Tag Archives: HIPPA

Accidental Violation of HIPAA Compliance

Patient information secrecy is of utmost importance for any healthcare organization and medical professionals due to the risk of being compromised, exposed or accessed. With initiatives and innovation in healthcare IT space by various federal agencies (particularly CMS) and health care providers throughout the country over the years, have embraced healthcare IT innovations to secure healthcare data.

Most providers even today use conventional processes to send and receive medical referrals which could lead to an accidental violation of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) rules which sets the standards to the use and share of patient-related information to ensure security.

In best practices, referrals are managed by referral coordinators who are in charge of sharing patient information, setting appointments and ensuring closure of the referral loop. The referral coordinator and other staff may be committing HIPAA violations in the following manner:

1. Triplicate Forms– Commonly, medical referrals are conducted using triplicate forms and it contains patient identification information. Such forms are circulated to the Specialists’ office and a copy is kept at the PCP’s office.

2. Patient Information Faxing– Hospitals and clinics relay a lot on faxing. Patient information for referrals are sent via faxes and it is not uncommon for providers to misplace such documents.

3. Use of Personal Portals and Storing Devices– For the ease of communication healthcare providers and referral coordinators repeatedly make use of their personal communication devices or portals like emails, cell phones etc.

According to HIPAA, all those above scenarios fall under the category of accidental violation of HIPAA regulations and such violators are subject to a penalty ranging from $100 dollars to $50,000 per violation depending on how the violation is categorized as.

It is not rare for providers to find themselves in these circumstances like many have in the recent past. Some due to negligence don’t comply with HIPAA regulations and on the other side of the spectrum for criminal activities involving staff misuse. Providers could take immediate actions against this issue and cut their risk in half.

a. Educating your staff on the threat to patient information, HIPAA violation and penalties involved.
b. Establishing standard procedures for staff to follow while dealing with medical referrals.
c. Likewise establishing security infrastructure to secure health data in hospital servers and cloud.

In the long run, these measures will not be enough. These methods do not have the capacity to manage large numbers of medical referrals and providers cannot divert much of their resources to maintain an IT team when there is always a shortage of helping hands.

Healthcare providers need to move away from paper triplicate forms and fax machines and embrace Referral Management Solution.

HealthViewX Referral Management Solution is a comprehensive, multi-channel solution that is secure as it is functional.

Era of A Personalized Care

Humans differ in terms of DNA & Genome Composition. This factor may not necessarily surface as a disorder or a disability but will create variations in the manner each person responds to drugs and treatment for a disease or a condition. In any given population, there is a chance that a group exists who do not respond to any given medication in the desired manner.

Personalized medicine is the practice of designing and conducting medicine tailored to suit an individual patient’s needs with procedures, drugs and treatment approaches. Personalized medicine has been the war cry for many healthcare reformists for decades, but now there is more likelihood of the general healthcare practice widely adopting the idea because of the following reasons.

Change in regulation
Change in attitude
Healthcare technology
The current model is ineffective

Change in regulations:

The US healthcare regulations are changing giving way to implement the new methodology of care delivery and management. The provider reimbursement is being made flexible allowing healthcare professionals the space to adopt their practice for the benefit of each individual. Change in regulations also will lead way to alterations in the structure of organizations; the organizations will be revamped to be more collaborative and serve a population that is demanding quality and services that match any other industry’s methodology.

Change in attitude:

Providers of today have many tools at their disposal and partially due to this reason providers are more willing to embrace change and improve the lives of those whom they serve. The complexity that the modern medicine requires and the practice of handling a large amount of data is almost impossible to manage and generate result without healthcare IT.

Healthcare Technology:

Healthcare Technology is improving and evolving tremendously, allowing both providers and the patients not only to keep track but actively engage in Care Management. The data that is collected by connected devices and the quality of information that is gathered by hospital systems allows for an in-depth analysis of healthcare conditions and concerns.
For those not residing in cities, Healthcare IT means fast care with the focus on those suffering from chronic conditions. In personalized medicine, Healthcare IT can be used to gather personal information and monitor the effects of treatment and medication, and also play as a channel to direct personalized care.

The current model is inefficient:

The current model is inefficient and rigid to incorporate the necessary changes that need to be made to accommodate all the variations required in care delivery. The results are varying and the outcome cannot be accurately predicted. The healthcare sector now works under the assumption that reaction to a medication or procedure is the same for every individual. This is a risky assumption and one which is costing the public their health and money.

Personalized medicine is the future of healthcare, it is the next big idea that is going to shape healthcare delivery for the times to come incorporating technology. We at HealthViewX understand this, and we are determined to create healthcare delivery tools that collect useful patient information to help providers make choose the right path always.