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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.

MeckLINK to go to Cardinal

Mecklenburg to turn over MeckLINK, fed money

Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013
 Mecklenburg County will abandon an idea to create its own authority to govern MeckLINK Behavioral Healthcare and the millions of dollars in federal Medicaid money it uses to provide mental health services.

Instead, a MeckLINK committee of four county commissioners is set to recommend to the full board next Tuesday that the county negotiate the best deal possible to turn over the program to Kannapolis-based Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions. That would effectively dissolve MeckLINK and send Cardinal nearly $200 million in Medicaid funding that county uses each year for services to 120,000 patients.

It was clear from the committee’s Tuesday meeting that board members have all but given up the fight to keep MeckLINK and want to negotiate what is best for the consumers and providers – and MeckLINK’s 200 employees. Committee members were clear in what they want the county to get in the negotiations.

Those wishes include:

• A “proportionate” representation on the Cardinal board to give Mecklenburg a significant say in how its Medicaid money is used. The 15-county Cardinal oversees services for 187,000 consumers, compared with MeckLINK’s 120,000.

• Cardinal reimbursing at least some of the money Mecklenburg has sunk into MeckLINK. The county has spent $8.4 million to get the agency running and continues to pay $90,000 in monthly operating costs. Assistant County Manager Michelle Lancaster said in conversations with Cardinal CEO Pam Shipman that Shipman wasn’t against some level of payback.

Dena Diorio, also an assistant county manager, told the committee that MeckLINK’s reserve fund of as much as $4.5 million would be retained, possibly lowering the reimbursement request.

• Cardinal hiring MeckLINK employees who are “in good standing for positions they would want to hire” and MeckLINK consumers being able to keep the same providers if they choose.

In late December, the predecessor to N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos tried to reassign MeckLINK to Cardinal. But after Mecklenburg threatened to sue, Wos allowed the county to continue operating – and governing – MeckLINK.

But in June, state legislators passed a law that forced the agency to operate under a single-county, independent authority or merge with an already existing multi-county authority by April 1.

For weeks, relatives of consumers and many providers have urged the county to pursue a single-county authority. In the end, commissioners said it would be too costly.

Commissioner Trevor Fuller, who chairs the committee, said he believes Mecklenburg has leverage to use in the negotiations. “We do have something they want,” Fuller said. “They want these people (the 120,000 consumers), and they want the ability to manage that amount of money.”

The new law requires county commissions in each of the authority’s counties to approve how Cardinal appoints its board. If Mecklenburg doesn’t approve the method, the authority wouldn’t comply with the law. “They would need our approval to do what they want to do,” Fuller said.

County Attorney Marvin Bethune told the committee that Mecklenburg could simply walk away from MeckLINK and tell the state “we’re terminating our contract on March 31. We’re not doing anything more – do what you want to do.”

That option didn’t seem to get much support from committee members. But “it is an option,” Fuller said. “We certainly can’t allow ourselves to be put in a position where get completely run over. So as a last resort, we can say, ‘fine, you want it, you manage all the issues, you pay for all the transition. Don’t ask us for anything.’

“But that gets messy.”

Still, he said, the county could use that threat to get state help with the negotiations. “If Cardinal is recalcitrant, we will need the state to control them a little,” Fuller said.

Lancaster said Shipman told her that Cardinal could transition MeckLINK within 120 days after a deal is sealed.

“The clock’s ticking,” said commissioner Bill James, a committee member.

Before the committee takes its recommendations to the full board on Tuesday, it wants to meet on Monday with Wos, Cardinal CEO Shipman and her board chair, and Rep. Nelson Dollar of Wake County, a key author of the law requiring MeckLINK to be governed by an authority.

“We want to hear from the secretary and Rep. Dollar what their vision is for what they’re trying to accomplish,” Fuller said. “And we want to have a conversation with (Cardinal officials) about how to get to where we need to be. We need some beginnings of commitment.

“We have looked at all the options, and are trying to do the best we can in a bad situation.”

Perlmutt: 704-358-5061
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/10/29/4425126/mecklenburg-to-turn-over-mecklink.html#.UnFMBfnrwh9#storylink=cpy

SPECIAL NEEDS HOUSING FUNDING

See Announcement below:

From: Special_Needs_Housing Listmanager

[mailto:Special_Needs_Housing.listmanager@www.floridahousing.org] Sent: Friday, August 02, 2013 2:57 PM
Subject: Funding Opportunties for Housing for Homeless Persons and Persons with Developmental Disabilities

