[ Monday, July 15, 2002 ]


Some ask, Is HIPAA really happening?

Good question.

There are some things that providers just have to do, and that they should be able to do without too much trouble. Things like consent forms, a notice of privacy practices, and the appointment of a privacy officer. For most providers, migration to the transaction standard code sets will happen when the insurance companies and other payors make the switch. For smaller providers, migrating to the transaction standards will be best accomplished by using a clearinghouse, which is a service that the small provider's billing company usually provides.

However, that still leaves the technical issues that providers will need to address, particularly the security issues.

The bottom line is that HIPAA won't go away, regardless of whether you pay attention to it or ignore it. And I still believe that the biggest concern HIPAA should cause is from a risk management standpoint: if you are not HIPAA compliant with regard to privacy and security and a patient's information is improperly used or disclosed, the patient will have a tailor-made lawsuit against you. I suspect there will be plenty of lawyers ready to take on one of those suits.

Jeff [10:25 AM]

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