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Thread: ???hippa???

  1. #1
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Thumbs down ???hippa???

    Why is nobody talking about HIPPA ? I know it's been coming for some time now, but I called 5 O.D. offices today, and they all said they filed extensions, but none of the stafff actually know what it was all about.

    From the sounds of it, it is all-encompassing, to include providers of any medical service or product. Right now it seems to be focussing on electronic information, but soon it will cover all office procedures relating to patient privacy.

    If this plays out the way they say, I don't see how you can discuss someone's Rx with them in a dispensary, unless you are alone with the patient. They say that we will have to have the file room locked, w/ locks on the cabinets, and the keys to those locked. The receptionist will not be able to view any information unless it pertains to them checking in or out. All other info. is for the doctor only, and even then, only those files that relate to the issue at hand. (???)

    I went to my dentist Tuesday, and they have to remodel their office because the walls are too thin, and you can hear the drill being used from the other rooms. (Who hasn't heard that?) They already have filters covering all their computer screens, and they took me into an isolated room to ask me if anything had changed w/ my health since the last visit.

    How could our lobbyists such as NFIB, AAO, AOA, AMA, etc... let such a law go into effect.

    FYI: I called HIPPA, and they said that it was uneccesary to file that extension (how many did anyway?) that was due before midnight on October 16, 2002, unless you have more than 10 employees on staff.

    You think OSHA is bad ? It sounds like this new goverment fundraiser is going to make OSHA and the EPA look like a cakewalk.

    Of course, all you large multi-practice folks are probably up on all this, but most of my peers look at me like I'm speaking another language when I mention it to them.

    Can anyone enlighten us ?

    -Johns

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    Master OptiBoarder LENNY's Avatar
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    BTW

    What language are you speaking:bbg: ??

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    opti-tipster harry a saake's Avatar
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    Thumbs down hippa

    :finger: I was informed at my office yesterday, that the sign in sheets will have to be first name only, i guess its time to get out the old take a number routine. What a classic example of big government running amok. I wonder how long it will be before we have to fit everyone in a private room.

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    Because of hippa we are going to have to change our filing cabinets. When the office building was built in '68, it was built with built-in filing cabinets. Since there is no way to lock them, we are going to have to rip out these sturdy and functional units and replace them with locking filing cabinets that will probably amount to less file room and definitely amount to a 4-digit price tag. A total waste of money.

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    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    There's already a thread on this subject:

    http://www.optiboard.com/forums/show...ighlight=hippa


    OptiBoard Administrator
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    OptiBoard has been proudly serving the Eyecare Community since 1995.

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    Exclamation HIPAA -- do NOT panic but get moving NOW

    Johns, Harry, Paw, and all the other US-based folks on this list.... Do not panic.
    HIPAA is not the end of western civilization as we know it.

    Contrary to the statements made in the previous postings:

    1) Sign-in sheets do NOT have to be first name only,

    2) You do NOT have to be alone in the dispensary to discuss an Rx with a patient,

    3) You do NOT have to have a dedicated, locked file room with locked cabinets,

    4) Staff can look at the patient chart as part of handing their regular office duties,

    5) The dentist's office is crazy if they're putting up new walls to keep other patients from hearing the sound of drilling. Nothing in HIPAA requires that,

    6) Nothing in HIPAA requires that patients be taken into an isolated room to discuss if there have been any changes in their health,

    7) It is ABSOLUTELY wrong that you don't have to worry about HIPAA if you have fewer than 10 employees. If you do any of the tasks described in the regs (e.g., if you file ANY claims electronically or transmit patient records/information electronically) then you DO fall under HIPAA and must comply,

    8) If you did NOT file for the 1 year extention (deadline was this past Tuesday) of the transaction part of HIPAA then you have a problem. You are now non-compliant. And payers can now refuse to accept your electronic claims submissions. (It remains to be seen just how much collateral damage will result for the approximately 66% of covered entities that did not file for the extention.)

