Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
Get compliant: HIPAA deadline was Sept. 23
If you're practice isn't completely compliant with the new revisions to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security rules, a toolkit from the AMA can help you quickly get up to speed. The compliance deadline was Sept. 23.
Turn to this free toolkit for practical resources to comply with the updated HIPAA requirements. The toolkit includes:
- A physician primer that provides an easy-to-understand breakdown of the revised rules to help physicians review and update their existing HIPAA policies and procedures
- A template business associate agreement and a notice of privacy practices that are ready for adoption in the practice
- A HIPAA security resource that explains how to encrypt patient data
Among the key changes doctors must make are new agreements with business associates that handle patient data and privacy notices to share with patients and increased security measures for patient information.
This toolkit is available free of charge. Physicians also can find additional HIPAA products available for purchase through the AMA Store. AMA members receive a 25 percent discount.
Private practice strong despite employment rise
A study released last week by the AMA found that the majority of physicians work in physician-owned practices, even as hospital employment has increased in recent years.
The new data—part of the first nationally representative study of physician practice arrangements in five years—show that 53.2 percent of physicians were self-employed in 2012, and 60 percent worked in practices wholly owned by physicians.
Meanwhile, the number of physicians employed directly by a hospital or a practice at least partially owned by a hospital increased from 16.3 percent during 2007–2008 to 29 percent in 2012. Other important findings include:
- The percentage of physicians who were practice owners in 2012 decreased 8 percentage points from the years 2007–2008.
- Eighteen percent of physicians were in solo practice in 2012, down 6 percentage points.
- The most common practice type in 2012 was single-specialty practice, accounting for 45.5 percent of physicians.
"Needed innovation in payment and delivery reform must recognize the wide range of practice types and sizes that exist today so all physicians can participate in the move to a more patient-centered system that rewards high-quality care and reduces costs," AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, said.
The AMA is dedicated to helping physicians navigate today's health care environment successfully by ensuring sustainable physician practices that result in good health outcomes for patients and greater professional satisfaction for physicians through its focus on shaping new delivery and payment models.