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HIPAA Compliance ?

Posted By: Kelly Kiester on 2005-09-18
In Reply to:

Does anyone have any knowledge about a US MT typing from home and any HIPAA compliance violations if this MT also types from a 2nd residence in a different state for part of the year?

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HIPAA compliance
I am thinking about trying to get my own accounts and am trying to plan for all types of scenarios.  For various reasons, I am not able to pick up and drop off tapes.  Obviously, digital would be the best way to go.  However, if a doctor absolutely wanted to use tapes, would it be a HIPAA violation to ship the tapes certified (requiring signature) via USPS or UPS?  What about the completed reports?  I had two physicians in the past who refused to go digital and I ended up having to stop working for them because it was becoming increasingly difficult to pick up and drop off tapes.  What are your thoughts?  TIA.
Non-compliance of telephone lines
Has anyone had any difficulty with the new SBC/AT&T?  I have been told I do not have many options other than a per minute plan.  I have seen a program called CallVantage.  Does anyone have any information on this plan?
That is against HIPAA
What about HIPAA?
   Our hospital is adamant about no accounts going offshore.  Not only because of quality, but also privacy, lawsuits, etc.  ESPECIALLY after what happened a couple years ago between UCSF Hospital and sub-sub-contractor in India.  (MT there who got gypped in pay held accounts for "ransom".)

Some in the office I work in said there are HIPAA rules that apply to transcription, such as font size, etc.  Does anyone know about this and where I can get more information.


HIPAA and cc - what to do? sm
If doctor wants carbon copy sent, I'm told it's a violation of HIPAA rules. Please tell me where I can find this on the Internet. Thanks.
Why would that be against HIPAA?
I have to save my files at least through the invoice period anyway.  Why would it be against HIPAA to run them through IT? 
I'm not the OP, but yes, there is a HIPAA (sm)
violation if you keep copies of patient reports on your hard disks in a form where the patient is identifiable.

What I do to make my normals and IT glossaries is cut/paste a copy of the body of each report, with no info to identify the patient, into wordpad and save under the dictator's name (such as jones hysterectomy, smith HP, etc).
There is nothing in HIPAA that says this information cannot be in the record. What it says is that IF you need to de-identify the information for any reason, all of those things must be removed. Probably not the best policy to have but not a HIPAA violation.
I was recently hired as an employee at a doctors office and we have been discussing taking my MT work home. It is all on hard copy except for occasional e-mails I need to send to the office to download. What do I need to be doing to comply with HIPAA?
HIPAA req.
I use encrypted e-mail through CryptoHeaven, cryptoheaven.com.  They have a bunch of different packages and well priced.  All work must be kept confidential and protected as much as possible (lock box for saved work on CDs).  I keep all patient lists only to type and then they are shredded.  Make sure if you are faxing pt lists back and forth, you are using a front fax cover sheet with a statement on it regarding confidentiality, etc. (your doctor's office probably uses this when sending stuff from their office).  I also have the ability to lock my office when there are parties, etc. at the house just to be on the safe side. 
It's HIPAA............nm
I don't know about HIPAA.... sm

But I wonder why they were asking you all those questions? The only thing I remember when enrolling my son was making sure his shots were up to date. Of course, we are talking a long time ago!

I don't understand why a kindergarten would need such a thorough medical history on their students. HIPAA or not, it sounds like invasion of privacy to me.

It's HIPAA, not HIPPA, and the provisions are only enforceable within the US.

There are free HIPAA courses online; you don't have to become certified, just become familiar with it so your work area, computer, etc. are compliant. Should be mandatory learning for all MTs.
it's HIPAA, not HIPPA. nm
HIPAA response
HIPAA has more to do with the confidentiality of a patient's information. It has nothing to do with what residence you transcribe from, as long as you maintain the confidentiality of the patient's information. The company you work for may have some sort of requirement that you notify them if you'll be working from a location other than the location that they have on record for you.
Is it HIPAA compliant?
That certainly does sound like a great solution! You are right, I would probably want them to zip their files anyway since I have only dial-up available to me at home and would need it at a CG if I ever get to that point in my life.

