HHS to Host Medical Identity Theft Town Hall

As readers of this blog may recall, earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, asked the consulting group of Booz Allen Hamilton to perform an assessment and evaluation of United States’ medical identity theft problem. As part of this assessment and evaluation,

Real-time Claims Adjudication

Real-time claims adjudication: the process by which medical billing claims are submitted to a payer for processing whereby the claims are adjudicated automatically and payment/denial information is sent back to the submitter in real-time. The process allows the medical practice to submit a patient’s claim to the payer and determine the patient responsibility while the

Oklahoma DHS Acknowledges Inappropriate Disclosure of Files

While Oklahoma may be a world away from New Jersey, the headline I read during my recent visit to Oklahoma reminded me that agencies and practices in every state struggle with safeguarding confidential patient health information. As reported by the Oklahoman, a used furniture store in Oklahoma City recently sold a surplus file cabinet to

Laptop Security: 5 Steps to Getting it Right

If you use a laptop in any capacity within your office you may be placing your practice at grave risk if you do not take the necessary steps to prevent data theft.  We’ve all heard the horror stories: May 22, 2006: A Department of Veteran Affairs data analyst (read: low on the totem pole) had

Broad-based Coalition Demands Immediate Passage of Healthcare IT Legislation

Earlier today, Health IT Now!, a coalition of more than 175 businesses, non-profit and patient groups, urged Congress to “pass federal legislation that promotes the widespread adoption of health information technology in the remaining weeks before Congress adjourns.” In particular, Health IT Now!’s September 9th letter to Congress asks Congress to adopt legislation that includes

Legislators and Researchers Question Direct-to-Consumer Ads

As we have discussed in prior blogs, state lawmakers throughout the country are debating increased restrictions on the pharmaceutical industry’s ability to promote its pharmaceutical products to physicians. The industry has voluntarily responded by adopting various rules, including capping the amount of money that pharmaceutical representatives can spend promoting drugs to healthcare providers. Pharmaceutical industry

Payer Acknowledges Improper Out-of-Network Reimbursements

New Jersey patients and providers recently enjoyed a victory in their long-running tug-of-war with payers concerning the reasonableness of out-of-network reimbursements. Last Tuesday, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (“DOBI”) announced that Healthnet of New Jersey has agreed to pay $41 million to settle charges that it systematically underpaid out-of-network providers between 1996

New California Law Subjects Providers to Steep Fines for Privacy Breaches

Under a bill recently approved by the Assembly and expected to be signed into law, California Healthcare providers could soon be subject to hefty fines and costly civil litigation if they fail to adopt and implement “appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of a patient’s medical information.” While A.B. 211 appears

North Carolina to Publish Data Regarding “Confidential” Med Mal Settlements

Under a new North Carolina regulation, details regarding North Carolina medical malpractice settlements will soon be posted online for patients to view. Confidential out-of-court settlements have long been the option of choice for medical malpractice defendants in North Carolina and elsewhere. However, if the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners gets its way, North Carolina

Automating Patient Check-In: How you can get started

Physician’s Practice reports in its August issue that self-service medicine, driven by electronic patient-entered histories, is improving patient outcomes. Touch-screens—shiny, user-friendly devices—are finally making their way into the doctor’s office. The new fad in start-up clinics is to place a touch-screen at the front desk to check-in patients, collect co-pays, take the patient’s picture, and