Roughly a year and a half ago, the sudden spread of COVID-19 quickly turned telehealth solutions into necessary tools for specialty practice as they struggled to continue providing care when lockdowns and forced closures were put in place. While the widespread use of connected care was already on the horizon, there is no doubt that the current levels of telehealth adoption were heavily accelerated by the pandemic. This began when a large number of states enacted temporary waivers of preexisting HIPAA rules and other regulations to allow for faster and easier use of telehealth solutions during the public health emergency.
The COVID-19 pandemic definitely shined a spotlight on the topic of burnout, especially among providers and staff working in hospitals or first-responder environments. Now, as the pandemic winds down, these healthcare workers are finally starting to experience a bit of relief. However, for providers in specialty practices, the opposite is occurring. Workloads for specialty practices are actually ramping up now, as patients feel safe enough to return for elective procedures that were delayed during the pandemic. Sadly, specialty providers have already been ranked among the top sufferers of burnout for over five years now. This is why it is so important for specialty practices to address burnout now, to avoid allowing this new surge to damage productivity.
Poor management of a practice’s collections can have a number of negative effects, including reduced or delayed revenue as well as owed balances spending too much time in Accounts Receivable. By implementing some simple training methods and best practices, however, your practice can improve collections management.
HIPAA violations caused by access issues have made news in recent weeks, where current or past employees have abused their access to EHR patient records to snoop on or steal protected health information (PHI). One rather disturbing example of such abuse was uncovered just this week at the Canton, Ohio-based Aultman Health Foundation. In this case, the PHI of roughly 7,300 patients was compromised (including Social Security numbers, health insurance info, home addresses, birthdates and treatment details).
On June 11, 2021, CMS released updated 2021 quality benchmarks via email. This blog post will provide an overview of quality benchmarks, impact of recent changes and tips on how to optimize your quality reporting in 2021 despite the changes. Additionally, we will explain these updates as well as how they will affect your Quality Improvement process for 2021.
After years of bipartisan support, the shift toward greater price transparency in healthcare made a lot of headway starting in 2019 when then-President Trump signed an executive order that required hospitals and healthcare facilities to publish their prices more openly. The idea behind this was that having healthcare facilities publish pricing lists would encourage competition that would in turn lower overall care prices and costs for consumers.
Performing a regular Security Risk Assessment (SRA) will help an organization ensure it is compliant with HIPAA’s administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. A risk assessment also helps practices discover areas where protected health information (PHI) could be at risk. To learn more about the assessment process and how it can benefit your organization, we recommend visiting the Office for Civil Rights' official guidance.
Here we are. Talking about ransomware. Again. And the truth is, whether we are tired of talking about it or not, the current ransomware situation (especially for those in healthcare) is only getting worse as this year goes on. Simply put—things are bad. How bad? Well… bad enough for the FBI director to compare the current nationwide surge in ransomware attacks in the U.S. to the September 11th attacks of 2001. You have to admit, that’s a pretty extreme comparison. However, it’s not too far off. As we’ve seen already with the recent Colonial Pipeline attack, ransomware has the potential to bring parts of our country’s infrastructure to a grinding halt and disrupt commerce, similar to the results of a physical terrorist attack.