As reported by NewsWorks, new HIPAA rules took effect in March and have recently been enforced. Many healthcare workers are concerned that with all of the regulations already in place, it may be difficult to implement new HIPAA rules. New updates include the expansion of patient rights. If patients pay in cash for procedures, they are able to request that the physicians don’t report the procedure to a health plan. Patients can also request electronic copies of medical records now if physicians have them in that form. Physicians will also now have to update their notices of privacy practices, posting them in their offices and online.
One of the most important aspects of new rules is that healthcare clinics have to amp up security plans to prevent a breach. If healthcare facilities do get audited, they will need to show where their protected patient information is and how they transmit it from one place to another. This is where having a HIPAA-compliant medical answering service can really help physicians and healthcare staff. The staff at a medical answering service is going to understand exactly what they need to do to comply with the new HIPAA laws.
HIPAA violation penalties may be anywhere between $100 and $50,000 so healthcare facilities and physicians need to take this seriously and make sure they are doing everything they can do to comply with new regulations. A medical answering service is a great way to ensure that all communication between patients and physicians is secure. With an answering service, you will rest assured that messages with sensitive information will be left in a secure manner and that there will always be someone to answer the phone and communicate with patients in a secure way.
It’s very easy to unintentionally violate HIPAA regulations, especially as there continue to be updates to the rules. Many physician’s offices who may be understaffed might overlook some of these rules, but this is a mistake. It could end up costing you more money if you are found to be in violation of HIPAA rules. Having a medical answering service is one way to ensure that all communication between your office and patients is in compliance with all regulations.