HIPAA Compliant Medical Billing Software and Related Issues
What Is HIPAA?
HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that was signed into law on August 21, 1996, Public Law 104-191. This law impacts all areas of the health care industry and was designed to provide insurance portability, to improve the efficiency of health care by standardizing the exchange of administrative and financial data, and to protect the privacy, confidentiality and security of health care information. The law is designed to improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage, to combat waste, fraud and abuse in health insurance and health care delivery, to promote the use of medical savings accounts, to improve access to long-term care services and coverage, to simplify administration of health insurance, and for other purposes.
Why should I care?
HIPAA impacts the way you practice medicine, from your communications with patients, to your office procedures, and the software you use in your office. Any software that may contain the private health information of your patients may be subject to HIPAA. The penalties for non-compliance can be significant.
What is Trigram doing about HIPAA?
We consider ourselves experts on HIPAAs (in fact, our seminars arm, Trigram Seminars, used to give courses on HIPAA compliance for practitioners). We have worked hard to make AcuBase comply with HIPAA Privacy and Security rules, without negative impact on the user experience. HIPAA regulations require that databases with Private Health Information contain safeguards, including role-based logins and log files to keep track of who has accessed records with sensitive data and/or changed the data in any way. AcuBase helps keep you compliant with a Log File detailing changes to patient data, and role-based login security. You may view the Log File at any time, and those with full security clearance may give role-based access to different people depending upon their responsibilities in the office.
And of course, AcuBase Pro prints onto the latest, HIPAA-compliantCMS-1500 form for insurance billing.
What else can I do to comply?
There are more resources available on HIPAA than we could even begin to summarize. Instead, we’ll give you a few of our own:
- Train your whole office with our online HIPAA Primer by clicking here. It covers the most important information related to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, and is an excellent way to train yourself and any medical or administrative staff on HIPAA regulations. This course also qualifies for one unit of continuing education from the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and California Acupuncture Board.
- Read what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has to say by going to http://aspe.hhs.gov/admnsimp/.
- Learn more about changes to the HCFA form and NPI by clicking here to read Jason Luban’s article on the subject in Acupuncture Today. (Jason is the Founder and Chief Developer here at Trigram.)
- Need to get an NPI number for the new CMS forms? This can be done for free and acquired instantly through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ National Plan and Provider Enumeration System. Online, go to https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPES/Welcome.do, or do it on paper by calling 1-800-465-3203.
- Need some HIPAA-related forms to use in your office? Get the free HIPAA documents that come with the program here now for free, including full text of the law, Business Associate Agreements, Authorization Forms, and more. HIPAA may not be fun, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The download is a Zip file. Unzip it and double-click on the AcuBase Library icon to run it. (Note that we do not provide support for this free product.) Click here to download the HIPAA.zip file.
For further questions about HIPAA compliance as it relates to Trigram products, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 1.888.4AcuBase. Note that we will not answer questions about HIPAA in general, only those related to our products specifically.