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Non-Profit to Pay $50,000 for HIPAA Violation

Idaho Non-Profit Agrees to Pay $50,000 for HIPAA Violation

By Carlton Purvis

01/03/2013 -Picture of Security ManagementIn a first of its kind settlement, a non-profit medical facility in Idaho will pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $50,000 for HIPAA violations surrounding potential exposure of patient information.

The settlement is the first involving a breach of electronic protected health information affecting fewer than 500 individuals.

“This action sends a strong message to the health care industry that, regardless of size, covered entities must take action and will be held accountable for safeguarding their patients’ health information.” said OCR Director Leon Rodriguez in an HHS press release published Wednesday.

In February 2010, Hospice of North Idaho (HONI) reported to HHS that an unencrypted laptop containing information on 441 patients was stolen from inside an employee’s car.

An OCR investigation found that HONI had no policies or procedures in regard to mobile device security as required by HIPAA. Additionally, HONI had never done any type of electronic protected health information risk analysis.

The laptop was never recovered.

When a breach impacts more than 500 individuals, companies are required tonotify all major media outlets in their state, as well as the government. A notice is included on the Department of Health and Human Services Web site in accordance with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

For breaches that affect fewer than 500 people, organizations keep a log that is turned in to the Secretary of Health and Human Services annually.

In addition to the fine, the December 28th agreement includes a two-year corrective action plan that mandates that the facility immediately report any future breaches to HHS.

“The theft of the laptop was out of our hands, but the measures we have taken since then to ensure the security and privacy of our patients’ information have been numerous,” Brenda Wild, Hospice of North Idaho Board President said in a written statement.

Since the incident, the facility has increased security on any equipment that contains patient information, including encryption and increased password protection, and scheduled security training.

HONI’s staff of more than 100 people is North Idaho’s only inpatient hospice facility. The organization serves members of the community regardless of their ability to pay.

Spring Conference in Columbia, South Carolina, April 30th, 2013

It’s here…Therap’s first South Carolina Regional Conference!

Regional Conference in West Columbia, South Carolina, April 30-May 1, 2013

The conference will be a good place for prospective users to learn about individual support documentation and reporting, electronic health records (EHR) and training management. Event highlights will include:

  • Hands-on training on different Therap modules including incident reportshealth tracking and billing (see below)
  • Sessions focused on implementation and effective use
  • User presentations, brainstorming and discussions
  • User group meeting and discussions

The conference will be especially beneficial for Therap users in South Carolina and agencies from surrounding states would also find it useful.
Register for Spring Conference in Columbia, South Carolina, April 30th, 2013
Registration:
Registration Fee: $100
Register by March 30, 2013 for the Early Bird
Discount and pay $80 only!

Online Registration

Downloads:
Information Flyer
Preliminary Schedule (in black & white)

Venue/Accommodation:
Holiday Inn & Suites Columbia-Airport
110 McSwain Drive
West Columbia, South Carolina 29169
Phone: (803) 391-4000

Note: Ask the hotel for the Therap Block Rate of $99.00+Tax
(Includes hot breakfast buffet and complimentary Airport Shuttle
service to/from airport 4am-11pm daily)

 

Therap National Conference – A Big Success!

Therap National Conference pic1In preparation for Therap Services pre-conference meetings on Monday, some of us came in early on Sunday to catch the Superbowl at a local Sports Bar-Redds, right across the street from the Met-Life Stadium where the Giants and Jets play!  It was sweet victory for New York and very exciting to be in the middle of it all!

We had a great conference with around 350 attendees, 3 days of over 35 sessions including: Basic to Advanced User sessions, Provider Organizations Special Topic sessions and Brainstorming with Therap Programmers! 

Therap National Conference pic2

Of course, being New York, we always take a trip to “The City” and what a great time of eating pizza, walking around Manhattan to look at the sites!  

Therap National Conference pic3

                           Therap National Conference pic4   Therap National Conference pic5

If you missed it, you can still get to one of our Regional Conferences this year.  Check out when we are coming to a town near you!

      http://www.therapservices.net/conferences/

Therap 2012.0 Released: Lots of New Features!

