Bring your trick-or-treaters by our office Thursday, October 27th from 5:00 — 7:00 p.m for some candy! We are looking forward to participating in the Downtown Kirkwood Halloween Walk. This is a great event that brings families into the Kirkwood business district in a fun and safe envioronment for the kids. The shops and restaurants in the area will be giving out candy, hot chocolate, and cider for all. So bring your children or grandchildren out — and make sure you come visit us! Along with some delicious candy, we will also have information about the Haiti Orphan Project and how you can help. Hope to see you there!
Archive for October, 2011
Every physician and healthcare worker has heard the serious warnings related to HIPAA Violations. For most, being cautious, following the rules, and putting safeguards in place protects them from breaches of patient privacy and the resulting penalties. But what if someone outside of your practice loses data about your patients’ health, medical records, or personal information? You could be held responsible.
Of course any entity that you share patient information with is supposed to operate under the HIPAA Laws, but if you give medical records out that are eventually lost or stolen, you could be held liable. It could come back to you at some point. Healthcare providers, health insurance plans, and data management companies that regularly receive information from physicians are held responsible if the information is lost or gets in the wrong hands. All of these entities are supposed to encrypt the medical records stored electronically to avoid this problem. But there are many unknowns involved when information is shared and stored by multiple groups.
For example, in a recent article, a malpractice law firm lost a portable hard drive that included information on over 100 patients involved in a MedMal claim against a cardiologist in Baltimore. Apparently HIPAA does not regulate law firms. Maybe it should. The hard drive had medical records of the patients, names, social security numbers, and more. Unfortunately, this will only add fuel to the fire for the claim against this physician.
So what should you do? First, make sure you understand the HIPAA rules and follow them. Make sure any person or entity that you share healthcare information with does the same. You should also make sure your medical malpractice insurance policy has coverage for HIPAA Violations. If it doesn’t, you should purchase an additional policy. Having this coverage could potentially save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in the future. You can get a Medical Defense policy that adds other important coverage as well. Contact your Keane Insurance Group representative for more information.
In many parts of the country physicians are choosing to become employees of hospitals, healthcare systems, or large groups rather than face the unknown in their own private practices. While there are some good reasons for this trend, physicians need to be aware of some of the risks. A recent article highlights some of the issues that doctors should consider.
The main things to think about are giving up control of your practice, being forced to buy a tail for your medical malpractice insurance, paying more for premiums for your MedMal Coverage, and losing options and flexibility in your practice of medicine. Please contact The Keane Insurance Group to get answers to your questions and to explore your options.