Thank you for your feedback. It is sincerely appreciated.
HIPAA rules
A lot of the national transcription services have many accounts where the hospitals/docs still want the name of the patient in the body of the report and do not want "the patient" in the body of the report. So the facilities still respect what the doctors want.
It's HIPAA and you pronounce it hip-uh.
By the waq, it should be brEAch of HIPAA. nm
HIPAA at the Hosptial

Was at the hospital yesterday for some radiology testing. To summon me from the waiting area (full of other patients), the person who does the registrations used my first and LAST NAME! Bleah!

Then, after I was registered and back in the waiting area, another patient entered, sat beside me, and said "So, you're here for the same thing I am--I heard you mention it when you were being registered. I was in the next cubicle."

Shortly after this a different hospital employee summoned another patient from the waiting area using first AND LAST NAME! EEEK!

What on Earth ever happened to the HIPAA regulations? HIPAA applies to the hospital setting, right?

Any suggestions?

HIPAA is a joke
as long as these private records continue to travel overseas beyond the reach of the long arm of U.S. courts and law enforcement.
It's not a HIPAA violation for sure. Can you
have the account use digital recorders that are uploaded to your FTP site? Bypass the TASP entirely. Or if you are the only transcriptionist, you can use Bytescribe's E-shuttle. Check it out at bytescribe.com
Ack, misspelled HIPAA!
I really do know how to spell HIPAA correctly, except when I'm being an airhead, sheesh!
HIPAA and Outsourcing

How can outsourcing to an offshore company, where a patient's sensitive personal and medical information is concerned, be HIPAA complient?  Shouldn't we as patients have the right to know if our medical info and personal data are being sent via the Internet to a foreign country?  Shouldn't we as patients be asked to sign a release/agreement to such a practice, notifiying us of this?  I have never asked my doctor/hospital if they outsourced to offshore companies...but I will now.  Wonder if I'll get a truthful answer. 

According to HIPAA, SS# are not to be on reports.
SSN is not a HIPAA issue here
HIPAA, health information, SSN is not health information, no way relates. SSN would be a schools way to verify date of birth and U.S. citizenship.
The joys of HIPAA
Or you could just activate a password-protected screen saver on the machine any time you needed to take a BR break and there was anyone with a 5-county radius of wherever your machine was.  Even the hospitals do that.  I have to laugh at HIPAA sometimes.  They're so worried someone might find out someone else has hemorrhoids, when most of the violations actually prosecuted that I've seen have involved hospital employees who had a legitimate right to see the patient demographics but used their position to perpetrate identity theft.  Hey, if somebody is dying of cancer, they might be dead before anyone notices the unauthorized spending spree.
HIPAA is a joke
Sorry, but I edit reports for a large department in a major medical center that are all transcribed, you guessed it, overseas. Names, medical record numbers, Social Security numbers, etc., etc., are ALL included. Nobody truly follows HIPAA where I work. I even had to bring a shredder in from home to shred patient info sheets sent to me from the doctors' offices. Not only that, but patient letters WITH identifying information are e-mailed back and forth all the time without encryption. Until HIPAA is actually enforced by anybody, I'm afraid nothing will ever change.
A DB does not violate HIPAA

Contrary to what you may have heard, the HIPAA regulations of 2003 address the medical transcription field only in passing. There is no extended discussion of the transcription field. On reading the entire thing, the (few) mentions of medical transcription appear almost as after-thoughts.

What those regulations state concerning medical transcription is that the Transcriptionist (or the MTSO) must take reasonable care (their terminology) in safeguarding the confidentiality of the records.

This has been interpreted by the leaders in the medical transcription field to mean:

1) The MT's computer is safeguarded so that unauthorized persons don't have access to her files.
2) Any electronic communication of those records is done in a secure fashion.

Now, I am fully aware that some MTSOs do not allow the completed report to remain on the MTs computer. That is their right. But to hear them state that such is a requirement of HIPAA is wrong. It is not. It is a requirement of THEIR implementation of HIPAA, not a requirement of HIPAA.

For an MT to have a database of the patients she transcribes is completely within HIPAA. However, she must ensure that others do not have access to her computer / files. That is HIPAA.

Merrry Christmas,

Vann Joe

Why surprised? Have said all along HIPAA is a
Violating HIPAA?