 

Therap 2012.0 Released!

 

We are now on version 2012.0 of the Therap Applications. We have worked relentlessly on getting the system up and running with lots of new and exciting features and updates. We hope to receive your valuable feedback on the new features.

 

 

Florida ARF & Respect of Florida Annual Meeting

September 21st & 22nd, Florida ARF and Respect of Florida celebrated their Annual Meeting in Clearwater Beach Florida.

Picture of Florida ARF & Respect of Florida Annual Meeting

As a Gold Sponsor of FARF, Therap Services Exhibited our product and I gave a brief presentation on the status of Therap working with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, to test the export data from Therap to the Florida APD CCR system.  The number of organizations using Therap in Florida continues to grow with many organisations coming from FARF membership.  These provider agencies share with each other the tremendous benfits and positive experiences using Therap, and so, we continuento grow from  Coast to Coast.  An additonal benefit for FARF members, is a 15% discount off of the List Price.  In financially challenging times like this, with Therap already being so affordable and saving providers time & money, this is a fantastic deal!  So, give me a call or come visit me at our next meeting.

Picture of Therap Booth in FARF & Respect of Florida Annual Meeting

Barry Pollack   386-212-3201   barry.pollack@therapservices.net   www.therapservices.net

 

 

 

Exciting New Feature to be Released in Version 9.1

Check out this Webinar in Justin’s Blog about “Unification” and tracking outside referrals made from Service Coordinators, Case Managers, Etc.   This release makes Therap functionality very good for Coordinating Services and Referrals and includes some nice new Admin features as well.  It is very cool!!!

Justin’s Blog: Release 9.1 Webinar

FINAL RULES RELEASED TO SUPPORT MEANINGFUL USE OF ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS


For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Contact: CMS Office of Public Affairs
202-690-6145

SECRETARY SEBELIUS ANNOUNCES FINAL RULES TO SUPPORT MEANINGFUL USE OF ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS

Secretary Sebelius Announces Final Rules To Support

‘Meaningful Use’ of Electronic Health Records

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced final rules to help improve Americans’ health, increase safety and reduce health care costs through expanded use of electronic health records (EHR).

“For years, health policy leaders on both sides of the aisle have urged adoption of electronic health records throughout our health care system to improve quality of care and ultimately lower costs,” Secretary Sebelius said.  “Today, with the leadership of the President and the Congress, we are making that goal a reality.”

Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, eligible health care professionals and hospitals can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments when they adopt certified EHR technology and use it to achieve specified objectives.  One of the two regulations announced today defines the “meaningful use” objectives that providers must meet to qualify for the bonus payments, and the other regulation identifies the technical capabilities required for certified EHR technology.

Announcement of today’s regulations marks the completion of multiple steps laying the groundwork for the incentive payments program.  With “meaningful use” definitions in place, EHR system vendors can ensure that their systems deliver the required capabilities, providers can be assured that the system they acquire will support achievement of “meaningful use” objectives, and a concentrated five-year national initiative to adopt and use electronic records in health care can begin.

“This is a turning point for electronic health records in America, and for improved quality and effectiveness in health care,” said David Blumenthal, M.D., National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.  “In delivering on the goals that Congress called for, we have sought to provide the leadership and coordination that are essential for a large, technology-based enterprise.  At the same time, we have sought and received extensive input from the health care community, and we have drawn on their experience and wisdom to produce objectives that are both ambitious and achievable.”

Two companion final rules were announced today.  One regulation, issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), defines the minimum requirements that providers must meet through their use of certified EHR technology in order to qualify for the payments.  The other rule, issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), identifies the standards and certification criteria for the certification of EHR technology, so eligible professionals and hospitals may be assured that the systems they adopt are capable of performing the required functions.

