HIPAA Spoken Here

Helpful tips and straight talk about HIPAA compliance

Most HIPAA Checklists Are a Waste of Time. Here’s Why.

Just now, out of curiosity, I Googled the words “HIPAA compliance checklist.” Within .20 seconds I got 2,470,000 results. Page after Google page of businesses, legal firms, healthcare organizations, and government agencies offering everything from “Ten-Point HIPAA Checklists” to “$89 Compliance Checklists.” The appeal of such lists is undeniable. Knowing what I know about HIPAA and its complexity, I can easily understand how a simple checklist might be viewed as a possible compliance solution. Putting “X’s” in little boxes next to questions on a checklist downloaded from an official-looking website sure beats reading the 500+ pages of the Omnibus Rule. […]

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HIPAA, Britney Spears, and Protected Health Information

I don’t know much about Ms. Spears. I’ve no idea who she’s paired with at the moment. And if I saw an Enquirer headline that read, “North Woods Shocker: Britney Marries Bigfoot,” I would not be tempted to buy a copy. But a lot of people are  curious about celebrities like Britney Spears or Kim Kardashian or Maria Shriver. In several incidents in recent years, their curiosity has cost them their jobs in healthcare. Today I’m going to talk about what can be learned about HIPAA compliance from cases like that — even if the only celebrity who ever visits […]

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Are Templates for HIPAA Policies & Procedures a Good Idea?

Some providers believe the solution to HIPAA’s Policies and Procedures requirement is to buy a bunch of templates, fill in all the blanks that say NAME OF YOUR PRACTICE HERE, put those pages in a binder, slide the binder on a shelf, and be done with it. Templates can provide an acceptable starting point, but Policies and Procedures need to be specific to each practice.

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Quick Tip: A Short Guide to a HIPAA Compliant Shredding

Today, let’s do some trash talkin’ – and take a look at the HIPAA compliant way to dispose of papers that contain Protected Health Information (PHI). Even if much of your PHI is now in digital form (ePHI) and your office is well on its way to becoming paperless, chances are you still need a shredder every now and then. Whether it’s a stack of old color-coded files that have been recently scanned or last week’s patient sign-in sheets, HIPAA requires that PHI on paper be safely disposed when it’s no longer needed.   Paper records containing PHI should never […]

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