March 2011
In This Issue...
Other News

Providers Offer Ideas for Exchange Goals but Complain About Burden
HIT recommendations in a presidential advisory group report have been called too ambitious by some industry leaders, according to a report in Government Health IT.

ID Theft Ring Targeted Florida Hospital Patients
A medical identity theft ring bamboozles a Florida hospital, according to the Sun Sentinel.

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Editor’s E-Note

Beware of those “business associates.” That’s the message in this month’s E-News Exclusive, which examines the issues involved with maintaining a HIPAA-compliant relationship with entities outside your organization.

Also on tap is a preview of the MTIA/CDIA conference, a coming-out party of sorts for the industry group as it expands its focus to include a variety of HIM players.

Lee DeOrio, editor
E-News Exclusive

How Do You Select the Right Business Associate?
By Kathy Nicholls, CMT, AHDI-F

February marked the one-year anniversary of the HITECH Act, which had a tremendous impact on HIPAA rules and regulations. With this one act, the healthcare industry saw dramatic changes in processes to protect the information of the patients they serve. This also led to the rules related to incentives, sanctions, and penalties regarding noncompliance applying to both covered entities and business associates (BAs).

In 2009, Health and Human Services (HHS) began publishing on their website a list of any breaches related to HIPAA that impacted more than 500 individuals. In one year’s time, these incidents have impacted almost 5 million individuals, with the largest breach affecting 1.2 million people. According to these postings, there are a total of 166 incidents, and 33 of those involved a BA. That equates to 20% of the breaches being due to BAs who didn’t do what they should have done.

If you were to visit a website seeking a new BA, it’s not uncommon to find all of them using the phrase “HIPAA compliant.” What does that really mean and, as a covered entity responsible for being sure you are selecting BAs who truly are protecting the information, what questions should you be asking? It is not enough to simply ask whether they are HIPAA compliant.

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AAPC Conference Preview

This year’s conference promises to be one of the most significant in the organization’s history. Several new coding challenges loom on the horizon as the healthcare industry continues to transform into a more electronic environment. AAPC President and CEO Deborah Grider, CPC, CPC-I, CPC-H,
CPC-P, CPMA, COBGC, CEMC, CPCD, CCS-P, was kind enough to answer a few questions about the event.

FTR: What’s new this year?

Grider: The education sessions will include a broader range of topics, including billing, audit, and compliance as well as practice management. Breakout sessions include information about FERA, the PPACA and the FCA, physician compliance, HITECH, EMRs, CHISP, and 5010.

The new National Advisory Board (NAB) will be announced at this year’s conference, including the new officers elected by the NAB: president, president-elect, member relations, and secretary. The 16 members of the NAB serve two years on the board and work with the national office for the betterment of the entire membership.

Read more »

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Industry Insight

PHNS Changes Name to Anthelio; Company Forms Healthcare Innovation Council

PHNS, a provider of comprehensive HIT services and business process solutions for hospitals and other healthcare providers, recently announced that it is changing its name to Anthelio Healthcare Solutions. Anthelio derives its name from anthelion, the halo around bodies directly opposite the sun. The new corporate identity stands for an unchanging belief in setting a higher standard in healthcare—a relentlessly rising benchmark, like the ascending sun.

The new name also reflects the broadening of the company’s services portfolio and a reinvigorated go-to-market strategy focused on providing hospitals with innovative ways to use technology and reengineered business processes to improve patient care, streamline operations, and achieve significant cost advantages. This follows the company’s acquisition by ConJoin Global and Actis.

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