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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....

Information Governance for Offsite Data Security

Author: Saharia, Devendra

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2016



Disruptive technology can turn any industry on its head—virtually overnight. Just five years ago, summoning a taxi was an inefficient, time-consuming effort that often involved dialing up a dispatcher, who contacted a driver, who would then make their way to your location, perhaps in an h....

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....

Shifting from Reactive to Proactive HIPAA Audits

Author: Brinda, Danika

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2016



Stories about workforce members inappropriately accessing health information continue to plague the Department of Health and Human Services’ Data Breach Portal—which lists US provider data breaches that affect more than 500 individuals. Recently two data breaches reported on th....

Cybersecurity 101

Author: Lucci, Susan; Walsh, Tom

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2015



One of the most alarming statistics in the news, which is growing with intent and severity, is the prevalence of cyber-attacks, particularly in healthcare. It is an alarming trend that has gained a good deal of attention. For example, in July 2015, UCLA reported that up to 4.5 million pati....

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....

Industry Awaits Phase 2 of HIPAA Audit Program

Author: Asmonga, Donald D.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2015



The wait for the second round of mandated privacy and security audits from the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) continues. OCR is currently working through final details for the revised audit plan as they await finalization of new technolog....

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....

HIPAA Security Overview - Retired

Author: Miaoulis, William M

Source: AHIMA practice brief

Publication Date: November 2013


Editor’s note: This update replaces the April 2004 and the November 2010 practice briefs titled “A HIPAA Security Overview.”


The HIPAA security rule has remained unchanged since its implementation more than a decade ago. However, the Health Information Technology for Economic a....

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....

Adapting BA Practices to Meet the Omnibus Rule

Author: McSteen, Thomas

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2013



The 2013 HIPAA Omnibus Rule marks a key milestone for implementation of the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). One of the most far-reaching impacts of HITECH and the Omnibus Rule is that business associates (BA) and their subcontractors now mu....

HIPAA Changes Call for Revising BA Agreements

Author: McDavid, Jan P

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2013



Business associates (BAs) of HIPAA-covered entities like hospitals and doctor's offices should already be intimately acquainted with HIPAA's privacy and security regulations. BAs should already have business associate agreements with every covered entity with whom they work and assume resp....

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....

The Year That Was and the Year to Be

Author: Asmonga, Donald D.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2011


The second session of the 111th Congress began with the Democrats in firm control of the House and Senate. Working from their position of power enabled the Democrats to pass healthcare reform.

Although Congress was mired in contentious debates, AHIMA still advocated for its public po....

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....

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