You're not serious are you?  There is no HIPAA violation at the eye doctor.  When you go to the eye doctor everyone knows you have bad eyes.  Do you wear glasses?  Are you hiding the fact that you can't see?  Please!  It isn't like sitting in a doctors office when no one knows what is wrong with you.  You're a joke!  Get a life!  You're the reason everything costs so darn much.  The rest of us have to pay the docs insurance because of morons like you.  I cannot even believe you would post such nonsense.

Everything you wanted to know about HIPAA
See link below, & especially important are the "HIPAA Regulations & Standards" links.

Happy reading.
This is HIPAA compliant? nm
opps sorry, HIPAA
HIPAA no-no today

I went to one of the many Quest Diagnostics labs today for routine labs.  There was a clipboard, where everyone signed in.  While it didn't matter to me based on the work we do, it did jump out at me.  The lady who was working in the front was maybe also a phlebotomist (maybe they've had lay-offs, too?), but it just dawned on me that they didn't secure our names.  I was about #10 on the list, so all the names above mine were right there.  In fact, I thought I saw one of our State Reps. in there until he looked up, and I knew it wasn't him.

Anyone else notice this stuff?  Just curious, that's all.

HIPAA isn't enforced here in the U.S.

I know of a few local doctors who are still working from tapes.  They not only send the tapes home with the MT but the patient files as well.  Yes - the entire file folder which has ALL insurance and personal information on it.  I've reported this two years ago and he is still doing it. 

It's HIPAA, not HIPPA (nm)


HIPAA is like the banks - there is NO

I called a doctor's office and got medical information on my Ex husband - yes Ex husband.  Hospitals and doctor's offices hire alot of incompetent people to handle confidential information and these people don't have clue.  With this issue being so widespread - to you really think they care about MTs jobs and the information being shipped overseas?  Try this - call a hospital and pretend to be Dr. X from X Medical Center in Santa Monica, California (or anywhere...just google and choose).  You can get information easily.  Did you ever see the shows where John/Jane Doe go into a hospital and work as a doctor and they never have been to medical school?  Happens more than you know and it's horrifying! 

That would be HIPAA laws....nm
Well I wasn't referring to HIPAA. Do you think
I found out it is HIPAA compliant. :) (nm)

Faxing and HIPAA concerns
I need to know the regulations imposed by HIPAA for MTSOs faxing medical reports to referring doctors.  Thanks.
HIPAA faxing guidelines
Fax only when necessary, always verify fax number and ALWAYS use cover sheet. Do not fax hypersensitive PHI.
Thank you, but I'm quite aware what HIPAA stands for.
That's why it bothers me is because so many people have it wrong. Obviously, the MTSO doesn't care about quality if she can't even get it right. What's the skin off your nose if it bothers me? Why does it bother you that it bothers me? I don't need to get over it. I'm quite happy being bothered by it. Bother, bother, bother.
Bringing over HIPAA question
Can anyone answer the question: Do you HAVE to remove PHI from reports legally?
HIPAA compliant at home sm
How does one become HIPAA compliant at home? Used to working in an office - don't want to make a mistake. How do all of you do it?
Would you mind explaining why you think this is against HIPAA?
the only part HIPAA plays is you do them but you don't say anything about them to anybody. I'v
done lots and lots of medical records for people I know, at least two people from church, some family members, plenty of acquaintenances. If they know me well, they sometimes ask if I got their record. It's the same way with nursing too, or any of the other healthcare fields. When I was a volunteer paramedic, obviously I ran into neighbors and friends on the job all the time. If you're a nurse and  you run across someone you know in the ER, you don't refuse them care. You just are close-mouthed about it.
HIPAA and storage of files
I have a client that has requested I store all their audio files and documents on my FTP indefinitely. They send a lot of work and after only a month, my FTP is starting to act up. It was never intended to be used as permanent storage. Also, I was under the impression that as an IC transcriptionist, I cannot legally store these files for any longer than about a month or two. I routinely clean out my computer whenever I receive payment.

Am I right about this? I had a HIPAA compliance book which I cannot find for the life of me right now. I would also like to offer them some suggestions for secure online storage if anybody has any.

Thanks as always guys. :)
You need to brush up on HIPAA guidelines...

The computer should be password protected for individual users so files cannot be accessed, but, other than that, HIPAA requires "reasonable care" be taken to safguard patient information.  It does not require any computer used for MT to be used exclusively for that. 

Some believe the computer must be in a locked room.  That is absolutely not a requirement either.  Reasonable care means just that.