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LABS AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATE AGREEMENTS
Many Smart Training clients conduct business with dental laboratories. We’re often asked about Business Associate Agreements between our clients and labs.Many times, the lab has told our practice client that the lab is a Covered Entity under HIPAA, and that a BAA is not required.  However, if the...  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 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
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
Why Tell Patients You’re Safelock Certified®?
A recent survey conducted by health insurer Aetna explored consumer attitudes toward health care, relationships with their providers, and what they view as the most important aspects of healthcare. The Health Ambitions Study was conducted using responses from 1,000 consumers aged 18 and above, with...  Read More
DOJ Taking Hard Line on Individual HIPAA Violations
A former University of Pittsburgh Medical Center patient information coordinator has been indicted by a federal grand jury over criminal violations of HIPAA Rules. Linda Sue Kalina was charged in a six-count indictment that included wrongfully obtaining and disclosing the protected health...  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
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
HB300: The Real Thing!
In Texas, HIPAA and House Bill 300 have teeth.  But why should you believe us?     Ask the Lufkin woman who received 5 years’ probation for stealing patient information    Talk to the former Longview hospital employee who was sentenced to 18 months in prison for wrongful disclosure of patient PHI  ...  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
HIPAA THEFTS FACILITATE INCOME TAX FRAUD
Ever wonder where the criminals who file fraudulent income tax returns get the data they need to scam the government?  Consider Jean Baptiste Alvarez, a 43-year-old behavioral healthcare worker who stole daily census sheets from the 267-bed facility where he worked. The census sheets contained all...  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
 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
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