Are You Subject to HIPAA Privacy Rules when Publishing Confidential Health Information on a Social Network?

It’s unlikely the social networking sites are health care providers, so HIPAA’s privacy rule doesn’t apply; but other privacy business practices are likely to affect you. First, tackle the HIPAA Privacy question by responding to the following questions. » Are you a healthcare provider that conducts transactions electronically? » Are you a healthcare clearinghouse? (Do you process healthcare claims?) » Are you a health plan? (insurance payer) If you answered no to these questions, you are not a covered entity under HIPAA’s Privacy Rule. That said, you probably are more concerned about users sharing health information online that if stolen, could be used in identity theft. Consumers (patients) often use…

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House and Senate Agree on ARRA Provisions

On Wednesday, February 11, 2009, House and Senate conferees reconciled the House and Senate versions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA) plan, or so-called Stimulus bill. The House and Senate are expected to approve the final version this week and send it to President Obama for his signature. The total of the stimulus is just over $789 billion. The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that “$19 billion is set aside for health information technology. Physicians would get bonuses of between $44,000 and $64,000—and hospitals would get as much as $11 million—if they show they have computerized their medical-records systems. On the stick side of the equation, the measure…

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