By and large, urgent care operators are very diligent when it comes to following the guidelines laid down in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996—much better knowns as HIPAA. However, even without malice aforethought, you may inadvertently stray into noncompliance, leaving your business open to serious penalties. Such was pointed out in a FierceHealth article that discussed ways it’s easy for medical providers in general to slip out of compliance; in fact, it points out that data from the Department of Health and Human Services indicate that roughly 70% of healthcare organizations (not specifically urgent care providers) are not HIPAA-compliant. One problem, according to the article, is that HIPAA compliance is a moving target, with policy, regulation, and technology constantly evolving. What was “compliant” 2 years ago could be a serious breach today. Your only hope is to keep up to date and work with vendors, such as your IT consultants, who understand your obligations under the law. The JUCM archives are a treasure trove of information on HIPAA issues relevant to urgent care. For starters, check out the following:

·         HIPAA For Urgent Care Centers: A Primer

·         What HIPAA Is And What It’s Not

·         Implications Of HIPAA And Employee Confidentiality Rules On Positive Drug Test Results

Straying Outside of HIPAA Compliance May Be Dangerously Simple
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