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Are You Ready for a HIPAA Audit?

Author: Wiedemann, Lou Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2017



Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from the new “External HIPAA Audit Readiness Toolkit” developed by AHIMA. The full toolkit is free for AHIMA members.


THE HITECH OMNIBUS Rule mandated that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) condu....

OCR Clarifies Policy on Medical Record Request Fees

Author: Greene, Adam H

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2016



In 2009, CONGRESS passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which granted individuals a right to have a copy of their records sent to a third party, according to 42 U.S.C. § 17935(e) of the regulation.


Unfortunately, many attorn....

Clearing the HIPAA Cobwebs: New ONC Chief Privacy Officer Lucia Savage Focuses on Balancing Privacy and Security with Expanding Interoperable EHR Exchange

Author: Dimick, Chris

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2015



The spiders of time have been hard at work on the US healthcare privacy and security rules, to the point that their place in health IT interoperability has become fogged and is inhibiting their proper role in the meaningful exchange of health information, according to Lucia Savage, JD, th....

Law Changes Patient Access to Clinical Lab Reports

Author: McLendon, Kelly

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2014



The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continues to look for avenues to allow greater patient access to their own health information so that they may be more active in their healthcare management. HHS recently created final rules that remove the Clinical Laboratory Improveme....

HIPAA Breach Enforcement Roundup

Author: Cacciatore, Victoria; Downing, Katherine

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2014



Criminal attacks on healthcare systems have risen 100 percent since 2010, according to a recent Ponemon study.1 This makes it obvious that the privacy and security of patient health information is vulnerable and highly susceptible to data breach. The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule became e....

On the HIPAA Hook

Author: Hicks, Andrew

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2014



Some healthcare business associates are still asking if HITECH-HIPAA impacts them. The answer is just as important to their affiliated healthcare providers.


Thousands of companies are now legally obligated to comply with the HITECH-HIPAA regulations because of their busines....

Checking In on Accounting of Disclosures

Author: Downing, Kathy; McLendon, Kelly

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2013



Accounting of disclosures (AOD) is one "patient right" listed within the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Since the rules were implemented in 2003, AOD has been a topic of much discussion but has not generated much regulatory action from the US Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for....

De-identification and the Sharing of Big Data

Author: White, Susan E

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2013



One of the newest buzz words in data analytics is “Big Data,” and the data created through the healthcare industry is some of the “biggest” around. The widespread implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) and the need to share data to measure quality and ma....

Breach Notification Triggers Receive Update

Author: Bowen, Rita K.

Source: Journal of AHIMA - website

Publication Date: April 2013



The HIPAA Omnibus Rule, the new Final Rule modifying HIPAA, was published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2013. The amended rule went into effect on March 26 and full compliance is expected by September 23. For HIM professionals, the most far-reaching of the changes to HIPAA is that....

Reviewing the New HIPAA Rules

Author: Dimick, Chris

Source: AHIMA regulation analysis | Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2013



At 138 fine-print pages, the final rule detailing the HITECH Act’s modifications to HIPAA privacy and security requirements is not a quick or easy read. But it is an important read since the content of the Federal Register post drastically impacts HIM professionals and their business....

Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; Other Modifications to the HIPAA Rules; Final Rule

Author: U.S. Office for Civil Rights

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services | U.S. Office for Civil Rights

Publication Date: January 2013

Rule modifies HIPAA by implementing statutory amendments under HITECH to strengthen the privacy and security protection for individuals’ health information; modifies the Breach Notification Rule under the HITECH Act, modifes the HIPAA Privacy Rule to strengthen the privacy protections for genetic information and makes certain other modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Breach Notification, and Enforcement Rules (the HIPAA Rules) to improve their workability and effectiveness and to increase flexibility for and decrease burden on regulated entities.

HIPAA Compliance for Clinician Texting

Author: Greene, Adam H

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2012



The HIPAA privacy and security rules need not act as an obstacle to efficient communications, but keeping texting compliant requires planning and diligence.

Text (or SMS) messaging has become nearly ubiquitous on mobile devices. According to one survey, approximately 72 perce....

The New Privacy Officer

Author: Dimick, Chris

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2012



It has been a decade since the first privacy officers took their jobs in response to the HIPAA privacy rule. A slew of changes since then have added more responsibility, required more skills, and demanded more time of them than anyone could have imagined.

When Nancy Davis, R....

Automation for Privacy and Security Compliance

Author: McLendon, Kelly

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2012


There has been a lack of enforcement of the privacy and security rules ever since HIPAA's inception. As such the adoption of comprehensive HIPAA compliance programs has lagged behind EHR development and implementation.

This in turn has caused little funding to be budgeted by provide....

Low-Tech Threats in a High-Tech World

Author: Rollins, Genna

Source: Journal of AHIMA - website

Publication Date: April 2011



Despite the rise of health IT, healthcare providers still face daily privacy and security risks of the mundane variety—paper records are misplaced, improperly disclosed, or released without confidential information redacted. No matter the opportunities and risks that technology bring....

HIPAA Violation? Sue Me

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2011


This is a true story that occurred recently in Indiana. Failing to collect payment for treatment, a medical group sent a patient to collections. In providing the unpaid bills to the collections attorney, practice staff failed to redact sensitive information. When the attorney filed the bills wi....

A First Peek at the Privacy Regulations

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2010


The office for Civil Rights got a late start on the HITECH privacy regulations (due last February), and it's clear from the draft rule it released in July that the office still has almost as many questions as answers on how to enact the HITECH provisions. However, the release does offer a good....

Smart Training on Privacy and Security

Author: Bacik, Sandy

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2010


ARRA's modifications to the HIPAA privacy and security rules are setting off a new round of training in facilities large and small. Trainers must fit the new training into existing schedules that already include organizational policies and procedures, HIPAA, and other regulations such as the R....

Smart Training on Privacy and Security (expanded version)

Author: Bacik, Sandy

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2010



There is plenty of privacy and security training to be done, and many trainers struggle to get resources from their organizations and attention from their audiences. Sandy Bacik, CISSP, ISSMP, CISM, CGEIT, is a principal consultant at EnerNex and a former chief security officer. Here she o....

Few Requests for Today’s Accountings

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2010


HIPAA’s Accounting of Disclosure Provisions Led to Few Patient Requests; Now ARRA Is Upping the Ante

Provisions within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act extend HIPAA’s accounting of disclosure regulations for providers who maintain electronic health records. The provisions a....

Accounting of Disclosures: ARRA’s Impact

Author: Rhodes, Harry B.

Source: AHIMA Convention

Publication Date: October 05, 2009


The accounting of disclosures requirement is one of the most difficult HIPAA privacy rule compliance issues to implement. Following the August 2002 modifications to the privacy rule requirements, the accounting for disclosures requirement has stood out as the HIPAA requirement demanding the big....

HIPAA: 43,691 Privacy Complaints and Counting

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2009


For those wondering what progress the Office for Civil Rights makes as it works through HIPAA privacy rule complaints, the numbers are easy to find. Each month OCR reports top-line results of the HIPAA cases it has received and resolved.

OCR has logged approximately 43,700 complaints....

Releasing Information of Deceased Patients

Author: Herrin, Barry S.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2009


Developed when modern law concepts were first formed, the mortmain, or “dead hand,” rule prevented the church from exercising undue influence over a soon-to-be-dead penitent to obtain a gift of an individual’s lands in remission of his or her sins. These statutes evolved over....

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