This vital resource offers mental and behavioral health providers clear, demystified guidance on HIPAA and HITECH regulations pertinent to practice. Many mental health providers erroneously believe that if they uphold their ethical and legal obligation to client confidentiality, they are HIPAA compliant. Others may believe that because their electronic health record provider promises HIPAA compliance, that their practice or organization is HIPAA compliant also not true. The reality is HIPAA has changed how providers conduct business, permanently, and providers need to know how to apply the regulations in daily practice. Providers now have very specific privacy requirements for managing patient information, and in our evolving digital era, HIPAA security regulations also force providers to consider all electronic aspects of their practice.
HIPAA Demystified applies to anyone responsible for HIPAA compliance, ranging from sole practitioners, to agencies, to larger mental health organizations, and mental health educators. While this book is written for HIPAA covered entities and business associates, for those who fall outside of the regulations, it is important to know that privacy and security regulations reflect a new standard of care for protection of patient information for all practitioners, regardless of compliance status. Additionally, some HIPAA requirements are now being codified into state laws, including breach notification.
This book s concise but comprehensive format describes HIPAA compliance in ways that are understandable and practical. Differences between traditional patient confidentiality and HIPAA privacy and security regulations are explained. Other important regulatory issues covered that are of importance of mental health providers include:
- Patient rights under HIPAA
- How HIPAA regulations define psychotherapy notes, with added federal protection
- Conducting a required security risk assessment and subsequent risk management strategies
- The interaction with HIPAA regulations and state mental health regulations
- Details about you may need Business Associate Agreements, and a Covered Entity s responsibility to complete due diligence on their BAs
- Training and documentation requirements, and the importance of sanction policies for violations of HIPAA
- Understanding what having a HIPAA breach means, and applicable breach notification requirements
- Cyber defensive strategies.
HIPAA Demystified also addresses common questions mental health providers typically have about application of HIPAA to mobile devices (e.g. cell phones, laptops, flash drives), encryption requirements, social media, and Skype and other video transmissions. The book also demonstrates potential costs of failing to comply with the regulations, including financial loss, reputational damage, ethico-legal issues, and damage to the therapist-patient relationship.
Readers will find this book chock full of real-life examples of individuals and organizations who ignored HIPAA, did not understand or properly implement specific requirements, failed to properly analyze the risks to their patient s private information, or intentionally skirted the law. In the quest to lower compliance risks for mental health providers HIPAA Demystified presents a concise, comprehensive guide, paving the path to HIPAA compliance for mental health providers in any setting.