    HIPAA, while complicated and daunting, is based on a standard of "reasonableness." If you'd like a quick HIPAA education you can read the four articles I've published in recent months. Here are the URLS:

    http://www.gilweber.com/gw_pro23.htm

    http://www.gilweber.com/gw_pro33.htm

    http://www.gilweber.com/gw_pro28.htm

    http://www.gilweber.com/gw_pro29.htm


    Time to get cracking. HIPAA's privacy and security regs to into effect next April. You do NOT have much time and there's a lot to do.

    Gil Weber, MBA

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    opti-tipster harry a saake's Avatar
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    Angry hippa

    :angry: Well Gil, i,m glad you are happy with it, while you seem to be well informed about hippa, it still does not change my opinion that this is nothing more then abunch of useless , unneeded C___T, that will only result in a bunch of baseless lawsuits, probably in the most part by a bunch of sorry people, who thrive on this sort of garbage.

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    Exclamation Harry, relax, relax.

    Harry,

    Relax, Amigo. What makes you think I'm happy about HIPAA? Nothing in my reply should have given you that impression. I simply pointed out that the previous posters were under incorrect impressions as to what HIPAA is all about. HIPAA does not mandate the outrageous requirements described by them.

    And while you may be of the opinion that it's all "...useless, unneeded C___T..." (whatever C____T is?), HIPAA will not result in a bunch of baseless lawsuits.

    It's all about government regulations and compliance -- we have to deal with that as best we can. HIPAA certainly is NOT about lawsuits, baseless or otherwise, that will be brought by individuals against your optical business.

    So please, chill out and relax. You don't have to like HIPAA; nobody does. But learn about HIPAA and deal with it. Your choices are to do that, or get out of patient care, or stay in patient care but not in the USA.
    Don't kill me, I'm only the messenger trying to help.

    Gil Weber, MBA

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    Of course if they were "customers" and the spectacles were "optical products" as opposed to "patients" and "medical devises" hippa would have little or no bearing on what we do or how we do it.

    It's just a thought.

    Chip

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    I didn't say dedicated, locked rooms were needed. I did say locked file cabinets were needed.

    I suppose the idea is that the cleaning lady or the fix-it man could pull out a file out of an unlocked cabinet and read all sorts of stuff that is none of their business.

    Wonder what the cleaning lady or the fix-it man sees at the bank or the stock broker's office? That's private info too. Why not spread the joy around and make these rules apply to the world of finance too?

  11. #11
    Objection! OptiBoard Gold Supporter shanbaum's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Chippa

    Good point, Chip. One of the problems with the Privacy Rule is that all "personally-identifiable heath information" is treated the same. It's obvious that a person's interest in keeping his spectacle Rx private is very different from, say, so keeping the information at his urologist's.

    And paw, the Privacy Rule doesn't say anything about keeping file cabinets locked. In fact, there are no specific requirements enumerated (at least, not that I recall). The Rule comes down to, you must disclose only the minumum amount of personally-identifiable health information required to provide treatment and get paid for it. What constitutes the minimum is left pretty much up to your professional judgment.

    If your file cabinets don't lock, it would probably be sufficient to have a documented policy, the content of which is distributed through a documented procedure to all persons who might reasonably be expected to have access to your file cabinets, stating that only persons who need to open those files as part of the provision of treatment, or in the course of managing the business relationship with the patient (i.e., getting paid), may do so.

    At the very least, everyone should read the Privacy Rule; it's written in something very much like English, and is not totally incomprehensible. Because it includes numerous comments made by the public on the rule when it was in the "proposal" stage, which were rejected as well as incorporated in the final rule, you have to read carefully. You can find it at

    http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/

    Harry, I disagree with your assertion that this is "big government run amok". Big government would have done a better job. This is amateur government run amok. I think you're right about the lawsuits, though (sorry, Gil); there will be accidental disclosures of personally-identifiable health information, and The Lawyers will strive to characterize such violations as negligence or malpractice in civil suits, which wouldn't be nearly so easy to do, absent the regulations. Bets, anyone?

