• Even Small Practices Face Cybersecurity Threats and Government Scrutiny Image

    articleSep 10, 2019 | 4 min. read

    Even Small Practices Face Cybersecurity Threats and Government Scrutiny

    As exhibited in the news items below, small practices are not immune to HIPAA scrutiny by the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)—as investigated by their enforcement agency, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Potential violations may be reported to these agencies through complaints by individual patients or through OCR-initiated audits.  April 2, 2019: “Michigan Practice Forced to Close Following Ransomware Attack” According to this article , when ransomware encrypted the computer system at …

  • 4 Tactics to Reduce Business Associate HIPAA Risk  Image

    articleSep 5, 2019 | 6 min. read

    4 Tactics to Reduce Business Associate HIPAA Risk

    Here’s a scenario I hope you never have to face: your small physical therapy practice hires a third-party billing company to manage your billing operations. Then, that billing company experiences a massive data breach affecting more than 1,000 of your patients. Because the billing company didn’t have an information security or compliance program in place, it was not aware of the breach for more than six months. Unfortunately, the billing company also did not have insurance, so …

  • 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 …

  • Ransomware and Malware: 7 Simple Ways to Protect Your Practice from Hacks Image

    articleNov 28, 2017 | 7 min. read

    Ransomware and Malware: 7 Simple Ways to Protect Your Practice from Hacks

    I hate to say it, but your patients’ protected information could be at risk—that is, if you’re not taking the proper precautions to keep it secure. Every day, hackers and cyber criminals use malicious software (a.k.a. “malware”) to target businesses and individuals around the world. Malware has many incarnations—including computer worms, annoying pop-ups, and Trojan horses—but the term generally refers to any software that’s installed without the user’s knowledge or consent. And last year, we saw a …

  • 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 …

  • What Happens if Your Physical Therapy Software Goes Out of Business? Image

    articleJul 15, 2016 | 7 min. read

    What Happens if Your Physical Therapy Software Goes Out of Business?

    You’ve most likely heard the news: PTOS is going out of business. That means that in a few short months, PTOS customers will be left without a physical therapy practice management and billing software solution, so they’ve got to find new systems—stat . After all, no one wants to lose all of their valuable patient and business data—nor do they want to wait until the last minute to find a replacement. Shopping for a PTOS alternative, partnering with …

  • 5 Things PTs Need to Know About Telehealth in 2016 Image

    articleJan 5, 2016 | 4 min. read

    5 Things PTs Need to Know About Telehealth in 2016

    In 2015, lawmakers at both the federal and state levels recognized—and took action to alleviate—the lack of readily available and affordable healthcare options: namely, through legislation that opened the door for telehealth expansion. In fact, this Medscape article reveals that in the last year alone, “200 bills addressing telehealth were introduced in 42 states.” That’s a lot of legislative legwork. And while we can’t shrink and teleport healthcare providers through a television— Willy Wonka-style —quite yet, the …

  • Digital Critical: Data Protection, Password Security, and Computer Safeguards Image

    articleDec 9, 2015 | 10 min. read

    Digital Critical: Data Protection, Password Security, and Computer Safeguards

    In the past five years, the way rehab therapists perceive—and use—information technology in their clinics has changed dramatically. We used to manage our files with stationary computers and back-room servers we could only access within the office. Now, our teams are mobile, and we use tablets, laptops, and phones to access the powerful cloud applications—including the WebPT EMR —that help us do our jobs. Essentially, the servers of yesteryear have migrated to the cloud.  With this new …

  • The Essential Guide to Disaster-Proofing Your PT, OT, or SLP Practice Image

    articleSep 28, 2015 | 11 min. read

    The Essential Guide to Disaster-Proofing Your PT, OT, or SLP Practice

    September is Disaster Recovery Month, which makes it a perfect time to think about disaster-proofing your practice. If you’re ready to skip this blog because you don’t think a disaster will impact your practice, consider the following factors: Not all disasters are city-wide events, and a disaster of any scale could destroy your practice. These events come in all shapes and sizes, from the sprinklers going off in your clinic and destroying your equipment, to snow storms …

  • How Your Patients are Stalking You Online—and Why That’s a Good Thing Image

    articleMar 2, 2015 | 6 min. read

    How Your Patients are Stalking You Online—and Why That’s a Good Thing

    Did you know the average American spends way more time scouring the Internet for medical information than consulting with an actual medical professional? So says Makovsky, a Public Relations firm in NYC, and Kelton, a global research and consultancy firm, in their article titled, “Online Health Research Eclipsing Patient-Doctor Conversations.” These two companies conducted their third annual US survey in July 2013, polling 1,067 Americans ages 18 and older. The results revealed that the average American spends …

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