As the owner or manager of a medical practice, you know how important it is to stay on top of HIPAA Electronic Medical Records deadlines for regulatory requirements to make sure that you not only remain in compliance but that you are doing what’s needed to avoid penalties and fees.
2015 HIPAA Electronic Medical Records Deadline Mandate
In an effort to save time and effort when it comes to payments, the federal government is encouraging the use electronic healthcare records and electronic medical records software systems.
Medical organizations must use certified EHR/EMR software and demonstrate “meaningful use” to avoid being penalized in their Medicare reimbursements. Failing to show meaningful use by 2015 will result in your Medicare reimbursement dropping by 1 percent, followed by 1 percent more each year (2 percent in 2016, 3 percent in 2017 and so on).
To comply with meaningful use requirements, medical practitioners must add information about patients’ individual rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA to the Notice of Privacy Practices that they provide to each new patient.
Your patients will be allowed to request a copy of their electronic health records, for example. You will also not be permitted to sell patients’ medical information without first obtaining their permission.
September 23, 2013 Deadline for Privacy Policies
While addressing your compliance with meaningful use in EHR, it’s also prudent for you to review how your organization handles HIPAA electronic medical records as well as these documents when printed out.
Maintaining patient privacy is crucial to the survival and success of your organization. Exposing their medical information to unauthorized people could expose you to a nasty lawsuit, as well as develop into a public relations nightmare, discouraging people from becoming patients in the future. This is why it is essential that you establish a schedule to shred paper documents as soon as you no longer are required to keep them on the premises.
At Sergeant Shredder, we take patient privacy seriously. Our technicians pass rigorous background checks before we send them to your facility to shred your documents, safely and securely. Knowing who has access to your sensitive documents — even when they are destroyed — is a critical compliance issue for your medical or dental practice.