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    opti-tipster harry a saake's Avatar
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    Thumbs down hippa

    :finger: Gil, while i will learn to live with it because i have to, does not change my opinion about it. However you have to be dreaming if you think there will not be lawsuits.
    .....Whenever you have any government agency acting as a defacto attorney, you are going to have abuse of the system, more especially in this situation,as the misguided idiots that wrote this trash are going to want to justify its existence.
    ....What better way to make a statement then to drag in some MD. OD. optician, etc and make a public example. How long do you think it will be Gil, before we see billboards and tv announcements from J.J. Schmuck, LLC, atty. at law asking, "has your privacy been invaded", call 555-555-5555

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    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Gil,

    I did NOT say that HIPPA does not affect offices with fewer than 10 employees. I said that offices with fewer than 10 employees do not need to file an extension. The reason for this (Per Terry S. at the HIPPA information center) is that if you have fewer than 10 employees, you are supposed to be compliant with HIPPA already. An extension would not help if you're not compliant.

    Regarding the dentist: The office currently uses partitioned rooms where the drill can be heard from behind them. Conversation could also be heard from behind these "walls", and according to your article, this is a violation of HIPPA.


    Regarding the upcoming and fines:

    I'm sure that the OSHA laws were all well intended when they were written, but that is not much solace to the roofing company in Pennsylvania (Nov. 1994) that was fined $12,450 because ladders were placed at non-regualtion angles to the side of the building, or the trim carpenter in Ohio (April 1998)that was fined $4,805 for not having a GFI on his extension cords.

    And we've all heard that stories of the farmers that lost their property because they accidentally killed a rodent that was on the endangered species list.

    Regarding Harry thinking you're happy about HIPPA: I would think that a law like this would have the same affect on a consultant such as yourself as a big change in the tax law would have on an accountant.

    Finally:

    Thanks for the enlightenment ! You did answer many of the questions I had on HIPPA. I'm still wondering why so many offices seem to be doing nothing about it.

    -Johns




    :)

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    Objection! OptiBoard Gold Supporter shanbaum's Avatar
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    Question Ball of Confusion

    I haven't seen any reference, anywhere, to this alleged "10-employee rule" - perhaps some confusion arises from the exception to the need to file for an extension to comply with the Electronic Transactions rule afforded to "small health plans" which are plans comprising fewer than 50 members - these were granted an extra 12 months to comply to begin with. This extension business, by the way, relates only to the Standards for Electronic Transactions, and has nothing to do with the Privacy Rule.

    I'd be interested to know if there are ANY 'boarders who have actually transmitted claims for vision care services electronically. That does NOT include entering claims information on a web page, nor fax (including computer-to-fax) - the only mode I'm interested in is, software running on your ocmputer communicating with software on a payer's computer (or that of a clearinghouse). Has anyone done that?

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    I believe you are referring to electronic data interchange (EDI). I believe most ODs would not be involved in that. You would find that in MD offices and hospitals. In my previous career as an information systems auditor at a major university, the university hospital was quite concerned about patient privacy with EDI even then (late '80's, early 90's).

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    Exclamation HIPAA -- very long reply to your comments and misunderstandings

    Hi, gang. Sorry for the delay in replying. I've been in Orlando lecturing at the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting.

    I see many replies to my recent postings. Allow me to respond. Still a lot of misunderstanding out there vis-a-vis HIPAA.

    To Johns -- re: your Oct. 17 posting. I don't know to whom you spoke, but there is no "HIPAA" entity that one can call. You may have spoken to someone at CMS (Medicare) or DHHS (Dept. of Health and Human Services).

    Regardless, the person you spoke to was wrong, or perhaps there was a misunderstanding?? 10 or fewer employees has nothing to do with whether you needed to file for the extention by last Tuesday. If you conduct or will conduct ANY of the electronic matters I'll discuss below you needed to file for the extension and you must become HIPAA compiant.

    The only mention of 10 or fewer employees in the HIPAA regs has to do with filing Medicare claims. After October 16, 2003 unless you have 10 or fewer employees Medicare will NOT pay your paper claims. That's where the number 10 comes in.

    To Paw -- re: your Oct. 17 posting. Just because your filing cabinets don't lock does NOT mean you must rip them out and replace with locking cabinets. The HIPAA regs are written to require "reasonable" efforts. You need to think outside the box.

