Back in 1996—long before the days of social media and smartphones—Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as a means of governing the manner in which providers, insurers, and business associates collect, share, and use patient protected health information (PHI). Ultimately, it’s in everyone’s best interest to ensure that patient information remains private, but adhering to all HIPAA rules can be a daunting task for even the most seasoned provider—especially in the age of the Internet. But, infractions can lead to costly penalties, and ignorance is not a viable defense. To test your mettle—and ensure your practice is HIPAA-compliant—take this short quiz:

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  • 5 Things Small Practices Need to Know about HIPAA Image

    articleSep 20, 2017 | 9 min. read

    5 Things Small Practices Need to Know about HIPAA

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 —a.k.a. HIPAA—does not distinguish between large and small practices. Fortunately, regulators do. While the law imposes the same requirements upon solo practitioners and large rehab hospitals, the manner in which those requirements are applied may depend upon your practice size. Contrary to what many providers believe, the onus of HIPAA’s requirements won’t hamper your clinical practice. In fact, I’ve found that they actually do the opposite: HIPAA provides …

  • The Healthcare Provider's Guide to HIPAA-Compliant Marketing Image

    articleSep 14, 2017 | 6 min. read

    The Healthcare Provider's Guide to HIPAA-Compliant Marketing

    In 1966, US Congress passed the Health Information Portability and Accountability ACT (HIPAA). And as we explained here , this “dense piece of legislation...has serious implications for virtually all medical professionals, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists.” Specifically, all HIPAA-covered entities—and that includes providers, payers, and business associates—“must follow certain rules governing the way patient protected health information (PHI) is collected, shared, and used.” And consequences for HIPAA breaches can be severe. While you may …

  • Common Questions from Our Patient Sticker Shock Webinar Image

    articleMar 31, 2017 | 33 min. read

    Common Questions from Our Patient Sticker Shock Webinar

    From copays and deductibles to payer contracts and benefits verification, understanding all the nuances of third-party insurances is tough enough for healthcare providers—let alone their patients. In WebPT’s most recent webinar— Suppressing Sticker Shock: How to Handle Your Patients’ High-Deductible Health Plans —co-hosts Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC/L, the cofounder and president of WebPT, and WebPT CEO Nancy Ham provided a lot of great advice on how to have productive conversations about healthcare costs with your patients—without …

  • A 10-Point Plan for Smart and Secure Electronic Communications with Patients Image

    articleMar 15, 2018 | 8 min. read

    A 10-Point Plan for Smart and Secure Electronic Communications with Patients

    As emails and text messages have become ubiquitous, patient expectations around provider responsiveness have increased. Gone are the days when providers set aside time each afternoon to return calls; now, they can simply respond to their patients’ texts—but should they? Many physical therapists, regardless of their practice model or patient population, are surprised to learn that they may not be allowed to interact with patients in the manner they—or their patients—prefer. These same providers are typically even …

  • Suppressing Sticker Shock: How to Handle Your Patients’ High-Deductible Health Plans Image

    webinarFeb 23, 2017

    Suppressing Sticker Shock: How to Handle Your Patients’ High-Deductible Health Plans

    Copayments, coinsurances, unresolved balances—oh my! Any one of these can cause headaches for healthcare providers, but as healthcare reform efforts shift more and more financial burden to insurance beneficiaries, today’s practitioners are increasingly facing all three. And these challenges are not only hurting their patient acquisition and retention rates, but also their bottom lines. Tired of spending time verifying benefits only to lose those patients to copay sticker shock? Stuck in a constant cycle of pursuing past-due …

  • Give to Get: The How and Why of Patient Loyalty Programs Image

    articleSep 28, 2017 | 8 min. read

    Give to Get: The How and Why of Patient Loyalty Programs

    It’s common knowledge that acquiring new patients is significantly more expensive than keeping existing ones. How much more expensive? According to this Harvard Business Review article —which WebPT’s Kylie McKee cited here —“Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” Even if your numbers are on the low end of that range—and that seems unlikely for …

  • The PT Patient's Guide to Understanding Insurance Image

    downloadApr 3, 2017

    The PT Patient's Guide to Understanding Insurance

    Patients are shouldering a greater portion of their healthcare costs than ever before. But when they don’t know the specifics of their coverage, they can end up with much bigger bills than they bargained for—and that often leads to unpaid balances and unfinished treatment plans. Bring them up to speed—and improve your practice’s collections and patient retention—with this guide. Patients will learn: What it means for a service to be “covered.” How to define common insurance terms. …

  • Is Your Healthcare Practice HIPAA-Compliant on Social Media? [Quiz] Image

    articleNov 22, 2016 | 1 min. read

    Is Your Healthcare Practice HIPAA-Compliant on Social Media? [Quiz]

    Using social media for your healthcare practice is a great way to connect with your patients on a more personal level. And while that’s exciting—and awesome—it also comes with some risks. After all, when you put your practice out there on the good ol’ World Wide Web, you have to take even more care to protect your patients’ privacy and comply with all HIPAA regulations . So, in the spirit of testing your social-media savvy, take this …

  • Calling for Backup: How to Leverage Therapist Assistants to Maximize Practice Efficiency Image

    articleJun 21, 2017 | 6 min. read

    Calling for Backup: How to Leverage Therapist Assistants to Maximize Practice Efficiency

    I love a good procedural cop show. There’s a whole lot to glean from a Law & Order marathon—including valuable lessons like, “Don’t let your emotions overrule critical thinking,” and “Most New York district attorneys are former super models.” (I’m not sure I can confirm the latter.) But the advice that’s perhaps most relevant to my life is, “Recognize when you’re in over your head, and don’t be afraid to call in backup.” It’s something that many …

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