To date, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has levied over $27 million in fines since the start of 2016. In the ever changing world of HIPAA regulatory compliance, doctors and health care professionals are facing more challenges than ever before. With enforcement trends up and the current focus on HIPAA Phase 2 audits, the only way organizations can protect themselves is with a robust, organization-wide compliance plan that covers the full spectrum of HIPAA regulation.
In addition to ongoing investigations, OCR has also launched a new program of random audits. In late April, OCR released new guidance to support these recently implemented Phase 2 HIPAA Compliance Audits. Click here to register and view the upcoming webinar highlighting the upcoming audits. OCR has designed these Phase 2 audits to target a broad selection of Covered Entities and Business Associates from around the country to reflect the state of HIPAA compliance across the health care industry. And according to HHS, that means that telemental health specialists will be chosen as well.
HIPAA Phase 2 Audits in Behavioral Health
However, just because behavioral health specialists face the same regulatory requirements as other players in the health care field, that doesn’t mean that they face the same day-to-day challenges when it comes to managing their HIPAA compliance. As we all know, behavioral health care has specific requirements as well as its own complications with implementation. Knowing the general rules is no longer enough. How to respond when clients and patients fail to complete forms, when special requests for records are made and a plethora of other nuances must not only be understood, but informed strategies for compliance must now be implemented.
Join the TeleMental Health Institute and Compliancy Group on the upcoming “HIPAA 101: What all Telemental Health Professionals Need to Know” on Monday, September 19th at 2:00 pm Eastern to find out how you can protect your practice from data breaches and fines with a total HIPAA compliance program.