HIPAA Privacy Guidance: Did you know that the Office of Civil Rights recently posted a patients' guide and a provider’s guide to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)? These two guides answer commonly asked questions regarding protected health information. Physicians and their staffs can download and review these guides as part of their periodic HIPAA training. The guides may be located at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/consumer_ffg.pdf or http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/coveredentities/provider_ffg.pdf.
FTC Red Flags: Did you know that the Federal Trade Commission will delay enforcement of the Identity Theft Red Flags Rule from November 1, 2008, until May 1, 2009? The Identity Theft Red Flags Rule requires certain creditors, which can include health care providers, hospitals and other health care facilities that extend credit to patients or physicians, to develop a written program to detect, prevent and minimize identify theft. The delay was prompted by entities’ complaints that they were unaware that their activities met the definition of a creditor.