    For example, you might be able to install accordian grating that pulls across the front of your filing cabinets after hours and secures the records. You know what accordian grating is, yes? Remember old movies where there was an elevator operator who pulled a flexible grating across the entry to the elevator before taking it up or down? Or the expandable gates that parents install to divide rooms and heep young kids from wandering out of a room? That's the sort of thing I'm talking about.

    Or, maybe, you can install some sort of roll down shutter system. I have no idea what your physical plant looks like, but these might be possibilities. In any case, they might prove less expensive than removing and reinstalling an entire new file cabinet system.

    So looks for ways to protect the cabinets if you can't individually lock those cabinets.

    To Harry re: your Oct 18 and Oct. 19 postings. Let me rephrase my comment about lawsuits and HIPAA.

    To the best of my recollection the HIPAA regs do not allow an individual (the patient) to sue based on a HIPAA violation. HIPAA actions can be brought by those responsible for enforcing the HIPAA regs. So my statement that "...HIPAA is NOT about lawsuits, baseless or otherwise, that will be brought by individuals against your optical business" is accurate. Patients won't be able to sue you under HIPAA.

    Now, patients certainly might sue under state law. And there probably will be cases, maybe lots of cases. Remains to be seen.

    But patients have had that right for years under state law. Now, if patients become more aware of HIPAA they might point to it, and then use someone's non-compliance with HIPAA as ammunition to bring an action for violationg state laws regarding records confidentiality.
    I'm sure that makes you feel no more comfortable, but if you're compliant you should not be unduly worried.

    To Paw re: your Oct 19th posting. I did not say you said practices would have to have locked file rooms. Johns said that in his posting of Oct. 17 that started this entire thread.

    To Shanbaur re: your Oct 19 posting. Thanks for trying to maintain some sense of calm discussion to a very emotional subject.

    Regarding lawsuits brought about as the result of "...accidental disclosures of personally-identifyable health information..." The HIPAA regs recognize that there will be "incidental" disclosures of information (e.g., when two doctors are having a quiet discussion in the hall outside exam rooms), and disclosures of this type are NOT a problem as long as there are reasonable efforts to minimize such disclosures. You need to make appropriate efforts to keep the information confidential, but you're not expected to be perfect. I think that any attorney who tries to bring a case based on "accidental" disclosure, and who describes that as negligence or malpractice will have problems proving such if the practice has taken appropriate actions and can document this in its HIPAA compliance plan.

    That doesn't mean there won't be lawsuits. But I just don't think we're going to see the flood of suits that some seem to think are coming.

    To Johns re: your posting of Oct 19. My article did not say that the scenario you described in the dentist's office would be a violation of HIPAA. Please reread. You may have read something into my article.

    Practices need to take "reasonable" (that word comes up again and again) steps to keep conversations from being overheard. But the HIPAA regs do NOT require you to gut your office and rebuild the walls. And you do NOT have to build special rooms for discussions.

    For example, think about the check-in area at a hospital or large clinic. They might have 6 or 10 people doing patient reception and helping them fill out paper work. Currently the patients are probably all seated in a line, right next to each other.

    Does this mean that the hospital must now construct sound-proof partitions that extend to the ceiling so that the patient in seat #2 can't hear a single word of the conversation being conducted by the patient in seat #3? No, it does not.

    If the hospital puts up standard partitions (like cubicle dividers), perhaps 6 feet high that will probably be sufficient. It's likely to be viewed as a reasonable effort to prevent disclosure of protected information.

    Here is something quoted directly from a DHHS guidance report:

    Question: "Does the Privacy Rule require hospitals and doctors offices to be retrofitted to provide private rooms, and soundproof walls to avoid any possibility that a conversation is overheard?"

    Answer: "No, the Privacy rule does not require these types of structural changes be made to facilities. Examples of the types of adjustments or modifications that my constitute reasonable safeguards are:

    "Adding curtains or screens to areas where oral communications often occur between doctors and patients or among professionals treating patients,

    "In an area where multiple patient-staff communications routinely occur, use of cubicles, dividers, shields, or similar barriers may constitute a reasonable safeguard. For example, a large clinic intake area may reasonably use cubicles or shield-type dividers, rather than separate rooms."