From: “Elaine Roberts” <elaine.roberts@floridahousing.org>

Florida Housing Finance Corporation was appropriated non-recurring grant funds by the 2013 Legislature as follows: $10 million for housing for persons with developmental disabilities, and $10 million for housing for homeless persons and families. Florida Housing has announced two public workshops, both on August 8, 2013, to discuss how we expect to offer this funding and receive comments on our proposed approaches from interested stakeholders. We expect to offer the funding through three “Requests for Applications” (RFAs) as follows:
• An RFA for small developments to provide permanent supportive housing for persons with developmental disabilities;
• An RFA for larger developments to provide permanent supportive housing for persons with developmental disabilities; and
• An RFA for to provide permanent supportive housing for homeless persons and families.
Go tohttp://apps.floridahousing.org/StandAlone/FHFC_ECM/ContentPage.aspx?PAGE=0400 for information on where and when the public meetings will be held. In addition, you will find discussion documents for each RFA that describe Florida Housing’s proposed funding approaches.

Elaine Roberts – Florida Housing Finance Corporation

To login:http://www.floridahousing.org/webboard/
To (un)subscribe: mailto: Special_Needs_Housing.list-request@www.floridahousing.org

IPad Kiosks for Therap in Residential & Day Programs

Carolina Autism Supported Living Services in Charleston South Carolina has found a great way to use IPads in their group homes for documenting in Therap!  Here is a description and pictures from Phil Blevins, Executive Director:

 

“We used iPadWallBracket.com for the enclosure. There are many other sites with similar products but this seemed best for our purposes. We chose the enclosure that covers the “home” button. Then we installed a Kiosk program on the iPad. We chose Kiosk Pro from the Apple store. It’s free but there is a paid version with more features. We set the Therap login page as the start page and limited the kiosks browsing range to the therap domain. There are a few things I could note about setting it up if you ever want details.

We mounted the enclosure to a rolling laptop stand from Office Depot. Since it is plastic we chose not to drill holes in it but used a metal/plastic polymer adhesive to attach the enclosure.

We used iPads with WiFi instead of 3g so we have to make sure there is a working wireless router in the houses. And I’ve noticed that the iPad can’t handle the pop-up body image when entering skin/wound notes. But the staff person can still choose body parts from the drop-down menu. There may be other iPad quirks but we haven’t run into them yet.”
IPad Kiosks for Therap in Residential & Day Programs1      IPad Kiosks for Therap in Residential & Day Programs3  IPad Kiosks for Therap in Residential & Day Programs2

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!

      https://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.

 

 

Therap Regional Conference: Therap & CCHIT, Kissimmee, Florida, December 6-7, 2011

This week we will be in Kissimmee, Florida to hold our first Florida Regional Conference.  There are currently over 25 organizations and approximately 80 individuals registered.   In addition to usual training intensive sessions, there will be a number of sessions on nationally significant topics such as CCHIT and the meaningful use of Electronic Health Records (EHR).

Session highlights will include:

A close look at Therap’s Health Tracking modules for appointments, seizures, lab tests, vital signs, and medication histories

Introduction to Therap Medication Administration Records (MAR)

Therap Individual Service Plans (ISP)

Hands on training on different Therap modules including Therap GERs (incident reports), Time Tracking, Secure Communications and Training Management

A close look at Therap electronic billing, service authorizations and claim tracking

Advanced Training on Provider Administration, Super Roles and Caseloads

Conference Agenda and Additional Information:

Therap Regional Conference: Therap & CCHIT, Kissimmee, Florida, December 6-7, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broward Children’s Center joins Therap!

Broward Children’s Center joins Therap!

Therap welcomes the newest customer to our Florida Therap family, Broward Children’s Center!

 

 

Broward Children’s Center and its affiliates specialize in helping infants, children, and young adults with special health care needs. Founded in 1971, our nonprofit facilities in Pompano Beach, Fla., offer a range of health, wellness, education, recreation, therapeutic, daily living and advocacy services. During more than three decades of service thousands of children and their families have benefited from the Center’s programs.

Broward Children’s Center provides a home to some of the most technologically-dependent children in the country and addresses the educational, social and medical needs of both typically developing and special needs children. The needs of these children have led the Center to pioneer the development of community-based residential facilities and school programming for children who are medically fragile and/or developmentally delayed.

Visit their Website at http://www.bcckids.org/

 We welcome Broward Children’s Center to Therap and look forward to working together to improve communication, access to information and quality of care for infants, children and young adults with special health care needs!


The Florida APD IBudget and CCR-Central Customer Record is on Hold!

Barbara PalmerBarbara Palmer, new APD Chief of Staff has been assigned the IBudget and CCR initiatives.  She has assembled a Workgroup to evaluate these two critical Statewide Initiatives that have been riddled with problems and to make recommendations to APD Director, Mike Hansen.  In addition to the Workgroup’s evaluation, APD has contracted with North Highland, a national consulting group for assistance. http://www.northhighland.com

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