How Do I Know?
Is my doctor or dentist following HIPAA? That is the question of the day!
Recently, I visited a local dentist’s office to interview them before selecting them for my care. When you are a HIPAA geek like myself it is not always easy to decide who to trust with your protected health information (PHI).
Compliance Officers Observations
After examining their waiting room and completing the paperwork, it was my turn. During my appointment I met several different staff members, including their office manager who was responsible for HIPAA then the dentist.
After asking the office manager different questions about their Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP), I decided they did not understand their HIPAA Privacy and Security responsibilities.
I wish I could tell you I only had to do this once before I found a provider I trusted my care and information to but say NO.
Would you believe I had to interview four different practices before finding one I trust my information and care too.
10 Helpful Tips For Your Next Visit
Here’s what to look for on your next visit to the doctor or dentist:
- Did your doctor/dentist provide you with their NPP (required on first visit)?
- Does the NPP include a description of how the practice uses or discloses (share) your PHI?
- The doctor/dentist legal duties with respect to the information, including a statement that the doctor/dentist is required by law to maintain the privacy and security of PHI.
- A doctor/dentist must let you know promptly if a breach occurs that may have compromised the privacy or security of your information.
- A doctor/dentist must follow the duties and privacy practices described in the NPP and give you a copy of it.
- A doctor/dentist must not use or share your information other than as described in the NPP unless you instruct them they can in writing. If you allow it, you may change your mind at any time, in writing.
- The individual’s rights with respect to the information and how the individual may exercise these rights, including how the individual may complain to the doctor/dentist.
- Who to contact for information about the doctor’s/dentist’s privacy and/or security policies.
- A doctor/dentist must posted in a clear, easy to find location in a doctor’s office, pharmacy or hospital, be mailed to you by your health insurance company, or be posted on a provider’s or health insurance company’s website.
- The NPP must include an effective date.
For tips like this and more request your copy of “HIPAA Security Rule – Know The Rules!” Newsletter Today.