Related Stories

Finally Settled: Hospitals Settle Physician's Anti-Competition Lawsuit - 01/08/2020

A Laredo oncologist confidentially settled a years-long lawsuit involving a pair of hospitals he alleged mischaracterized a past legal misfortune to terminate his privileges and eliminate his clinic from competing with the facilities.


An Injury to Justice: Workers' Comp Disputes Could Tilt in Insurers' Favor - 01/02/2020

Medicine is working to upend a recent appeals court decision that threatens to give health plans an overwhelming advantage in fee disputes in workers compensation cases.


Taking Privacy to a New Level: Texas Lowers Reporting Threshold for Security Breaches - 01/02/2020

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.


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.


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.  


Easing the Pain? Opioid Settlement Brings Valuable Funding to Fight Crisis - 11/01/2019

September 2019 brought what could become a major victory for the state’s handling of opioid addiction. Drug-maker Purdue Pharma – which faced thousands of lawsuits from cities and states, including Texas, for its role in the national opioid crisis – announced it had agreed to a settlement with 24 state attorneys general and other plaintiffs. The maker of OxyContin and other pain drugs says the agreement will provide more than $10 billion to address the epidemic.


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?


No Docs of All Trades: Ruling Reinforces Expert Witness Reforms - 09/26/2019

Before Texas’ landmark liability reforms passed in 2003, gray areas in the law often led to serious green for people who sued physicians.


Fighting Back: Practice Wins Court Battle Over Defamatory Online Reviews - 09/03/2019

One practice’s recent legal battle epitomizes physicians’ worst nightmares when it comes to online reviews. Here’s an extreme but glaring real world example, straight from the documents in a lawsuit that Austin Eye first filed in October 2017 over


Medical Futility Law Sustained - 08/02/2019

Court tosses out challenge to ethics committee review of end-of-life care.


Final Verdict? Case Tests Court's Ability to Overturn a Jury Verdict - 08/02/2019

It was an overwhelming, 12-0 verdict – a jury’s unanimous rejection of a negligence case against a Laredo physician. Then, a judge took that decision away and ordered a new trial – not because of jury misconduct, or any procedural stumble that usually negates a court decision. It was taken away, essentially, because the judge said so.


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.


The Meaning of Monthly: Court Ruling Offers Hope on Pain Clinic Registrations - 08/02/2019

Physicians can encounter a web of confusion and unfairness when it comes to navigating the Texas Medical Board (TMB). A Travis County district court has given Texas physicians clarity and hope when it comes to certain medical board investigations. The court’s decision, if it holds up, establishes an important precedent for when physicians are required to register their facility as a pain management clinic.


Setting the Record Straight: Supreme Court Curtails TMB for Over-Sanctioning Physician - 08/02/2019

Eight years ago, when he experienced a rare patient death, McAllen family physician Ruben Aleman, MD, signed the death certificate the way Texas physicians had been doing it for years, and the only way he knew how: using pen and paper. That resulted in the Texas Medical Board (TMB) not only coming after him, but accusing him of “unprofessional or dishonorable conduct that is likely to deceive or defraud the public” – words found in the state Medical Practice Act. The Texas Supreme Court recently decided that was an overreach for a physician who simply hadn’t signed up on the state’s electronic death registration system, which at the time was relatively new.


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.


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?