Feb 24, 2012

Who pays for an Interpreter?

Recently we have received several questions surrounding the need for Interpreting Services when the patient does not speak English. Who is responsible to provide the Interpreter? Is the practice responsible to pay for the Interpreter? What if a family member is willing to translate?
Should a patient require an interpreter, the practice is required to provide, and pay for interpreting services. Patients who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act and interpreting services must be provided.
If a patient agrees to communicate through family members, writing, or other means, then an interpreter may not be necessary.  It is essential to verify that the patient agrees to use their representative for interpreting services.  Should the patient representative not wish to provide interpreting services, the practice is responsible to acquire and pay for interpreting services.
It is recommended to have a list of Companies in your area that can accommodate your practice interpreting needs.

Feb 17, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Our office manager keeps using the acronym NPP. What does NPP stand for?
A: NPP stands for Notice of Privacy Practices. This document outlines how the practice will safeguard the patient's Protected Health Information.

Other common HIPAA acronyms:
TPO- Treatment, Payment, & Healthcare Operations
PHI- Protected Health Information
HHS- Health and Human Services
ePHI- Electronic Protected Health Information
CE- Covered Entity
BA- Business Associate

Q: What would be considered a Incidental Disclosure?
A: Incidental or non-intentional disclosures that occur as a by-product of allowable disclosures are allowed as long as safeguards are applied, and the minimum necessary standard is followed. For example, PHI that is overheard from a nursing station or lab by patients walking past is considered incidental, and does not need to be accounted for.

Q: Can we use a debt collection agency to recoup unpaid services?
A: Yes. Debt collection is recognized under the HIPAA Privacy Rule as an activity within the TPO definition of "payment."

Q: Can we release a child's immunization record to a school for student registration purposes?
A: No. Immunization records contain Protected Health Information. Authorization must be given prior to releasing records to a school.  

To see a list of other frequently asked questions, click HERE or visit http://www.compliancephd.com/.

Have a Question? Email your question to Help@CompliancePhD.com

Feb 10, 2012

Patient Survey

Many providers often get so caught up in the busy day-to-day activities that they fail to see areas where they could improve the care they are providing to their patients.

Conducting surveys with the help of your patients can provide detailed descriptions of areas you may be doing well, and also areas that could use some improvement.

Questions may include: Ease of Scheduling an Appointment, Friendlyness of Staff, Overall Neatness of the Practice, Waiting Room, etc.

Click HERE to download a Sample Patient Survey. Email help@CompliancePhD.com for this patient survey in a Word format where you can add your Practice Information or tailor some of the questions to fit your needs. As always, should you have any questions you can contact Compliance PhD staff by phone or by email.

Email: Help@CompliancePhD.com
Phone: 720-475-0134