    So, what do you do in your dispensaries you're thinking? Put up dividers? Build cubicles? That would obviously destroy the dispensary's functionality.

    Have you contacted your vendors to ask them? Have you asked the frame board and dispensing furniture manufacturers what they're doing -- if anything -- to address this in their new facility designs and remodels?

    Have you asked your state or national societies what they recommend? Surely they must be providing some guidance or they're pointing you to resources?

    Regarding HIPAA creating opportunities for consultants such as myself.... Yeah, that's going to happen. Change causes this.

    The help is there if you want it. But there's nothing to prevent you from doing all of this yourself. There are resources out there if you look.

    But at a minimum you'd be well advised to have someone reviewing what you're doing. It's not required, and maybe you're confident that you understand HIPAA well enough to go it alone. But there are consultants out there if you need help.

    And as to why so many offices seem to be doing nothing about HIPAA... Well, denial, denial, denial? The mistaken belief that if a practice has fewer than 10 employees it's not covered by HIPAA? Some/many other misconceptions? Anger and incredible resentment leading to stalling until it's too late????

    All of those, But remember "Denial ain't a river in Egypt." And denial won't get anyone compliant.

    Finally, these thoughts on all of the postings:

    If you did not file for the extension by last Tuesday you are now non-compliant. You cannot file at this point. The link has been removed from the CMS website. You're out of luck. Sorry.

    All covered entities will be required to begin testing their electronic compliance no later than April 16, 2003. That is a deadline everyone must meet.

    You ARE a covered entity and subject to HIPAA if you furnish, bill, or are paid for health care in the normal course of business and if you electronically transmit any health information in connection with a standard transaction (which includes items on this abbreviated list):

    a) submit claims,
    b) accept payment remittances,
    c) do coordination of benefits,
    d) check claims status,
    e) deal with referrals or authorizations,


    Finally, just a point of accuracy... HIPAA has two "A"s and one "P." It's not HIPPA.

    OK, enough already. You're all ****** off about HIPAA and you're probably angry that I'm telling you you're stuck dealing with HIPAA.

    Unfortunately, all of us have no choice but to get on with it and get compliant.
    I encourage all of you to read my four articles listed in my first posting.

    That's FREE information. Nobody's digging into your pocket for that.

    Gil Weber, MBA

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    Objection! OptiBoard Gold Supporter shanbaum's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Whoopa


    You ARE a covered entity and subject to HIPAA if you furnish, bill, or are paid for health care in the normal course of business and if you electronically transmit any health information in connection with a standard transaction


    Somewhat strangely put. Certainly, vision care providers are "subject to HIPAA", period. They are subject to the Standards for Electronic Transactions portions only if they conduct electronic transactions, whether "in connection with a standard transaction" or not - oh, wait, I get it - your use of the term "standard transaction" confused me; you mean one of the covered transactions, some of which you enumerate. We surely don't want to call those "standard transactions"; otherwise, what term do we use to distinguish X12N transactions from, say NSF ones?

    I haven't been able to identify any vision care providers who actually conduct such transactions presently, though I would think that there must be some, somewhere. Virtually all electronic claims are submitted via the web, and I expect that to continue unchanged. I also expect that if there are any providers submitting claims via non-standard transactions (e.g., NSF), that they will continue to submit exactly those transactions, and their payers will continue to receive them. What the Rule will do is force them to pass the non-standard transactions through a clearinghouse which will briefly turn them into standard ones, then back, and pass them on. They'll go this route, rather than implementing X12N on both sides, because it will be the cheapest option. The fact that it's supremely idiotic - well, I refer you back to what I wrote earlier about "amateur government".

  18. #18
    Master OptiBoarder Cindy Hamlin's Avatar
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    Here's a little HIPAA background from Primary Care Optometry News (couldn't post the link as there wasn't one!):

    PRIMARY CARE OPTOMETRY NEWS 7/1/02
    Implement compliance program, wait on HIPAA
    If you have not already, start following compliance recommendations. However, there may be more changes to HIPAA rules and deadlines.
    Charles B. Brownlow, OD, FAAO
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The past 2 years have brought forth some significant federal rules and laws that will directly affect the way you deliver health care. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) created the Compliance Program for Individual and Small Group Practices, and Congress created the Health Information Privacy and Accessibility Act (HIPAA). The compliance rules are already in effect, and HIPAA will mandate programs in every health care office some time in the next year or two.

