Healthcare providers must be vigilant in ensuring that software upgrades, also known as patches, are kept current. Failure to do so can lead to a HIPAA Security Breach with all its associated penalties. For example Windows XP no longer has security updates and should not be used in healthcare settings.

On January 17, 2018, the OCR released another known problem with the chips on some computers. The notice stated:

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It's difficult to know where to start when selecting the best software for your practice.  With dozens of selections to choose from, making the right choice can be a daunting task.  For new or established practices looking to implement or upgrade software into their practices, there are some general need-to-know details that will help better prepare you for evaluating and choosing the software program best suited for your needs.

Are Text Messages HIPAA Compliant?

As more and more people are using mobile and wireless devices, a new buzzword has emerged: mHealth.

Virtual Cards

Sometimes called "disposable," "temporary" or "one-time use" numbers, a virtual credit card number is "like putting a wall" between your transaction and your regular account, says Steve Kenneally, vice president of the American Bankers Association. Although these cards can protect the cardholder from fraud, the use of virtual cards as a form of electronic funds transfers (EFT) payments for healthcare services can present some problems for healthcare providers.

In this electronic age, Social Media has quickly become a very successful tool used for advertising/marketing, communication of various topics and reaching readers and networks beyond our wildest dreams. These networks are often leading to various opportunities or other positive occurrences that we may not have otherwise experienced. Social Media may include sites such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, e-mails, blogs, websites and other online applications that can be used to communicate with others or share messages. 

It is common knowledge that fraud is a large problem for payers, who must spend money paying fraudulent claims as well as on recovery. According to a Forbes article, a health care actuary estimated that private insurers annually “lose perhaps 1 to 1.5 percent in fraud.” Meanwhile, the problem is worse for public insurers. The same actuary estimates that “Medicare and Medicaid may be closer to 10 to 15 percent.” According to the recently released Medicare Fee-for-Service 2013 Improper Payment Rate Report, the improper payment rate increased from 8.5% in 2012 to 10.1% in 2013.

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