This session will discuss the issues surrounding the use of various communication technologies under HIPAA controls, and the recent guidance and declarations from HHS about HIPAA and the response to COVID-19
Social distancing to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus is effective, but offices are used to working as teams, face-to-face, and social distancing requires that staff that can work from home does work from home. In addition, patient care has typically required a face-to-face encounter, which can cause the spread of the virus in the process, and as infected individuals travel to and from appointments. It is essential to be able to work from home while protecting privacy and security and provide telemedicine services in order to reach the most individuals without risking harm.
HIPAA calls for adequate consideration of privacy and security for patient information, considering administrative, technical, and physical security, and working from home impacts all of those safeguards. HIPAA regulations put controls on the appropriate technologies to use for communications, and can require that a Business Associate relationship be established when using any services that involve any persistence of custody of Protected Health Information, such as some communications and videoconferencing technologies. Violations of HIPAA rules can lead to penalties in the millions of dollars. In addition, regulations on mental health, and on Substance Use Disorders in particular, are very strict and must be considered in addition to HIPAA.
HHS has announced the relaxation of enforcement pertaining to the use of teleconferencing technologies to provide remote medical services, allowing the use of such services to expand quickly, but limits on "public-facing" conferencing technologies remain. Providers need to adopt the necessary technologies without fear of HIPAA violation enforcement actions during the COVID-19 Emergency and must understand the limits of what is permitted in order to best serve patients and their families.
During the COVID-19 health emergency, business-grade teleconferencing technologies have stepped in to fill the gap in Telemedicine services. HHS has recognized that such services, even while not necessarily meeting the letter of HIPAA regulations, can be used in a secure and reasonable way during the emergency, and has provided guidance to that effect. Commonly-used applications like FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom, that are not public-facing in their operation, may be used, but public-facing apps such as FaceTime Live or a chat room in Slack are not appropriate. This session will explain the difference between public- and non-public-facing services, what should be done in using the permitted services, and what must be done once the emergency is over and the relaxation of enforcement ends.
Issues of Physical Security for staff and their computing devices will be discussed, as well as requirements for the proper consideration of technical security and encryption for portable devices. The use of Risk Analysis as a tool to assist in the secure, compliant implementation of communication technology will be presented.Areas Covered in the Webinar:
This webinar will provide valuable assistance to all personnel in:
Medical offices, practice groups, hospitals, academic medical centers, insurers, business associates (shredding, data storage, systems vendors, billing services, etc.). The titles are:
Principal and Director of Compliance Services, Lewis Creek Systems, LLC
Jim Sheldon-Dean is the founder and director of compliance services at Lewis Creek Systems, LLC, a Vermont-based consulting firm founded in 1982, providing information privacy and security regulatory compliance services to a wide variety of health care entities. He is a frequent speaker regarding HIPAA, including speaking engagements at numerous regional and national healthcare association conferences and conventions and the annual NIST/OCR HIPAA Security Conference. Sheldon-Dean has more than 19 years of experience specializing in HIPAA compliance, more than 37 years of experience in policy analysis and implementation, business process analysis, information systems and software development, and eight years of experience doing hands-on medical work as a Vermont certified volunteer emergency medical technician. Sheldon-Dean received his B.S. degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Vermont and his master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Registrants may cancel up to two working days prior to the course start date and will receive a letter of credit to be used towards a future course up to one year from date of issuance. FDATrainingAlert would process/provide refund if the Live Webinar has been cancelled. The attendee could choose between the recorded version of the webinar or refund for any cancelled webinar. Refunds will not be given to participants who do not show up for the webinar. On-Demand Recordings can be requested in exchange.
Webinar may be cancelled due to lack of enrolment or unavoidable factors. Registrants will be notified 24hours in advance if a cancellation occurs. Substitutions can happen any time.
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