Medical Billing Forum

General Category => General Questions => Topic started by: medbillgirl on October 07, 2011, 10:18:07 AM

Title: How do you become HIPAA compliant?
Post by: medbillgirl on October 07, 2011, 10:18:07 AM
Is there any course or certification class that we can take to become HIPAA compliant? 
Title: Re: How do you become HIPAA compliant?
Post by: Michele on October 07, 2011, 05:52:36 PM
Taking a course or class doesn't make you HIPAA compliant.  As a billing service you need to be aware of all of the HIPAA regulations and make sure you/your office are compliant.  For example, do you rent space?  Who has access?  Are your computers password protected?  Are your records in locked file cabinets?  Stuff like that.  Also, your claims submissions must be HIPAA compliant as well but if you are submitting thru a clearinghouse you just need to make sure they are 5010 ready. 
Title: Re: How do you become HIPAA compliant?
Post by: PMRNC on October 12, 2011, 06:53:34 AM
Computer (individual login's for each person)  Minimum access to only those with "need" to know.  Full encryption for emails with ANY PHI. Email addresses alone are considered a part of PHI.  Fax machine (not accessible to any one w/out need to know) charts kept behind counters, papers/and all PHI related things should also not be left out. Filing cabinets with patient files and PHI MUST be locked and kept away from those w/out need to access. Those are just a few things.. I'm sure I left out a lot..   There should be a full, and well - documented compliance plan along with office polices and procedures.   Also important is to consult with HIPAA regulations and first determine if you are a covered entity or a business associate. Some billing companies (depending on their services) are covered entities along with clearinghouses. Know all aspects of HIPPA and general compliance, put a plan in action, document it and follow. 
Title: Re: How do you become HIPAA compliant?
Post by: medbillgirl on October 13, 2011, 05:24:50 PM
Thank you very much for your replies!!  I was aware of the HIPAA regulations, but I wanted to be certain whether a certification was required by law. Thanks!
Title: Re: How do you become HIPAA compliant?
Post by: PMRNC on October 25, 2011, 08:39:05 AM
There's not a "certification" per se, but EVERY billing company should have (and readily available to potential clients and existing clients) a full compliance manual. At AMA conferences when the AMA addresses outsourced and third party billing companies, one of the things they tell physicians is to LOOK at the company's compliance manual and P&P..  don't get caught off guard by a provider asking to see it. Also this is a VITAL piece of the road map in your business.   In reading forum's here and everywhere I can see about 80% of all questions asked can be found in the provider's or billing companies P&P and compliance manual. This is why you will see me ask what that says in some situations where there is a question such as "Is it ok for us to waive a patient's copay?"  That's first place MOST questions can be answered from and if there isn't one in existence.. that's a problem.