Originally published in Contemporary Dialysis & Nephrology. March 2003
By: Jack Ahern
President of Ahern Consulting
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The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed in August 1996. A great deal of information has been circulated on the legal, ethical, and functional aspects of living with HIPAA. One question that has not been adequately addressed is: how much will HIPAA cost the average dialysis facility or nephrology practice? This article looks into some of the major financial implications of HIPAA, both positive and negative, with an aim to managing the "cost of compliance."
Other than filing for an extension, for the renal community dealing with the practical implications of HIPAA, it has so far been a project somewhat undefined, but definitely in the "out there" in the reality of the future.
For those providers who submitted a compliance plan in accordance with ASCA, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has extended until October 16, 2003, the deadline for compliance with HIPAA's electronic transactions standards. However, no extension whatsoever has been granted for the April 4, 2003, deadline for full compliance with the revised privacy standards.
Dialysis Providers MUST Comply with HIPAA's Privacy Standards by April 4, 2003!
As of April 14, "HIPAA records" and logs must be kept for at least six years, proving that PHI has been used and disclosed in accordance with HIPAA regulations.
Jack Ahern, MBA, is a seasoned Healthcare Executive, Instructor, and Financial Manager, with 20 years 20 years of expertise gained by managing finances for an academic medical center, and providing guidance to physicians, hospitals, HMO�s and major academic medical centers on issues pertaining to physician and hospital billing, hospital administration, strategic planning, renal dialysis reimbursement, HIPAA, ethics, regulatory issues and compliance.
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