, specific procedures and physical protection must safeguard office computers and related equipment from damage or theft.  About 1 in 5 Smart Training clients haven’t taken any action to secure their server from theft.  This is especially important because many popular operating software...  Read More
HIPAA Compliance the Fast and Easy Way With Dr. Jeff Brown
HIPAA Compliance the Fast and Easy Way With Dr. Jeff BrownJoin me for episode 113 of the Delivering WOW podcast for my interesting discussion with Dr. Jeff Brown about making HIPAA compliance fast and easy for dentists.Dr. Jeff Brown is obsessed with creating easy to use software to end the...  Read More
Are Your BAAs Current?
Business Associate Agreements – BAAs – are the Achilles’ Heel of many healthcare office privacy strategies.  That’s because, like many aspects of privacy regulation, BAAs evolve over time.  Consequently, even when Business Associate Agreements are held for all vendors, they may not be HIPAA...  Read More
Episode 14: Why HIPAA Is Good For You
Dr. Bryan Laskin addresses both the challenges and renovations within the dental industry regarding compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. He also looks at new ways to use those processes to create efficiencies in your practice.Why HIPAA Is Good For YouFind us  on...  Read More
Social Media and HIPAA
Your office staff may not be aware that social media opens the doors to all sorts of HIPAA violations.  Take some commonsense precautions with postings:If you wouldn’t say it in your waiting room, don’t say it online.  Read social media content aloud before you post it.  If there’s information you...  Read More
Had a Business Associate Tell You They’re HIPAA Certified?
 Many vendors would like HIPAA certification to confirm they are fully compliant with HIPAA Rules and understand all aspects of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), but is it possible to obtain HIPAA certification to confirm HIPAA compliance?Many companies claim they...  Read More
Finally … HIPAA-Compliant Texting and Collaboration
For busy dental professionals, convenient, worry-free communication and optimized workflow are essential elements of daily practice.  Our Certified HIPAA Professionals are continually asked to recommend HIPAA-complaint communication solutions.   Until recently, those recommendations were fraught...  Read More
WHAT ABOUT ENCRYPTED EMAIL? Part II
HIPAA requires both Covered Entities and Business Associates to retain past email communications containing ePHI. The retention period is 6 years. For any healthcare organization, no matter the size of the practice, storing 6 years of emails and attachments requires considerable storage space....  Read More
WHAT ABOUT ENCRYPTED EMAIL?
Many Smart Training clients send Protected Health Information via email but are unsure how to make their email HIPAA compliant.  To add to the challenge, many email service providers offer an encrypted email service, but not all are HIPAA compliant – and few actually incorporate the necessary...  Read More
YOUR OFFICE, HIPAA AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Many times, HIPAA violations are caused by well-meaning staff members. More and more often, violations occur because of inappropriate use of social media. Staff members should be trained on the ‘Golden Rule’ of social media usage; if they wouldn’t say it in an elevator, they shouldn’t say it...  Read More
2018 New HIPAA Policies
One of the most valuable elements of Smart Training’s client offerings is our comprehensive HIPAA Policies and Procedures document, which offers more than 40 required patient privacy guidelines to client offices.Beginning in 2018, four new topics will be addressed by HIPAA Policies:    A new Cell...  Read More
Are Your Posts Breaching Patient Privacy?
Many dentists and dental office employees don’t realize that any social media discussion of patient treatment – even posts that do not identify a patient by name – can violate HIPAA.Because social media is still evolving, most offices have no social media policy and haven’t given much thought to...  Read More
 HIPAA WARNING FROM ADA CHAIR IN WAKE OF DENTIST FINE
Until two years ago, dental offices had avoided fines for HIPAA noncompliance.  In 2015, Dr. Joseph Beck became the first dentist to be fined for a HIPAA violation, which sent a warning to dental offices nationwide about HIPAA compliance. Interestingly, the penalty Dr. Beck paid was not issued by...  Read More
How Secure is Your Office’s WiFi Network?
If you offer patients a WiFi network to access when they are in your office waiting room, your practice is liable for any criminal activity that transpires.  Considering that nothing on the internet is really secret, this is a serious concern.You may provide a ‘splash page’ containing an acceptable...  Read More
How To Protect Patient Data Part 3: HIPAA's Physical Safeguards
The HIPAA Security Rule defines physical safeguards as “physical measures,policiesand procedures to protect electronic information systems from natural and environmental hazards and unauthorized intrusion.”In 2012, when Hurricane Sandy breached lower Manhattan, officials estimated that...  Read More
How To Protect Patient Data Part 2: Social Media Posts
By responding to a patient review on social media recently, a Texas dentist found himself in hot water with HHS and the Office for Civil Rights. While the dentist wasn’t fined formisusingpatient information, he did have to spend money for specialized legalcounsel,and likely spent many...  Read More
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