Thanks for Person-centered Tech listening to the Group Practice! On this episode of Person-Centered Tech, I talk to Roy and Liath all about COVID-related HIPAA concerns.
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Emails that go wrong are the most common cause of these types of errors. Typically, BCC wasn’t actually used but was thought to have been used, resulting in an email being sent to one client with information from another clIn some cases, it isn’t even the client who received information from someone else who has complained.d complained. Correct. Absolutely.
Definitely. It’s interesting that the person most likely to complain isn’t the one who is affected. Yeah, and I guess it’s always kind of interesting because filing a HIPAA complaint is quite simple. You will always be followed up on a legitimate HIPAA or non-compliance complaint. Yet, the question remains, how many of our, our group practice clients who have had this happen to them got audited in the wake of it? How many? I’m sure you got it. Impressive.essive. Definitely. They received a letter informing them that the complaint had been received, we have seen you, and we have seen what happened. Here are the resources you need to get compliant so it doesn’t happen again, it is basically, don’t let it happen again.
He says that if it happens Person-centered Tech again, or if we receive another complaint, we’ll be more likely to take action. All of their educational settings and everything else match what they have told us, so we asked, Hey, what’s gonna trigger an audit? In addition, if it appears to be a systemic problem, or if you’re really big, then you should go, right? I think that there can be a lot of harm done, because like, you know, there is potential to harm a lot of people. Do you agree?
I don’t want to let people think, oh, HIPAA doesn’t matter
It’s still kind of scary to get that letter, Person centered Tech and it’s still a little bit unnerving. And you definitely don’t want to attend! If you receive another complaint, you are likely to be audited again. Eventually, they’ll see you as a practice with systemic issues, which is when they get really irate. We’re going to address your systemic problems. Those problems are not for you. Correct. Additionally, if there is a security breach, you may be audited. As part of the breach, you have to notify the federal government, the HIPAA people, all affected clients, and the federal government. Again, depending on the nature of your breach, that may trigger a response, some sort of audit. The complaint could just be a letter with a note saying, hey, we saw this and make sure you get compliant again, which is more of an attitude.
HIPAA is not just about checklists.
You know, there are a lot of checklists, you know, and they are very helpful. However, we do not want people to aim for avoiding an audit at random. Having said that, it is unlikely you will avoid an audit at random. However, the most common complaint is when people feel that their privacy or the privacy of someone else is not being respected. Also, a big problem is when you don’t release records as quickly and friendly as the client would like.
Please be aware that this is not a HIPAA rule.
Although it comes from the Department of Health and Human Services, it is from another agency. Don’t you think? The agency is responsible for keeping electronic health records, or electronic health records refers to a specific type of record. We don’t keep electronic health records like 99% of the population. These are not certified EHR systems, just electronic medical records or practice management systems. We use the term EHR for convenience, which is fine, really, because I’m quite picky about terminology. Yet, in this instance, I am thinking whatever, it doesn’t matter. The new rule is making a big difference right now, as that determines whether or not your system must follow it.
I mean the entire progress report.
Instead of just seeing you and receiving a diagnosis. You often see your doctor and receive a summary after your visit. It’s certainly not necessary to push psychotherapy notes this way. But psychotherapy notes come with a lot of caveats. They’re their own thing. Everyone needs to be very careful if they latch on to that phrase, because, yes, the name is very misleading. Yes. Well, actually, that’s an entirely separate topic. I apologize. The idea is that you write your note, and then it pushes to the client portal, and that’s where the difference lies. Eric Strong, a mental health attorney and counselor based in Washington who is a good friend of ours, has been working with us a lot. Keeping insisting that people have always had rights like this, he wants to emphasize that this is not different. It is something we should adapt to. This is just one more thing we have to adapt to.