HIPAA Privacy Rule, Patient Access, and Communications - New Guidance, New Issues, and New Threats to Compliance

Instructor: Jim Sheldon-Dean
Product ID: 704472
  • Duration: 4 hrs
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This training program will review why all HIPAA-covered providers need to review their HIPAA compliance, policies, and procedures to see if they are prepared to be in full compliance and meet the requirements of the changes in the rules. Compliance is required and violations for willful neglect of the rules begin at $10,000.

Why Should You Attend:

Changes modifying the HIPAA Privacy and Security regulations have gone into place to meet the privacy and security mandates within the HITECH Act. Covered entities, and particularly those that use electronic health records (EHRs), will need to meet the new access and disclosure rules. And if you are required to have a HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices, you need to update that to show all the new rights that patients have.

Medical laboratories are now required to provide individual access to test records, and will need to have processes to authenticate those who request information and the means to ensure that the correct results are provided to authenticated individuals. HHS has recently issued new guidance about providing individuals access to their protected health information, addressing the issues that have been raised over the last few years, including questions such as how to respond to patients who want to use plain e-mail or texting to communicate.

This webinar will review these new regulations and their effects on usual practices. It will show what policies and evidence you may need to produce if you are audited by the HHS Office of Civil Rights, which has already indicated that compliance with the rules on patient access of records is a significant problem that is likely to be a focus of the new HIPAA Audits in 2015.

The course will help health information professionals understand what they have to do, and when, and what to keep in mind as they move forward, in order to be in compliance with the new guidance and regulations. It will provide a comprehensive look at the changes in the rules on access and prepare attendees for the process of incorporating the changes into how they do business in their facilities.

Areas Covered in the Webinar:

  • Learn about how mobile devices, new technologies, and new means of communication introduce new risks and change the HIPAA compliance landscape.
  • Learn about the new access rights under HIPAA and CLIA regulations.
  • Learn about the guidance from HHS regarding access of PHI, and access of mental health information and minors' information.
  • Find out what the regulations call for and what processes you must have in place for the proper approval and denial of access as appropriate, including the required process for the review of certain denials of access.
  • Learn how e-mail and texting should be handled within your office and with patients, what can go wrong, and what can result when it does.
  • Find out about HIPAA requirements for access and patient preferences, as well as the requirements to protect PHI.
  • Learn about the training and education that must take place to ensure your staff handles access requests properly.
  • Learn about how the HIPAA audit and enforcement activities are now being increased and what you need to do to survive a HIPAA audit.

Who Will Benefit:

This webinar will provide valuable assistance to all personnel in medical offices, practice groups, hospitals, academic medical centers, insurers, business associates (shredding, data storage, systems vendors, billing services, etc.). The titles are:

  • Compliance Director
  • CEO
  • CFO
  • Privacy Officer
  • Security Officer
  • Information Systems Manager
  • HIPAA Officer
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Health Information Manager
  • Healthcare Counsel/Lawyer
  • Office Manager
  • Contracts Manager

Instructor Profile:

Jim Sheldon-Dean is the founder and director of compliance services at Lewis Creek Systems, LLC, a Vermont-based consulting firm founded in 1982, providing information privacy and security regulatory compliance services to a wide variety of health care entities. He is a frequent speaker regarding HIPAA, including speaking engagements at numerous regional and national healthcare association conferences and conventions and the annual NIST/OCR HIPAA Security Conference. Mr. Sheldon-Dean has more than 30 years of experience in policy analysis and implementation, business process analysis, information systems and software development, and eight years of experience doing hands-on medical work as a Vermont certified volunteer emergency medical technician. He received his B.S. degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Vermont and his master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Topic Background:

The HIPAA Privacy Rule has been in place for 13 years now, and many healthcare organizations have done what is necessary for compliance in the past, but a lack of compliance with patient access provisions, new guidance, new rules, and new issues concerning communications and new technologies complicate the compliance picture, and make it imperative that HIPAA Privacy Officers revisit their Privacy Rule compliance, and make adjustments to meet the impacts of the changes in the rules, technology, and culture that have taken place since 2003.

New technologies in communications and mobile devices are sweeping through healthcare offices, and policies and procedures, and the offices’ risk analyses must be updated to match the new risks to privacy and security. Patient rights under HIPAA have been expanded to include several new rights of access, and extensive new guidance from the HHS Office for Civil Rights has recently been issued on access of records. The guidance and the changes to rules having to do with patient access of records will need to be reflected in every health care-related organization’s policies and procedures.

HIPAA now provides for individual rights to receive electronic copies of records held electronically. Patients also now have new rights under HIPAA and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to directly access test results from the laboratories creating the data. Many labs that did not deal directly with patients before will now have to create patient-facing operations, and how they communicate sensitive results to patients will need to be considered. These changes must be respected by entities subject to the HIPAA rules through modifications to policies and notices, and training of staff to reflect the new requirements.

In addition, there are new explanations from HHS about how to treat access to mental health information and information pertaining to minors, including giving due consideration to patient requests and safety issues of the patient and others.

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