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HIPAA Resource Center

Currently, healthcare providers across the country are facing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) deadline for meeting its requirements. At MBSS, we have been monitoring HIPAA legislation from the start and can assure our clients that all of our products are HIPAA-ready. If you do not have HIPAA-compliant software now, we want to help bring your office into compliance with the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Provisions.

What is HIPAA?

Signed into law in 1996, HIPAA’s main components are the Administrative Simplification section and the Patent Privacy and Security Standards section. The goal of HIPAA is to create national standards for the administrative procedures involved in collecting and storing patient information, to ensure that patients’ medical records and personal health information is securely stored. HIPAA also give patients more control over how their personal health information is used and stored. For detailed information on HIPAA, please visit our HIPAA FAQ page.

Our HIPAA Statement

With the HIPAA legislation, we created a HIPAA readiness team to make certain that all of our products are up to code. We want to ensure that all of our customers meet HIPAA compliance. As a result, when you choose MBSS products for your office, it means that you will receive a quality product backed by superior customer support services and the assurance that your software is HIPAA-ready.

Readiness for Electronic Transactions & Code Set Standards

One of the key principles of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is to ensure that all electronic transactions are conducted in compliance with the Act. Concern about the privacy and safety of patient health records has resulted in this regulation. HIPAA regulations set a minimum and uniform national standard for all healthcare providers to ensure that all personal and confidential health and medical information is securely transmitted and stored.

Our electronic software claims are formatted to meet the current American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards, and this transmission standard is available in the latest editions of The Medical Office, The DME Office and Manage MD. To assist healthcare providers in becoming HIPAA compliant, we are equipped to send ANSI-formatted claims to those that still require it. The national standard is now ANSI ASC X12 for electronic healthcare transactions. While HIPAA does not require healthcare providers to conduct electronic transactions, it does demand that health plans accept electronic transactions that have been submitted in a HIPAA-compliant form. The compliance deadline for electronic healthcare transactions and code sets has been extended from the initial October 16, 2003 deadline. However, no new deadline has been set as of yet.


Readiness for Privacy Standards
HIPAA’s privacy standards have been put in place to protect Protected Health Information (PHI). However, these privacy rules are largely focused on non-electronic privacy issues, such as the revelation of PHI. At MBSS, however, we rarely handle PHI, except in cases of data conversions, for example. Nonetheless, our HIPAA readiness team has developed our own set of standards and policies that govern how we manage all PHI we may receive. The compliance deadline for privacy and confidentiality standards has passed – April 14, 2003.

Readiness for Security Standards
HIPAA’s policy on protecting electronic PHI is one of the most important standards set by HIPAA and guaranteed by MBSS. This rule requires all healthcare providers to put into practice nationally-accepted standards of administrative and technological safety measures that will guarantee electronic PHI are stored safely, securely, and that patient confidentiality is maintained as a top priority. The security standards also limit and monitor access to PHI.

At MBSS, we ensure that our software systems include multi-level security features, allowing network administrators to monitor admission to PHI based on an individual user basis. We are also currently in the process of developing an audit mechanism in our software that will assist our clients in setting up audit controls in their offices.

Additional HIPAA information
There are four basic standards set by the HIPAA legislation, and at MBSS, we are fully prepared for each of them. The four identifiers that are used in healthcare transactions are used to distinguish employers, health plans, providers and patients. Each healthcare organization will have unique identifiers which will be assigned and administered through a centralized system.

  • The Employer Identifier is the same number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service. The compliance deadline was July 30, 2004, except for small health plans (August 1, 2005).
  • The Provider Identifier is a ten-digit number that is assigned to healthcare providers. Applications for these IDs can be made starting on May 23, 2005, with a compliance deadline of May 23, 2007 for all entities except small health plans (May 23, 2008).
  • The Health Plan Identifier numbers have not been issued and a compliance deadline has not yet been set.
  • The Patient Identifier codes have also not been determined and no deadline has been set.
For complete and comprehensive information on HIPAA and how it relates to medical software systems, please contact us.



 
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