    Consulting groups and health care attorneys are already hard at work developing programs to help you comply with HIPAA. I think it’s safe to guess that insurance companies, HMOs, hospitals, clinics and small practices have already spent millions of dollars developing forms and policies based upon the language of HIPAA.

    My advice is to be sure your office is well on its way to using the recommendations of the compliance program. Most of those are good common sense anyway and can actually enhance good patient care. The plan was created to put many of the same requirements on small practices that have been in place for hospitals and larger clinics for quite a while. Anyone who provides any services to Medicare or Medicaid patients is expected to comply with this program.

    As for compliance with HIPAA, I recommend you watch and listen carefully for the next few months — at least until Rip Van Winkle, MD, DDS, DO, DPM, OD, awakes.

    Protecting patient privacy
    HIPAA is the most far-reaching federal program in history for health care offices. It mandates that you send several forms to every patient, explaining what information you have, how you intend to use it and with whom you intend to share it. It mandates that you keep secrets secret and that you keep in-office communication quiet, protecting patients’ privacy with respect to their health information and the related financial information.

    This bill passed Congress in spite of resistance from many providers, insurers and their respective professional organizations. Many saw the tremendous potential costs of the program and protested. Many saw the tremendous burden of staff and doctor time devoted to compliance and protested. Yet the bill passed.

    I predict that the act will not be implemented as it is currently written. Already, Pres. Bush has given in to pressure from the providers and has agreed that some of the requirements should be relaxed. I say there will be more such softening.

    The first deadline for compliance with HIPAA was October 2002. That has already been moved back to April 2003, and I predict it will be delayed even more than that. The grassroots doctors of medicine have not yet been heard from, and until they are it is impossible to predict how sweeping the changes in this act will be or how long its implementation will be delayed.

    Preparing for compliance
    In the meantime, here are my recommendations for what you should be doing to prepare for these two programs. Put the medical records compliance program into action in your office, as directed by the OIG. If you have already implemented it, take a close look at it and refine it. This program should include a system of monitoring and auditing claims submission practices within your office to be sure each claim reflects the service provided and the record of that service.

    Adopt standards for your office with respect to medical record keeping and claims submission. These should include proper coding and billing, making sure all services are reasonable and necessary, making sure all care is properly documented and making sure all relationships with other providers and suppliers are free from any improprieties, such as kickbacks, self-referrals or improper inducements.

    Assign a doctor or staff person to act as the compliance officer for your practice. This person will read all information about compliance and will help others in the practice follow the rules. This person may be an outside consultant or an owner or employee of the practice.

    Develop a program of training/education for all doctors and staff to be sure that everyone understands the rules for medical record keeping and claims submission. The program would first identify who needs the training and what type of training is needed and then schedule training specifically for those who need it.

    The compliance plan should provide for detecting any violations of accepted standards for medical records and claims submission and provide a plan for correcting those violations.

    The compliance plan should make it very clear that all staff are welcome to comment on any apparent violations of standards and are encouraged to report those deviations to the compliance officer for the practice. Staff members need to understand that compliance is more important than damaged pride or hurt feelings with respect to record keeping and claims submission.

    The office should try very hard to apply the rules uniformly among doctors and staff members to be sure that all are making their best efforts toward appropriateness of the care provided and accuracy of record keeping and claims submission.

    Preparing for HIPAA
    Learn all you can about HIPAA and encourage your practice’s doctors and staff members to do the same. Use each staff meeting to compare notes and learn from each other about any expected requirements with HIPAA, implementation deadlines, modifications in the original requirements and sample forms to be used in the program. Sources for such information include:

    journals and publications, such as Primary Care Optometry News;
    information from professional associations and other groups, via newsletters and journals;
    Web sites;
    information from the federal government via direct mailings to providers and postings on key Web sites for the agencies;
    information from the lay press. Often, the nation’s newspapers will be the first to alert you of general news related to HIPAA and its potential impact on your practice.
    Legislators will respond to constituent/health care provider pressure and may suggest changes. Pres. Bush will continue to be pressured by providers and insurers to soften the impact of HIPAA. Patients will object to the increased cost of health care resulting from compliance with the privacy requirements and will pressure Congress and the President.