As much as $27 billion may be expended in incentive payments over ten years.  Eligible professionals may receive as much as $44,000 under Medicare and $63,750 under Medicaid, and hospitals may receive millions of dollars for implementation and meaningful use of certified EHRs under both Medicare and Medicaid.

The CMS rule announced today make  final a proposed rule issued on Jan, 13, 2010.  The final rule includes modifications that address stakeholder concerns while retaining the intent and structure of the incentive programs.  In particular, while the proposed rule called on eligible professionals to meet 25 requirements (23 for hospitals) in their use of EHRs, the final rules divides the requirements into a “core” group of requirements that must be met, plus an additional “menu” of procedures from which providers may choose.  This “two track” approach ensures that the most basic elements of meaningful EHR use will be met by all providers qualifying for incentive payments, while at the same time allowing latitude in other areas to reflect providers’ needs and their individual path to full EHR use.

“CMS received more than 2,000 comments on our proposed rule,” said Marilyn Tavenner, Principal Deputy Administrator of CMS.  “Many comments were from those who will be most immediately affected by EHR technology – health care providers and patients.  We carefully considered every comment and the final meaningful use rules incorporate changes that are designed to make the requirements achievable while meeting the goals of the HITECH Act.”

Requirements for meaningful use incentive payments will be implemented over a multi-year period, phasing in additional requirements that will raise the bar for performance on IT and quality objectives in later years.  The final CMS rule specifies initial criteria that eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals, including critical access hospitals (CAHs), must meet.  The rule also includes the formula for the calculation of the incentive payment amounts; a schedule for payment adjustments under Medicare for covered professional services and inpatient hospital services provided by EPs, eligible hospitals and CAHs that fail to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology by 2015; and other program participation requirements.

Key changes in the final CMS rule include:

Greater flexibility with respect to eligible professionals and hospitals in meeting and reporting certain objectives for demonstrating meaningful use.  The final rule divides the objectives into a “core” group of required objectives and a “menu set” of procedures from which providers may choose any five to defer in 2011-2012.  This gives providers latitude to pick their own path toward full EHR implementation and meaningful use.

  • An objective of providing condition-specific patient education resources for both EPs and eligible hospitals and the objective of recording advance directives for eligible hospitals, in line with recommendations from the Health Information Technology Policy Committee.
  • A definition of a hospital-based EP as one who performs substantially all of his or her services in an inpatient hospital setting or emergency room only, which  conforms to the Continuing Extension Act of 2010
  • CAHs within the definition of acute care hospital for the purpose of incentive program eligibility under Medicaid.

CMS’ and ONC’s final rules complement two other recently issued HHS rules.  On June 24, 2010, ONC published a final rule establishing a temporary certification program for health information technology. And on July 8, 2010 the Office for Civil Rights announced a proposed rule that would strengthen and expand privacy, security, and enforcement protections under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

As part of this process, HHS is establishing a nationwide network of Regional Extension Centers to assist providers in adopting and using in a meaningful way certified EHR technology.

“Health care is finally making the technology advances that other sectors of our economy began to undertake years ago,” Dr. Blumenthal said.  “These changes will be challenging for clinicians and hospitals, but the time has come to act.  Adoption and meaningful use of EHRs will help providers deliver better and more effective care, and the benefits for patients and providers alike will grow rapidly over time.”

A CMS/ONC fact sheet on the rules is available at http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/

Technical fact sheets on CMS’s final rule are available at http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/

A technical fact sheet on ONC’s standards and certification criteria final rule is available at http://healthit.hhs.gov/standardsandcertification

“Sweet Home Alabama…”

This week we are travelling across Birmingham visiting with my UCP friends and Colleagues!  When in the Gulf Coast Region one has to eat Oysters, so Yes!, Kris Keppler and i had to visit “The Original Oyster House” in Mobile, Alabama.

And…What great Sunsets!                         Home to the USS Alabama!

SunsetUSS Alabama

And the Battleship Memorial Park

Battleship Memorial Park

UCP, United Cerebral Palsy organizations are each unique and specially different!  UCP of Greater Birmingham and their President/CEO, Dr. Gary Edwards have created a very impressive and special program.  When you visit their children and adults services, you have seen some of the most impressive and inspiring programs and facilities in the Country!

