Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

Hip With the Times - July 2017 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

Issue link: http://magazine.outpatientsurgery.net/i/845806

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Page 20 of 168

agreement. Under HIPAA rules, covered entities cannot disclose PHI to unauthorized persons, and the lack of a business associate agreement left patients' sensitive health information vulnerable to misuse or improper disclosure. Protect yourself HIPAA penalties are based on the level of negligence, with a maxi- mum penalty of $1.5 million per violation. When determining penal- ties, the Office for Civil Rights takes into account the length of time a violation persisted, the number of people affected, the nature of the PHI exposed and the organization's willingness to assist with the investigation. A long-running violation could have overwhelming financial repercussions, and it may also lead to the censorship of nurses, nursing management, administrators and even physicians. Any person who comes in contact with protected health information at your facility is required to abide by HIPAA policies. Make sure your physicians and staff know the guidelines and the risks of not adhering to them. Keep in mind that recent nursing graduates may have spent more time studying HIPAA than tenured nurses. HIPAA gives patients more control over their health information. They can request a copy of their electronic medical record in elec- tronic form. Patients who pay out of pocket in full can instruct their healthcare provider to refrain from sharing information about their treatment with their health plan (including Medicare). Patients can also set new limits on how information can be used and disclosed for marketing and fundraising purposes, and prohibit the sale of their health information without their permission. OSM Ms. Sever (shaun@splegalnurse.com) is the founder and president of SP Legal Nurse Consulting in Eaton Rapids, Mich. She is also a retired U.S. Army sergeant with 20 years of service. J U L Y 2 0 1 7 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 2 1

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