HIPAA/HITECH compliance deadline approaching

The Sept. 23 compliance deadline for the omnibus rule/HITECH amendments to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is just around the corner.

There are a couple educational options for dentists related to this subject.

Dentists can access a free, recorded webinar series that was conducted this summer by The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) and the federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR). WEDI is an authority on the use of health IT and is named in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor. OCR is the federal agency that enforces HIPAA.

Three webinars were held on June 14, June 28, July 17, and July 26. Each webinar reviews a different aspect of HIPAA and the omnibus rule. For example, the July 17 program reviewed breach notification requirements and recent enforcement actions. The series is free but site registration is required to access it.

Find the webinars by searching the WEDI Web site for the title of the series, "Omnibus HIPAA/HITECH Final Rule Summer Webinar Series."  Each webinar is 90 minutes.

The ADA is offering an online C.E. course for 1 unit of credit. "Dental Practice HIPAA Compliance: An Overview of Changes in the 2013 Omnibus Final Rule" is $41.

And for something a little different, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has an online game that can help identify gaps in a dentist’s knowledge of privacy and security rules. 

The CDA Compass has a sample Notice of Privacy Practices and sample Business Associates agreement available. Updated notices should be in place by September 23. Business associate agreements effective after Jan. 25, 2013 must include the elements required by HITECH/omnibus rule. Covered entities that have business associate agreements effective before Jan.25, 2013 have until Sept. 23, 2014 to update them.