A PCASSO Retrospective

PCASSO—the Patient Centered Access to Secure Systems Online project—was an early trailblazer in using the Internet to give patients and providers instant access to medical records. The project started in 1996, a time when most people considered the Internet an unsecure and scary place to post a person’s most private and sensitive information. Now, more than 10 years since its creation, PCASSO can be more fully appreciated as an...

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Keeping HIPAA Education Fresh

Get hip with HIPAA. That’s just one of the taglines attached to Sharp Healthcare’s HIPAA education modules. Photos from the age of hip—the late 1960s and early 1970s—permeate the online HIPAA training modules. Musicians Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan and era-TV icons like the Get Smart cast mingle with privacy requirements and confidentiality factoids. The hip-themed training is just one theme in a series of HIPAA privacy, security, and...

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Arkansas HIPAA Violator Sentenced

An Arkansas woman who was the first in her state to be prosecuted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was sentenced to probation and community service. Andrea Smith, a 25-year-old woman from Trumann, AR, was sentenced on December 3, 2008, to two years probation and 100 hours of community service for accessing and disclosing a patient’s health information for personal gain, according to Cherith Beck,...

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A Closer Look at the Red Flag Rules

Chris Apgar, CISSP, consults on information security to the healthcare and financial services industries. He offers this overview of the Federal Trade Commission’s red flag rules regarding identity theft protection programs. * * * Healthcare organizations must be in compliance with the FTC’s red flag rules by May 1, 2009. The rules, which require financial institutions and creditors to establish identity theft protection programs,...

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New Clarification on Signature Stamps

The clarifications continue over CMS’s approach to signature stamps. This past July CMS issued a clarification that stamps were not permissable on any medical record. Now a new clarification advises that some payers do not accept stamps but the Conditions of Participation do not prohibit them. In the latest memorandum, dated October 24, CMS writes that the Conditions of Participation: “do not prohibit the use of rubber...

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