More on HIPAA and HITECH

TranscriptionGear.Com is hosting a group of seminars on the web sometimes called “webinars”. The purpose of these webinars is to reach as many individuals who work in the medical dictation and transcription field. Upcoming implementation of HIPAA and HITECH rule changes greatly strengthen the control of, and accountability for, patient health information. You owe it to yourself to take advantage of the presentation. There is no obligation whatsoever. We feel that it is our obligation to help get the information out to everyone that may possibly be affected by the changes.

The new procedures and requirements put teeth into the regulations that already exist and clarifies the responsibility of each player in the collecting, processing and storing of patient information. Since medical transcription is handled by so many different kinds of providers ranging from one doctor one transcriptionist to whole hospital and national or regional transcription services to in-house staff.

Everyone who comes in contact with a patient’s health information is held accountable for the security and integrity of the information they come in contact with. Failure to comply can lead to sanctions and fines for everyone involved from top to bottom within the organization.

HITECH: A Summary:

HITECH is concerned with defining the requirements for being compatible with the security and privacy regulations of the Privacy Rule. HITECH also facilitates the expansion of HIPAA standards that aid in electronic exchange of health information on a national basis to make medical care more organized and transparent. It is also concerned with putting forth incentives for covered entities that adopt Electronic Health Records (EHR). With HITECH setting new benchmarks for clarifying the requirements to become HIPAA-compliant, those who choose to be non-compliant have become more vulnerable to civil penalties. Further, non-compliance with HIPAA Privacy Rule almost, entirely excludes covered entities from receiving any kind of financial incentive for adopting EHR.

The HITECH Act can be understood as a regulatory measure that has been introduced in anticipation of the sudden rise in the volume of healthcare practices adopting EHRs due to lucrative financial incentives offered by the ARRA. Due to the implementation of the HITECH Act, all healthcare facilities and covered entities who consider themselves eligible for receiving these financial incentives are ensuring that they are full compliant with the HIPAA benchmarks or they face the risk of not only losing out on the financial rewards but attracting civil or criminal liabilities.

Note: The Privacy Rule lays down the standards that should be followed to become HIPAA-compliant but it is the HITECH Act that elaborates on the criticality of following these norms and lays down enforcement, accountability, penalty and persecution-related guidelines for those involved in sharing or accessing PHI.