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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
Facebook - Hidden Traps
You’re at your desk, working away, when you receive a message from a Facebook friend. You click on the link. Congratulations! You’ve just fallen for the latest social media adware scam. While little is known about the adware or those behind it, the adware uses Facebook Messenger to track your web...  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
IGNORE HIPAA AT YOUR PERIL!
Three years ago, Dr. Joseph Beck became the , sending a warning to dental offices nationwide about HIPAA compliance.  Until that point, dental offices had avoided fines for patient privacy noncompliance. The penalty Dr. Beck paid was not issued by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office...  Read More
Social Media Opens Door to HIPAA Violations
While healthcare practitioners have unique perspectives on topics of interest to patients, the demand for this information must be balanced with how information is used, who may access it, and who else it can affect.  Take some commonsense precautions with social media postings: If you wouldn’t say...  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
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
HIPAA Security: Are Your Patients Records Safe?
A former nurse from Midway, Florida was convicted of wire fraud, theft of government funds, possession of unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft. The 41-year-old woman was employed as a nurse in a Tallahassee nursing home.She stole the personal information of 26 patients,...  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
 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 Adware Scams Work and How They Work
You’re at your desk, working away when you receive a message from a Facebook friend. You click on the link. Congratulations! You’ve just fallen for the latest social media adware scam.While little is known about the adware or those behind it, the adware uses Facebook Messenger to track your web...  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
The Dark Side of Social Media Posts
Did you know that by responding to a patient review on social media you could find yourself in hot water with HHS and the Office for Civil Rights? That’s exactly what happened to a practice in Texas recently. Even if the practice manages to come away without fines for misusing patient...  Read More
GET "HIP" WITH HIPAA: Check Out this HIPAA Checklist of Requirements
As HIPAA Requirements evolve---It can seem impossible to keep up on the changes and updates. So many Townies are reaching out requesting a simplified checklist that can streamline efforts to set-up protocols properly within the dental office--to the new HIPAA Omnibus Rule Standards.HIPAA laws...  Read More
Is Your New Year’s Resolution to be HIPAA Compliant?
Now that the holidays and office parties are over, is it time to concentrate on HIPAA compliance? As I said at this time last year, making sure your office or practice is doing everything necessary to become or maintain HIPAA compliance is probably not at the top of anybody’s New Year’s...  Read More
Dental Offices May be Targeted for HIPAA Audits
A little over a year ago, the former Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Leon Rodriquez, referred to covered entities that did not realize they have business associates relationships in place. He went on to say that some business associates did not know that they were actually business...  Read More
The Cost of HIPAA Compliance for Small Healthcare Providers
Let’s start with what happens if you are not compliant: $1.5 million could be just the start of your costs. That is what the civil monetary penalties can be up to for settlements with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for HIPAA breaches. If you are not in compliance, you...  Read More
5 Critical Areas of a HIPAA Risk Management Plan
As the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Civil Rights (OCR) looks to ramp up HIPAA compliance reviews this fall, there is still sufficient time for small healthcare providers to review, update, and even start their HIPAA compliance documentation.As I have previously...  Read More
HIPAA Compliance:  Not on These Dentists’ Radar
Recently I attended a healthcare networking event and met a dental practice management consultant. After exchanging some opening pleasantries, we started an engaging conversation regarding HIPAA compliance for dental practices. With more offices turning to the use of electronic health records and...  Read More
Stolen Laptops Lead to Important HIPAA Settlements by HHS
The following announcement was recently posted by HHS-OCR:Two entities have paid the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) $1,975,220 collectively to resolve potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy...  Read More
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