September 23, 2013 HIPAA Deadline Approaches

Dental offices have until September 23, 2013 to comply with provisions of the Final Rule that earlier this year extensively modified the privacy, security, and enforcement regulations established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA.

The Final Rule expands individual rights under HIPAA, and by September 23, 2013 these rights must be added to the Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) that providers give to new and existing patients.

The Final Rule expands the requirements to include provisions designed to afford individuals with a better understanding of

  • a patient’s right to restrict disclosures
  • the types of uses and disclosures that require individual authorization
  • a patient’s right to opt out of certain disclosures
  • rights to notice in the event of a breach
  • rights with respect to the use of their genetic information for health plan underwriting purposes
  • a patient’s right to receive digital copies of health information
  • a patient’s right to opt out of unsecured communication

The Final Rule requires that an NPP must include a capitalized header explaining how medical information about an individual may be used and disclosed and how the individual can obtain access to such medical information. Additionally, NPP must contain a description, and for treatment, payment and health care operations, at least one example, of the types of uses and disclosures that the covered entity is permitted to make without patient authorization.

According to an existing rule, when a healthcare provider revises an NPP, the healthcare provider must make the NPP readily available upon request on or after the effective date of the revisions at the delivery site to existing patients who request a copy, must post the revised NPP on its website, if applicable, and must post the NPP in a prominent location on its premises.

By this time you should have new HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices that incorporates all new requirements. You will need to update copy of HIPAA NPP in YAPI. We assume here that your new NPP is in a digital form – docx, pdf – and you can easily copy the content to YAPI.

Launch Documents and Templates Manager, go to Forms tab,  select current HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices, and click Edit button.

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You will need to update YAPI document contents from your new NPP. You should have new NPP  in a digital form – docx of pdf. Open new NPP and copy all contents to Windows Clipboard.

Go back to YAPI, select all text (right click – select all), hit delete button to remove all text,

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Finally, click Paste from Word button and copy the text from the Clipboard to a text box that will appear. Click Ok button.

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Adjust text if needed and click Save button.

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Now you need to add NPP Acknowledgement form to YAPI Recurring documents. This way YAPI will remind you to request a signature from any patient that arrives for a treatment.

Note that NPP and NPP Acknowledgement form are two different documents: the former is the HIPAA documents that we discussed above, the later is a document that acknowledges  that a patient have seen your office Notice of Privacy Practices.

Go to Recurring tab, click New button, enter name (HIPAA, for example), click the …  button, select NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES ACKNOWLEDGEMENT from the list, select Once till updated. Click Ok button to save.

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Click Yes.

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You will see new recurring document in the list.

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If you already have NPP Acknowledgement form as a YAPI Recurring document simply click edit button and save it to indicate that the document was updated.

Now every arriving patient will have a Pending Document alert.

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Assuming that a patient has an opportunity to read new NPP you may collect patient acknowledgement on iPad. Note that a patient can launch and view NPP from an NPP Acknowledgement form on iPad.

Long touch document icon at the bottom, select Pending Documents.

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Hand an iPad to your patient. To view and sign NPP, a patient should tap on document name.

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NPP Acknowledgment form appears. Patient can tap View Notice of Privacy Practices button to read NPP. Finally, patient selecst from Relationship to Patient list, signs in the signature field, and clicks Save button.

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