This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Good form TMA form helps keep you out of trouble BY CRYSTAL CONDE As more physicians adopt electronic

health records (EHRs) and increasingly share patient informa- tion electronically, complying with state and federal privacy and security laws becomes more important than ever. The Texas Medical Association wants physicians to have the tools they need to comply while alleviating the admin- istrative hassles that often accompany compliance, so it has created a patient authorization form to help physicians adhere to the law. By signing the form, a patient authorizes the physician to disclose all information in the medi- cal record including medication lists, tests, and diagnoses. The form fea- tures fields for patient demographic information and medical history. Generally, physicians can ex- change patient information for treatment and payment under state and federal law without obtaining a patient’s authorization. But health care professionals must get patients’ approval before exchanging some types of sensitive information, such as certain drug and alcohol abuse treatment information and psycho- therapy notes.

The new form is available in

TMA’s Policies & Procedures: A Guide for Medical Practices. The guide also includes updated information about a state privacy law that imposes re- quirements more stringent than the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) on Texas physicians and others using EHRs. A hard copy of the guide with customizable CD is $295 for members and $395 for nonmembers. The customizable CD alone is $255 for members and $355 for nonmembers. TMA also offers a free downloadable update featuring the new pa- tient authorization form and information on Texas’ new EHR privacy law for physicians who previously purchased the poli- ies and procedures guide. To order the guide and to inquire about the update down-

load, call the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955, or email

TMA Practice Consulting will begin offering on-site HIPAA compliance training for medical practices this month. Call TMA Practice Consulting at (800) 523-8776 for more infor- mation about the training. Additionally, Texas law requires the state attorney general to develop an authorization form for health information ex- changes (HIEs) by Jan. 1. Check the agency’s website, www.oag.state.tx .us, for information about the form.

“Failure to comply with state and

HIPAA notice requirements has severe penalties.”

Follow the law or pay Ignorance of privacy and security laws is no excuse, and violations are costly.

Last spring, an Arizona car- diology practice paid $100,000 and agreed to a corrective action plan after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) received a complaint it had posted clinical and surgical patient ap- pointments on a publicly accessible Internet-based calendar. HHS said its investigation found the practice had few policies and procedures to comply with HIPAA, had limited safeguards to protect patients’ elec- tronic protected health informa- tion (PHI), did not document that it trained any employees on HIPAA

policies, and did not identify a security official or conduct a risk analysis. According to the 2011 Ponemon Institute Survey on Medi- cal Identity Theft, the average health data breach costs $282 per patient record to cover expenses associated with providing patients free identity protection for one year, notifying patients of the loss, investigating the incident, and taking measures to prevent future loss or theft. In addition to being expensive for a practice, data breaches are becoming more common. HHS reports breaches of PHI increased 97 percent from 2010 to

January 2013 TEXAS MEDICINE 51

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68