Data Encryption and HIPAA


Recent events have made it imperative for practices to take note of cybersecurity weaknesses in their current practice software. If not, doctors and office managers put their patients at risk, are liable for steep legal consequences, and jeopardize the future of their careers. Here’s what every doctor and office manager absolutely need to know about securing electronic protected health information (ePHI).

Unless you’re a hacker, a spy or have worked for the government, data encryption is not on the top of your mind. Unfortunately, as the world becomes more digital each day, it is virtually impossible not to have your personal information spread around the World Wide Web in some way. Think about it, your credit card company, your bank, and your doctor have enough of your valuable personal information sitting on their computers or traveling over the Internet for your identity to be stolen by a hacker.


Choosing the Right EHR Software


Choosing the right healthcare software to invest in is difficult. There are hundreds of features, capabilities, and issues providers must keep in mind when comparing the value between different software products. Software vendors are often quick to point out all of a product’s pros and none of its cons, so independent assessments of quality and value are incredibly useful for prospective clients. Unbiased reviews can provide objective references with comparison points to rank products.

For example, a recent report from Independent Clinicians Report compares software using several criteria:


Now Open: MIPS Quality Payment Program Submission


If you participated in Medicare’s new Quality Payment Program (also known as MACRA or MIPS) last year, the Quality Payment Program website is now open for submission of your 2017 data. You have until March 31, 2018 to submit your data for the three sections of MIPS. 

Once you’re able to log in to the site to submit your data, MacPractice’s Government Programs team is happy to answer any questions you have about the submission process. We’re also happy to attest for you (with you via a shared screen) for a small fee. 


Macs Save Doctors Thousands Per Year


Macs cost less than PCs, not more. IT consultants whose expertise is Windows, and Windows software developers, have misled doctors to accept for years that Macs cost more than PCs. And while a Mac may cost a little more than a PC to acquire, the Total Cost of Ownership (price plus support and maintenance over 4 years minus residual value) is the true cost of a Mac or PC in business. IBM, one of the largest enterprise computer users in the world supporting 500,000+, and the largest user of Macs supporting more than 100,000, set the record straight once and for all.

In October 2016 Fletcher Previn, VP of Workplace-as-a-Service IBM, reported to the JAMF National User Conference the statistical findings of the Mac@IBM team who over 17 months enabled and supported 90,000 IBMers who preferred Macs. IBM's goal, set in 2015, is to change their IT culture of enforcing versus enabling. The change required IBM to, "give users the device they want, manage those devices in a modern way, and drive self-sufficiency in the environment."


Billing Services Can Save Your Practice


Billing Services can save your practice in a lot of ways... time, money, and maybe even save your practice in general. Many small practice owners cite anxiety over getting paid as the number one cause of making the decision to sell their practice.  Medical billing is complex and changes very quickly. It can be difficult for any small practice to keep up with the demands of running a business and providing excellent patient care. When billing becomes overwhelming, unfortunately it is the the care we provide our patients that takes the biggest hit. 

MacPractice Billing Services can make managing your billing so much easier because we have a dedicated team that works tirelessly to get you paid. We can get started in 2-5 business days! Transitioning is simple and fast. We can work through the bureaucracy and red tape of insurance payment and help you collect more, faster. We manage your billing, while you gain freedom to run your business and see patients.


Section 179: Saving Money for your Business



HIPAA Compliant Faxing Is Essential To Your Practice


Paperless faxing with MacPractice's integrated Faxing doesn't just save trees, it also saves time and money. Did you know it could even save you from risking non-compliance with HIPAA regulations? HIPAA compliant faxing is essential for any modern healthcare practice, but it is especially vital for practices that want to 'go green' or move towards a paperless practice in the coming year.

Your practice likely puts a lot of time and effort into maintaining HIPAA compliance, including following data privacy and security mandates. Most practices face special challenges in maintaining HIPAA compliance when it comes to paper documents, especially the integration of paper to digital processes. You may use multiple devices, including printers, scanners, faxes, and multipurpose office devices that are a hybrid of functions. Unfortunately, the risk of HIPAA violations often increases with the misuse of these office devices.


You'll Love Online Patient Forms


It’s easy to love MacPractice’s Patient Portal - it is a revolutionary step in patient engagement that gives patients access to their information and control of their medical history. Using their Patient Portal accounts, your patients can easily access lab results, visit summaries, appointment requests, and have secure, HIPAA complaint communications with your office through secure messaging. Patient Portal also has an additional feature for online scheduling where potential patients can pick from available times to schedule their first appointment with your office. Time slots available in your schedule are dictated by you, so available scheduling is always under your control.


Lessons on Data Integrity


Last week, another electronic healthcare record software vendor faced a putative class-action lawsuit alleging that problems with the software created inaccuracies in the stored patient health data. The suit also alleges that the cloud-based vendor misrepresented the capabilities of their products in order to become certified under meaningful use. The complaint described faulty usability including displaying inaccurate medical information, history, or treatments and simultaneously displaying the data of multiple patients. The suit now calls into question the accuracy of medical records for millions of patients.


Patient Apps Transform a Doctor's Waiting Room


Like every business, doctor's offices run on computers and software. These tools are essential for scheduling, charting, storing patient records and billing. When a patient arrives in a doctor's office they are usually handed a clipboard and required to complete multiple lengthy forms each visit. Once the patient is finished, they return the clipboard to the staff and take a seat. The staff manually enter the information into the practice management software, updating as necessary. Health history forms and medication forms are added to the clinical or EHR software separately. Not only is does this process require lots of paper and duplicate work, it may not even be necessary if there are no updates to the patient's existing information. Staff are then wasting valuable tie that could be devoted to other tasks on scanning the patient's paperwork for any changes. All together, it is a real time waster for patients, doctors, and staff. Plus, it makes a doctor's waiting room even busier and lengthens wait times.

In a practice that uses mobile technology like MacPractice apps for iPad, the patient signs in on an iPad with the Patient Check In app without staff assistance. Check In exchanges data with the practice management software database, so the patient is not required to indicate whom they are seeing or the time - the software already knows. Checking in on the iPad interacts with MacPractice users in the office to notify the doctor and clinical staff of the patient's arrival.


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