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Utilize learning opportunities and CDA resources to maintain HIPAA compliance

September 28, 2022 522

Enforcement actions against providers by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights to uphold patient rights to access their health information are increasingly common. CDA members benefit from an array of resources to support compliance efforts.

Patient care is your priority. As you know, a great deal of work goes on behind the scenes in any dental practice to ensure that quality, ethical care is being offered. For many dentists, compliance is one of the most intimidating of these behind-the-scenes tasks. Dentists often underestimate what HIPAA requires and the time needed to manage and review associated policies and procedures.

As the CDA Newsroom recently reported, enforcement actions against providers by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to uphold patient rights to access their health information are increasingly common. Recent investigations have brought the number of penalized cases up to 41 as of September 2022.

While not all 41of these cases are against dentists, those against dentists have been costly. Earlier this year, five of the cases involving dental practices were settled for a total of $170,000.

Why does HIPAA compliance matter?

  • 27,182 HIPAA complaints were filed in 2021; 85% of those complaints were related to cyberattacks.
  • Health care data breaches reached an all-time high in 2021, impacting 45 million patient records.
  • Health care providers have spent nearly $114 million on HIPAA fines since 2016.
  • 98% of providers audited by the OCR failed to have applicable content in their Notice of Privacy Practices.

How is CDA helping dentists achieve compliance?

Understanding that HIPAA compliance is essential to the health of your dental practice, CDA has resources available to help our members achieve and understand compliance.

  • CDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, OCR are teaming up to help dental practices gain a better understanding of HIPAA. Join a team of experts for a virtual training seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 5, HIPAA Compliance Basics and OCR Trends. This one-hour presentation begins at 5:30 p.m. and will include time for questions. Along with earning C.E. credit, attending this virtual training seminar will provide participants with a snapshot of OCR, its legal authorities and its process of investigations/compliance review. You’ll also receive an overview of HIPAA that includes the privacy rule, its access to medical records initiative, recent enforcement examples and additional resources. Registration is open for this online learning opportunity.
  • CDA members have access to an array of HIPAA and privacy tools, information and downloadable forms. These include a patient request to release records, how to conduct a HIPAA risk analysis and California-specific privacy laws.
  • Another HIPAA resource available to CDA members is through one of CDA’s vetted business partners, Abyde Software. Abyde’s program guides practices through mandatory compliance requirements such as the implementation of risk management programs, training for doctors and staff, customized policy documentation and more.

Make sure to utilize available guidance and tools from CDA so that your practice can avoid the cost and difficulty of a HIPAA compliance violation.