These days, HIPAA regulations are just a part of running a chiropractic office. But in the day-to-day shuffle of paperwork and office visits, it can be easy to lose track of the details—and difficult to remember just how important it is to stay HIPAA compliant.
Why is HIPAA Law So Important?
HIPAA compliance isn’t voluntary; it’s a legal necessity. The HITECH act of 2009 made HIPAA audits mandatory for chiropractors. In addition, it has become increasingly easy for your patients, your patients’ families, or even their friends to file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) via the HHS website. Once that complaint is filed, HIPAA will contact you to conduct an audit.
If your records are in order and your practice has taken adequate steps to be compliant with HIPAA regulations, the audit may be little more than an inconvenience. However, if you have not taken documented steps toward being compliant, you could face fines of a minimum of $50,000 and up to $250,000, as well as potential lawsuits, interruptions to your business operations and losses of reimbursement from third party payers.
Chiropractic Billing and Scheduling Software
The right software package, that meets the new Electonic Medical Records (EMR) requirements, can make your business run so much more smoothly—from scheduling to billing, and even managing insurance claims. But the right software can do more. It can help you manage HIPAA obligations and track your records, so that you can be confident relative to HIPAA compliance. The right package should let you:
- Manage a patient’s records, including medical history, current health information, and HIPAA documentation.
- Maintain an integrated calendar, including patient visitand meetings.
- Manage billing and insurance needs, including HIPAA releases.
- Provide quick and easy access to each patient’s documentation as to who is and who is not cleared to access patient records. If an elderly patient’s daughter calls to ask about her mother’s health, you should be able to determine at the touch of a button whether she has clearance to receive such information.
HIPAA law is no joke. If you comply with the letter and the spirit of the law, you’re setting yourself up for success in the chiropractic industry. If, however, you don’t make HIPAA compliance a priority, it’s only a matter of time before that laxity comes back to haunt you.
The government posts the approved software packages that meet the criteria for the new EMR systems requirements. Be careful as some have actually been removed from the list due to not continuing to meet the requirements.
Every office is different and different systems work best for different people. Get at least three demos of different systems before purchasing. There is a proposed rating system, that will feature feedback on different systems from users, that may prove helpful in the near future.
Fill out our online form for more information on how to make your chiropractic office HIPAA compliant!