Must Sign a Business Associate Agreement
To comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, TMA members who participate in TMA's Hassle Factor Log (HFL) program after April 14, 2003, will need to sign a business associate agreement before taking advantage of this payment assistance program. TMA distributes the agreement with the logs.
During the first three quarters of 2002, the HFL program fielded some 6,000 reimbursement complaints from member physicians and recouped roughly $13,000 per month in claim payments that were bogged down in hassles with payers. In addition to providing payment advocacy for individual problem claims, the program evaluates payment hassle trends, enabling TMA to negotiate solutions with payers and providing data to back TMA's legislative initiatives.
Because the program assists physicians in billing, data analysis, and claims administration/practice management, it meets the definition of a business associate under the HIPAA privacy regulations. As such, the HFL program may discuss information related to protected health information with insurers and health plans.
For more information about the Hassle Factor Log program, contact TMA's Department of Payment Advocacy at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1414.
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