Hayes' Healthcare Blog

What Closing the HIPAA Gaps Means for the Future of Healthcare Privacy, Kirk J. Nahra

Posted by Kirk J. Nahra on July 29, 2015 at 9:00 AM

 

What Closing the HIPAA Gaps Means for the Future of Healthcare Privacy

By Kirk J Nahra, Partner and Chair of Privacy and Data Security Practice at Wiley Rein, LLP.

By now, most people have felt the effects of the HIPAA Privacy Rule (from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). HIPAA has set the primary standard for the privacy of healthcare information in the United States since the rule went into effect in 2003. It’s an important rule that creates significant baseline privacy protections for healthcare information across the country.

Yet, from the beginning, important gaps have existed in HIPAA – the most significant involving its “scope.” The rule was driven by congressional decisions having little to do with privacy, but focused more on the portability of health insurance coverage and the transmission of standardized electronic transactions.

Because of the way the HIPAA law was crafted, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could only write a privacy rule focused on HIPAA “covered entities” like healthcare providers and health insurers. This left certain segments of related industries that regularly use or create healthcare information—such as life insurers or workers compensation carriers— beyond the reach of the HIPAA rules. Therefore, the HIPAA has always had a limited scope that did not provide full protection for all medical privacy.

So why do we care about this now?

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Topics: HIPAA, healthcare privacy and security, healthcare leaders, electronic healthcare information, insurance, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series

Effective Project Management: How to Prioritize When Everything is Urgent

Posted by Zoe Shiovitz on July 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM

We have all had those days where we receive competing requests that require our immediate attention; the days where you have tasks x, y, & z on your to-do list, they are all high priority, and they all need to be addressed immediately. You're only one person, so how do you prioritize which request gets completed first?

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Topics: healthcare customer service, ehr implementation planning, clinical optimization, revenue cycle optimization

The Other Side of the Implementation Coin: Decommissioning Legacy Systems

Posted by Rena Hrivnak on July 15, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Implementation isn't just about the new system, there's also the process of taking the necessary steps to decommission legacy applications. The health system is in agreement that the application needs to be retired, but is unsure as to when and how the retirement process should begin. There are three major areas to consider when planning out the phases of the decommissioning project: Content (Clinical or A/R), Type (if the application is a utility type application or if it holds data), and Contract (if the contract is expired or is there an active application contract). Here are some tips to help you through the decommissioning process.

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Topics: healthcare system migration, clinical optimization, EHR implementation

Understanding Referral Leakage: Identifying Preventable versus Expected

Posted by Tamarah Alexander on July 8, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Drip. Drip. Drop. That’s the sound of leakage. How are you managing your organization's outgoing referral population? Are you measuring and tracking the number of outgoing referrals? How well is your organization managing the coordination of patient care? Understanding why patients are seeking services outside of the proverbial footprint of your organization is crucial to your success.   When evaluating the details, it is important to know the “why”: why are patients being referred outside the organization or why they are choosing to leave the organization. Understanding the “why” will help you to identify service gaps and begin offering the services that meet the needs of your patient population.

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Topics: healthcare optimization, patient satisfaction, revenue cycle management, referrals

System Implementation: 4 Stumbling Blocks to Avoid

Posted by Steven Botana on July 1, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Every organization, at one time or another, goes through some type of system upgrade or implementation. Common practice is to develop a very detailed project plan. These documents are laid out to ensure that all tasks are performed and that all deadlines are met. Meetings are scheduled, milestones are agreed upon, and staff are informed of what to expect. Unfortunately what may look like a well thought out plan on paper may not address the day-to-day issues that can often disrupt a thoughtful plan.

So how do you prevent this kind of interruption? It is good practice to think about possible stumbling blocks that can cause employee angst, reworking of project plans, and/or potential deadline delays. Take a look at the following potential road blocks and how to prevent them.

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Topics: ehr implementation planning, clinical optimization, system implementation

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