[ Wednesday, August 18, 2004 ]
Compliance and confusion:
As this article
in the Kansas City Business Journal indicates (free subscription may be required), many providers are still having some HIPAA teething troubles. The article also illustrates the difficulty in keeping all the moving parts straight. For example, it starts with a discussion of how EDI interfaces are causing more claims errors to occur; that's a "transactions and code sets" problem, and those regs were enforceable against providers in October of 2002 (at the latest), not April of 2003.
Reading between the lines, though, the article confirms that the biggest impacts of HIPAA are on patient interface and dealing with family members and others involved in care. Claims rejections have a bottom-line impact and will obviously get the attention of providers, but the rubber hits the road when the professional comes into contact with the personal: determining how to deal with patients' family members, and dealing with public contact (such as in the line at the pharmacy). Well thought-out policies and procedures, including physical layout of the public/professional workspace, are the key to compliance.
Jeff [9:32 AM]
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