    For Your Information:
    Charles B. Brownlow, OD, FAAO, is executive vice president of the Wisconsin Optometric Association and vice president of operations of Practice Management Inc. He may be contacted at Practice Management Inc., 5721 Odana Rd., Ste. 102, Madison, WI 53719; (800) 827-1945; (608) 274-5044; fax: (800) 308-7189; (608) 274-2674; e-mail: brownlowod@aol.com.
    ~Cindy

    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." -Catherine Aird-

  19. #19
    OptiBoard Apprentice
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    Small clarification

    Shanbaum,

    Yes, sorry. I could have been a bit more precise.

    Correct, we're all subject to HIPAA even if we do not send/receive protected health information electronically.

    My comment was in regards to the "covered transactions."

    Gil Weber, MBA

  20. #20
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Gil,

    My mistake (I guess)...

    In your first article, you refered to conversation being overheard in common areas. I assumed that if pts. in the dentist office were hearing conversations from the waiting room, that would be a violation of HIPAA. Maybe my dentist is lying about his reason for the remodel and is just tired of the mauve wallpaper.

    Johns

  21. #21
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    conversations in common areas and HIPAA

    Johns, in my article I discussed being careful to guard conversations in common areas such as medical center lobbies and elevators. Those are places where one needs to be a bit more discreet -- where "incidental" disclosure might prove problematic as opposed to the same conversation held in a hallway within the doctor's office.

    As always, it's based on a "reasonableness" standard. Healthcare professionals are allowed to discuss patient care matters within the office or in a patient's hospital room or in the operating room.

    Gil Weber, MBA

  22. #22
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    Is Hippa supposed to be a new government agency or a new government problem?

    We would never have had problems like this if you folks had never invaded the South. Our government would never have involked such foolishness.

    Don't the Repulicans claim to be dedicated to doing away with this sort of Big Brotherism?

    Chip


    "If there is hope, it lies in the proles."

  23. #23
    Master OptiBoarder Cindy Hamlin's Avatar
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    chip anderson said:
    Don't the Repulicans claim to be dedicated to doing away with this sort of Big Brotherism?

    Chip

    Chip,
    I believe that HIPAA was the last parting bit of legislation signed by Bill "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" Clinton! It is my understanding that the Bush administration is trying to pull back some of the provisions.

    Remember that the Northerners are the ones that started the war with the motherland by throwing her tea into a harbor not far from Harry Jilson! So have a julep and calm yourself!:D
    ~Cindy

    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." -Catherine Aird-

  24. #24
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    1. yes, this is the legacy of Billary.
    2. The fine for HIPAA violations is 25K PER DAY.
    3. I am now the designated shredding officer in my office:hammer:

    We are trying not to go nuts in my office over HIPAA, but some of this stuff is truly rediculous. We now have to document every single scrap of paper that gets faxed, like eyeglass orders, we have 9 different log books to keep for various reasons, the patients now have 3 forms to fill out instead of 1, it just goes on and on. Now our ins. clerk is dealing with the new Medisoft program that I guess has something to do with all this, 2K was the cheapest program with NO tech support included. We have already heard about one OD who has closed because of HIPAA. I can hardly wait until next year, at least we filed the extension. Hopefully a lot of the rest of it will get relaxed or we'll all get tense!

  25. #25
    Bad address email on file Lisa Lingard's Avatar
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    Dr. Brownlow HIPAA seminars

    I just wanted to let anyone who's interested know that Vision West Inc. will be sponsoring two HIPAA Practice management seminars in California. The speaker will be Dr. Brownlow who was mentioned in a previous reply. These seminars will be held on January 14th at So.CA. College if Optometry and on January 15th at the Hilton San Francisco, Fishermans Wharf. The seminars will be from 6:00pm to 9:00pm and are open to all. Please feel free to contact me at (800) 640-9485 for further information.

    Thanks!
    Lisa Lingard

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