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We all agree that OSHA & HIPAA compliance can be an overwhelming & daunting task
You can book your FREE OSHA/HIPAA Discovery Meetings for 2019. Watch the video below to find out more and click on the blue link afterwards to reserve your place.  Read More
LABS AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATE AGREEMENTS
Many Smart Training clients conduct business with dental laboratories. We’re often asked about Business Associate Agreements between our clients and labs.Many times, the lab has told our practice client that the lab is a Covered Entity under HIPAA, and that a BAA is not required.  However, if the...  Read More
Facebook - Hidden Traps
You’re at your desk, working away, when you receive a message from a Facebook friend. You click on the link. Congratulations! You’ve just fallen for the latest social media adware scam. While little is known about the adware or those behind it, the adware uses Facebook Messenger to track your web...  Read More
HIPAA Changes Unlikely for 2019
Smart Training’s Certified HIPAA Professional says it’s unlikely there will be any substantive changes to patient privacy documents or to HIPAA policies for 2019. “I think we’re a couple of years away from seeing big changes in the way HIPAA is managed and enforced,” Jim Moore said recently.  “That...  Read More
HHS Promises HIPAA Review
 At a July 27 address at The Heritage Foundation, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, explained that HHS will be undertaking several updates to health privacy regulations over the coming months, including updates to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act...  Read More
HIPAA Class Action Lawsuits a Reality
For the past several years, we’ve been warning clients of the dangers of class action lawsuits filed against practices that breach patient privacy.  A good example is the class action lawsuit filed in the wake of an employee-related data breach at Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Alabama in 2014. In...  Read More
IGNORE HIPAA AT YOUR PERIL!
Three years ago, Dr. Joseph Beck became the , sending a warning to dental offices nationwide about HIPAA compliance.  Until that point, dental offices had avoided fines for patient privacy noncompliance. The penalty Dr. Beck paid was not issued by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office...  Read More
Why Tell Patients You’re Safelock Certified®?
A recent survey conducted by health insurer Aetna explored consumer attitudes toward health care, relationships with their providers, and what they view as the most important aspects of healthcare. The Health Ambitions Study was conducted using responses from 1,000 consumers aged 18 and above, with...  Read More
DOJ Taking Hard Line on Individual HIPAA Violations
A former University of Pittsburgh Medical Center patient information coordinator has been indicted by a federal grand jury over criminal violations of HIPAA Rules. Linda Sue Kalina was charged in a six-count indictment that included wrongfully obtaining and disclosing the protected health...  Read More
What Are HIPAA Physical Safeguards?
Under HIPAA, specific procedures and physical protection must safeguard office computers and related equipment from damage or theft.  About 1 in 5 Smart Training clients haven’t taken any action to secure their server from theft.  This is especially important because many popular operating software...  Read More
Social Media Opens Door to HIPAA Violations
While healthcare practitioners have unique perspectives on topics of interest to patients, the demand for this information must be balanced with how information is used, who may access it, and who else it can affect.  Take some commonsense precautions with social media postings: If you wouldn’t say...  Read More
Are Your BAAs Current?
Business Associate Agreements – BAAs – are the Achilles’ Heel of many healthcare office privacy strategies.  That’s because, like many aspects of privacy regulation, BAAs evolve over time.  Consequently, even when Business Associate Agreements are held for all vendors, they may not be HIPAA...  Read More
Social Media and HIPAA
Your office staff may not be aware that social media opens the doors to all sorts of HIPAA violations.  Take some commonsense precautions with postings:If you wouldn’t say it in your waiting room, don’t say it online.  Read social media content aloud before you post it.  If there’s information you...  Read More
PSSST!!  The OSHA Inpector is here...
If you are a Tennessee Dental Professional listen up!  There is a new buzz in town and it may be headed your way.  It’s “a sting” of sorts---but you can get fully prepared:Launched in October 2017, .  The campaign will subject all Tennessee Licensed Dentists to a random and detailed OSHA...  Read More
Had a Business Associate Tell You They’re HIPAA Certified?
 Many vendors would like HIPAA certification to confirm they are fully compliant with HIPAA Rules and understand all aspects of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), but is it possible to obtain HIPAA certification to confirm HIPAA compliance?Many companies claim they...  Read More
WHAT ABOUT ENCRYPTED EMAIL? Part II
HIPAA requires both Covered Entities and Business Associates to retain past email communications containing ePHI. The retention period is 6 years. For any healthcare organization, no matter the size of the practice, storing 6 years of emails and attachments requires considerable storage space....  Read More
OSHA Fines North TX Dentist $5900 for Lack of Timely Staff Training
 OSHA recently fined a North Texas dental practice over $5,900 for two different violations of the Bloodborne Pathogens standard. OSHA asserted that the practice did not offer employees the opportunity to be tested after a needle stick injury and that the practice did not train their employees...  Read More
WHAT ABOUT ENCRYPTED EMAIL?
Many Smart Training clients send Protected Health Information via email but are unsure how to make their email HIPAA compliant.  To add to the challenge, many email service providers offer an encrypted email service, but not all are HIPAA compliant – and few actually incorporate the necessary...  Read More
YOUR OFFICE, HIPAA AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Many times, HIPAA violations are caused by well-meaning staff members. More and more often, violations occur because of inappropriate use of social media. Staff members should be trained on the ‘Golden Rule’ of social media usage; if they wouldn’t say it in an elevator, they shouldn’t say it...  Read More
Revisiting Sexual Harassment
Recent media coverage makes it appropriate to revisit a topic that is relevant for even the smallest dental practice: Sexual harassment, and how to combat it.Sexual harassment prevention demands that team members know how to identify and respond to workplace harassment or discrimination. Reporting...  Read More
HIPAA THEFTS FACILITATE INCOME TAX FRAUD
Ever wonder where the criminals who file fraudulent income tax returns get the data they need to scam the government?  Consider Jean Baptiste Alvarez, a 43-year-old behavioral healthcare worker who stole daily census sheets from the 267-bed facility where he worked. The census sheets contained all...  Read More
You won't believe what someone asked me!
You might be surprised at the lengths some dental practice owners take to cut their expenses. A dental hygienist recentlyposedthis question in a forum, “My dentist told me today that in order to cut down on electricity usage from the autoclave and to save money on sterilization bags, he wants...  Read More
HIPAA Security: Are Your Patients Records Safe?
A former nurse from Midway, Florida was convicted of wire fraud, theft of government funds, possession of unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft. The 41-year-old woman was employed as a nurse in a Tallahassee nursing home.She stole the personal information of 26 patients,...  Read More
Don't Forget Those Utility Gloves!
Hands are porous and can act like a sponge. Chemicals that are not meant for the body to absorb are used on a daily basis in a dental practice. Wearing the appropriate hand protection for a task is very important. The gloves used to treat patients are very different than the gloves to be worn to...  Read More
2018 New HIPAA Policies
One of the most valuable elements of Smart Training’s client offerings is our comprehensive HIPAA Policies and Procedures document, which offers more than 40 required patient privacy guidelines to client offices.Beginning in 2018, four new topics will be addressed by HIPAA Policies:    A new Cell...  Read More
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