• 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 …

  • Is Your Practice HIPAA-Compliant? [Quiz] Image

    articleDec 12, 2018 | 1 min. read

    Is Your Practice HIPAA-Compliant? [Quiz]

    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 …

  • Professionalism in the PT Workplace: Where Do You Draw the Line? Image

    articleJun 13, 2018 | 5 min. read

    Professionalism in the PT Workplace: Where Do You Draw the Line?

    The fact that I’m writing about professionalism in the workplace might make some of my friends and former colleagues snicker a bit. After all, I was never known for my poise in the clinic; instead, I was always the one with the dad jokes and over-sharing moments. But I can also admit that, although I needed to be spoken to (sternly!) on several occasions, I have come a long way over the years. On that note, I’d …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • High Note: Why Documentation is Good for Patient Satisfaction Image

    articleSep 7, 2017 | 4 min. read

    High Note: Why Documentation is Good for Patient Satisfaction

    These days, it’s tough to get people to agree on, well, pretty much anything—but if there’s one thing we learned from our recent industry-wide survey , it’s that rehab therapists’ dislike of paperwork is fairly universal. In fact, the vast majority of survey-takers said that completing documentation was their number-one frustration at both the individual and company level. (Hooray for unity, am I right?) But, documentation isn’t going anywhere any time soon; so, many therapy providers have …

  • The EMR Software Comparison Workbook for Outpatient Rehab Therapy Image

    downloadAug 10, 2017

    The EMR Software Comparison Workbook for Outpatient Rehab Therapy

    Selecting an EMR for your outpatient rehab therapy clinic can be challenging, especially because not everything on the market is going to meet your needs. That’s why we’ve created this workbook—to help you compare your top three prospective EMRs across every feature, tool, and product necessary to ensure defensible documentation, optimal billing, and successful practice management. If a potential software system doesn’t have one of these line items, you can—and should—do better. Download the EMR Software Comparison …

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