With Healthcare Reform becoming a reality and the ever evolving technology’s impact on the industry, this year’s HBMA Spring Conference will be more topical than ever. Check out our preview of what’s in store for those who will be in attendance.
By Roxanne Smith-Kovac, CHBME
Our company is based in California which can be a very expensive place to live. Flexibility is the key to future success when it comes to attracting and retaining a competent staff. We all know the amount of time it takes to train a really good employee. When some of mine could not afford to buy houses here and were planning on moving out of state, I jumped on the teleworking bandwagon. We have an internet based software program that can be accessed from anywhere (I’m still trying to get someone to move to Hawaii) so the location of where they live has become a moot point. We also use a scanning program that has this same accessibility, so the logistics of how they access their work, has been solved electronically. No more shipping and tracking the hard copy.
Roxanne Smith-Kovac Principal, Precision Medical Management, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
Third Party Medical Billing and EHR
Medical practices and healthcare organizations are reviewing electronic healthcare records (EHR) more carefully due to a wide range of factors, including stimulus money and patient interest in interacting with physicians over the Internet. The focus of technology used in the medical office is shifting from appointment scheduling and billing to patient service and elimination of paper records.
Ronald Sterling, President of Sterling Solutions, is a nationally recognized expert on medical billing and electronic healthcare record systems. He authored the HIMSS Book of the Year Award winning Keys to EMR Success. Ron.email@example.com
EHR Integrity Issues
Some of the reported benefits of the electronic medical record are beginning to look like liabilities. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, at least 38 healthcare entities have reported a privacy breach affecting at least 500 covered individuals. Organizations involved include hospitals, physicians and health insurers. In most cases, the information was accessed via stolen computers, theft of portable electronic devices such as flash drives, hacking and unauthorized access to computer systems. While the electronic age has revolutionized the medical industry, it has also spawned a need to ensure safeguarding the patient’s confidentiality. The consequences for the victimized patient can range from having an illness or medical condition made public (especially problematic for public figures whose health issues can be sold to tabloid press) to identity theft.
Cindy C. Parman, CPC, CPC-H, RCC
Privacy/Security Compliance vs. Meaningful Use Mandates
While the presentation entitled “Privacy & Security Compliance as it Relates to Meaningful Use” will focus on the cross over between Privacy/Security and the steps a medical provider/group needs to take to meet Meaningful Use status, it will also address important changes in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009/Health Information Technology Education and Clinical Health Act (ARRA/HITECH). These changes impact medical providers/groups but they also greatly affect billing companies and other Business Associates who support the HIPAA covered provider entities. For example, every business associate will need to conduct an “accurate and thorough assessment of potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information” that the business associate handles on behalf of the HIPAA covered entity.”
Lesley Berkeyheiser is affiliated with N-Tegrity Solutions Group. Lesley.firstname.lastname@example.org