New HIPAA privacy rules are now in effect. Medical offices or health plans that don’t comply with updated regulations risk losing licenses or the ability to receive insurance payments. Other consequences of failing a HIPAA privacy rule audit include fines and sanctions. One way to ensure your office or business is compliant is to use HIPAA templates provided by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Office for Civil Rights.
Healthcare providers can download template files from the Department of Health and Human Service’s website. The templates, which let providers enter their unique information, can then be printed for distribution to patients. In addition to providing patients with a Notice of Privacy at the time of service, providers must display their privacy notice in a prominent place in every office or clinic. Providers that maintain a website including information about customer or patient service must also include an electronic form of the privacy notice.
The ONC and OCR make it easy for providers to print privacy notices in their office by providing four template formats, including:
A booklet format that may be a good option for admission packets or new patient packets. The booklet would be easy for patients to carry and reference.
A layered notice that highlights important information on the front page and includes detailed privacy information behind that.
A full-page layout that works well in physician’s offices that use clipboards for patients to complete, review, and sign paperwork.
A text-only layout that can also be printed for use in physicians office or copied to include on web pages or emails.
Download one or more of the HIPAA Privacy Rule templates to save your office time in creating a notice from scratch. You’ll also be assured that your notice is compliant with federal regulations.
So, are you following the new HIPAA Privacy Rules?