Off to Pensacola, Florida!

ACTION IS NEEDED TO AVOID CUTS TO DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED FOR THE COMING YEAR!

The following is an excerpt from the FFDDnews.com website at:

Visit the link to email your Florida Legislators!
http://www.ffddnews.com/contact-your-legislator.php

THE LEGISLATURE IS CURRENTLY IN NEGOTIATIONS FOR 2011-12 FUNDING.

The House and Senate are working on the budget now and can not agree on funding of the “Resources to Address Waiver Deficit” funding.
The House has added an additional $110,376,456 to cover those currently receiving services under the DD waiver for next fiscal year, the Senate has not added this additional funding.

We must encourage the Legislative Leadership to adopt the House position.

Since the issue was not resolved at the committee level, it was bumped up to Rep. Denise Grimsley and Sen. JD Alexander, Appropriations Chairs.
From there it will go to the House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos.
PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO EMAIL LEADERSHIP (Below)
Encourage them to ADOPT THE HOUSE POSITION FOR DD FUNDING!!

Thank you for your advocacy and for taking action. It really does make a difference!

Susan Goldstein

UCP National Conference in “The Big Easy”, New Orleans

Last week I represented Therap Services as an Exhibitor at the United Cerebral Palsy 2011 Annual Conference.  It was an excellent conference as UCP Affiliate Executives and other organization staff  attended very meetings around the theme of  Its All Local!

It's All Local

Stephen Bennett

The CEO of United Cerebral Palsy, Stephen Bennett said

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of UCP and myself, thank you for attending Life Without Limits: It’s All Local, UCP’s 2011 Annual Conference.  Your participation in New Orleans this week helped strengthen UCP’s network of close to 100 affiliates across the globe that are advancing the civil rights movement for people with disabilities.

We learned a great deal from one another over three days in the “Big Easy.”

Glen Harger

Congratulations Glenn!

During the reception on the first evening my esteemed colleague and  good friend, Glen Harger, CEO of UCP of Mobile was honored:

2011 Kathleen O. Maul Leadership Award was presented to Glenn Harger, CEO of UCP of Mobile, for his leadership and strong commitment to UCP. He joined the affiliate of UCP of Mobile in 1989 and has grown the affiliate from a budget of $400,000 and 12 employees to a budget size of $4.1 million and 75 employees. He served in a leadership role as Chair with the National Administrators Council and as the first chair of the Professional Council following the reinvention of the management structure for UCP. He has offered his expertise to the planning and logistical support of several UCP annual conferences and has faithfully participated in Regional Administrator Council meetings. He currently serves as the Chair of the Program Advancement Ad Hoc Committee. Glenn previously served on the Affiliate Services Committee and was the Chair of the Interagency Coordinating Council of Alabama for Early Childhood Intervention. Throughout his time with UCP he has been a respected, vocal executive director who not only has Southern charm and a booming voice but a great passion for people with disabilities.

The conference was also attended by long time supporter and Actress, Cheryl Hines.  She took time to dance the night away as she was swept off her feet by this incredible interactive Robot, built and presented by:

Picture of Diane Wilush, Executive Director, in UCP National Conference

Original Picture is Unavailable

The conference was a great time as I had the opportunity to visit with many of my long time colleagues including some of Therap’s current UCP customers like Diane Wilush, Executive Director, UCP of Georgia and South Carolina along with Brad Beasley, Assistant Executive Director, UCP of South Carolina.  Many of the UCP affiliate directors and program staff were so excited when they saw some of what Therap can do for them.  And with our new mobile app for IPhone and IPad, it was a thrill to demonstrate how simple it is for staff to document services from anywhere while Therap pegs the staff providing the services, time and location without having to enter that information.  For more information about Therap Mobile Apps go to: http://www.therapservices.net/apps/

Picture of Therap Booth in UCP National Conference

See y’all next year!