The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 – protects the confidentiality of the patients’ electronic medical health records from unauthorized access. This makes it crucial for health care providers to be cautious while considering with whom to share patient information; along with bringing upon added responsibility on the medical practice and its staff.
Considering the introduction of HIPAA, various health care providers are concerned about the immediate compliance issues surrounding HIPAA privacy and confidentiality of patient data; which has affected both medical billers and insurance companies. Furthermore with the involvement of additional waivers and documents, intricate billing software, reformed practice management service vendor, billing system, and clearing house; obtaining HIPAA compliance can be a cumbersome task.
Despite the challenges stated above, health care providers adhering to HIPAA compliance have benefitted. The most obvious benefits of using HIPAA compliant billing system includes increased efficiency in billing and cost savings. As the HIPAA rule requires electronic submission of claims – the health care provider can directly send claims to the insurance agencies electronically. Moreover, HIPAA compliant billing also increases patient satisfaction by ensuring complete patient information privacy.
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Considering the challenges and benefits of HIPAA compliance, it is clear how crucial it is for healthcare providers to be compliant with HIPAA. Given below are few steps physicians can adopt to help implement HIPAA accurately–
- Gather all documents related to HIPAA
- Get a thorough review of HIPAA policies, procedures and updates
- Make sure the office protocol is monitored over a certain period of time and the potential compliance issues, if any, are reported
- Determine the guidelines required to protect electronic data and train staff regarding privacy of patient information
- Actively address the risk-areas found during assessments and directly address them through written HIPAA compliance plan
- Prepare the staff to ensure that the staff understands all HIPAA policies and procedures and follows it in their practice
Although the initial cost and the training required for meeting HIPAA standards seems like a challenge, the long-term results are commendable. Once the initial set-up is complete, HIPAA compliance can turn out to be a boon for patients and physicians.
With the inclusion of HIPAA 5010, many physicians are now facing billing challenges due to time restraints. Thus it is necessary to streamline the billing system. Hence getting a specialist billing system for the medical practice can prove effective in obtaining HIPAA compliance. This can also improve the revenue cycle by providing enough time for the health care staff to do their job and concentrate on patient care.
Medicalbillersandcoders.com plays an indispensable role in confirming to HIPAA while billing for health care organizations. MBC serving billers and coders are constantly updated with billing reforms along with HIPAA norms while billing. Their expertise in various specialities of healthcare helps health care professionals streamline their medical billing and ensure HIPAA compliance. MBC also helps providers understand areas in their practice that require streamlining to better confirm to HIPAA requirements, which helps the doctors to solely concentrate on patient care, rather than worry about managing HIPAA compliance and other reforms.