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Taking Privacy to a New Level: Texas Lowers Reporting Threshold for Security Breaches - 01/27/2020

Federal requirements have not changed, but starting Jan. 1, breach notification requirements will become even more stringent for Texas physicians or medical entities. The Texas Legislature dropped the threshold for breach reporting from 500 patients to 250. House Bill 4390 also requires medical entities to report breaches to the Texas attorney general’s office within 60 days of the breach.


Changes Coming to Certain Informed Consent Forms - 01/02/2020

The Texas Medical Disclosure Panel has adopted changes to two informed consent forms, which will take effect at the beginning of 2020. The panel made amendments to its Disclosure and Consent for Medical Care and Surgical Procedures form and its Disclosure and Consent for Hysterectomy form.


Laptop Encryption Helps You Stay HIPAA Compliant - 12/19/2019

If you or your practice store financial or patient information on laptop computers, you could face hefty fines if those devices are lost or stolen. Thankfully, one important step toward protecting patient data, and yourself, is simple thanks to widely available encryption tools.


Don’t Let it Happen to You: Practice Fined Over Social Media - 12/09/2019

As more people go online to research products and services, online reputation management has become increasingly relevant for physicians.Because of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, physicians cannot respond to online reviews in any way that reveals PHI. Even if a patient discloses their own personal information in a review, physicians cannot respond with the same level of disclosure.


“Patient Privacy Must Be Protected,” TMA Says in Response to Ascension-Google Partnership - 11/14/2019

Protecting sensitive patient health information should remain a top priority as technology and health care continue to intersect, Texas Medical Association President David C. Fleeger, MD, said Thursday in response to a partnership between Google and Ascension health system.


Do Your Security Risk Assessment Before Dec. 31 - 11/13/2019

If you participate in the Medicare Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), conducting or updating a risk assessment is a requirement in the Promoting Interoperability category. In order to meet the 2019 performance year requirements, you must complete your security risk assessment by Dec. 31. This is not an optional measure. Thankfully, an upgraded tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) might make the assessment easier.


20 Everyday HIPAA Tips to Help You Stay Compliant - 11/11/2019

The goal of HIPAA is to make sure the protected health information you are responsible for or come into contact with remains confidential, secure, and available when you need it. Here are basic steps every practice can take to help make this happen.


20 Everyday HIPAA Tips - 11/11/2019

 The goal of HIPAA is to make sure the protected health information you are responsible for or come into contact with remains confidential, secure, and available when you need it. Here are basic steps every practice can take to help make this happen.  


What Are HIPAA Transaction and Code Sets Standards? - 10/29/2019

Learn about the HIPAA Transactions and Code Sets Rule that standardizes electronic data interchange (EDI) transactions for submitting, processing, and paying claims. Has your practice met the required standards?


Anson Jones Awards Has a Category for You - 10/09/2019

Do you write a medical column for your local newspaper? Or host a health show on the radio, or maybe do a weekly medical segment on the local television news, or host a health care blog? If so, showcase your talents! Enter the TMA Anson Jones, MD, Awards program in the Physician Excellence in Reporting category.


Is Your Staff as Sharp as Your Scalpel? - 10/01/2019

Do your staff’s communication skills support patient treatment, your reputation, and the livelihood of your business? The Texas Medical Association’s new publication, Rx for Success: Patient-Centered Communication for Physicians, Managers, and Staff, is designed to help practice teams develop the responsive, reliable, and empathic communication skills that patients expect and deserve.


The Promise of Artificial Intelligence - 09/27/2019

“Prepare Yourselves, Robots Will Soon Replace Doctors in Healthcare,” screamed the headline in a 2017 Forbes magazine article. Media coverage like that makes it easy to see why artificial intelligence (AI) sounds like scary science fiction to some physicians.


How User-Friendly Is Your EHR? - 08/16/2019

To help you prevent these types of errors in your practice, TMA has created a Technology and Patient Safety webpage that includes articles, interactive tools, manuals, and guidelines on how to make your electronic health record (EHR) technology safer. Use it to find information on contracting with EHR vendors, implementing or switching systems, and keeping your system secure.


Q&A: SeattleMamaDoc Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, Headlines TexMed 2019 - 08/02/2019

Digital innovator, Seattle pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, will share her expertise at the May 17 opening general session at TexMed 2019 in Dallas. The title of Dr. Swanson’s talk: “How Technology is Transforming Health Care and the Physician-Patient Relationship.” Her answer to that question: “Rapidly and at a pace that’s hard for us to keep up.”


Don’t Try This at Work: Security Risk Analysis Is Not a Do-It-Yourself Project - 08/02/2019

Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) requires practices to conduct a security risk analysis at least once a year. HIPAA requires at least one analysis, and annual check-ups are considered a best practice. Many physicians find out through these reports that their practices have a lot of work to do to keep patient records safe.


Your Photocopier May Be a Security Risk - 05/30/2019

Don’t let this happen to you! A health plan recently paid a huge fine after it returned leased copiers that held protected health information.


Windows XP Support Ending Soon - 05/30/2019

Are you a Microsoft Windows XP user? If so, it’s probably time to upgrade. Your PC won’t be secure after April 8, 2014


Why Strong Passwords Are Important - 05/30/2019

Passwords are an early line of defense in protecting your patient data and an easy fix to strengthening your protections.


Understanding HIPAA: Working From Home - 05/30/2019

Can an employee work from home under HIPAA? The answer is yes, as long as you implement the appropriate security to protect data accessed from the employee’s home.


Protect Your Practice’s Social Media Accounts - 05/30/2019

Social media is a terrific way to reach out and stay in contact with your patients. However, the risks created by social media cannot be ignored. Controlling access to your social media accounts is just the first step in ensuring their security.


Security Alert: Are Your Browsers Vulnerable to POODLE? - 05/30/2019

Many of us take for granted that if we’re diligent about keeping our systems current with the latest security updates, we’re protected from threats. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.


Phishing: Popular Sport of Cyber Attackers - 05/30/2019

…And they are out to catch you. Here’s how to identify malicious emails you need to guard against.


Patient-Physician Electronic Communication - 05/30/2019

Patient-Physician Electronic Communication, Report of the Council on Communication to the House of Delegates, May 2003


HIPAA: Are You Prepared for a Patient Complaint? - 05/30/2019

The most common type of patient HIPAA complaint stems from interpersonal relationships and conflicts. Do you know what do if you receive a patient HIPAA complaint?


Most Physicians No Longer Creditors Under Red Flags Rule - 05/30/2019

A new law limits the definition of “creditor” under the Red Flags Rule — and now most physicians no longer fall under its requirements.