AHIOS Annual Meeting Addressed Current State of HIPAA
The Association of Health Information Outsourcing Services (AHIOS), an organization committed to promoting excellence in the handling and dissemination of confidential, patient-identifiable information, held its annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, last month, following the annual American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Convention and Exhibit. Kelly McLendon, RHIA, CHPS, president, Health Information Experts, LLC, set the agenda with his presentation "New Enforcement; HIPAA Audits," which detailed the current state of HIPAA regulations and enforcement as it relates to the health information management (HIM) release of information (ROI) outsourcing profession. The presentation included background on compliance audits, policies, risk analysis and procedures for the proper handling of protected health information (PHI).
As part of his presentation, McLendon, who is a 30-year industry veteran and a well-known speaker and author on electronic records, HIM and ARRA, detailed the current state of HIPAA Privacy and Security enforcement, which included information on the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) HIPAA Privacy Audits. He also outlined the penalties associated with HIPAA violations and provided a privacy risk analysis checklist for AHIOS members. McLendon concluded his presentation with a discussion about privacy technology automation, security information management and identity theft protection.
"In today's healthcare environment, we are seeing a constant increase in privacy and security threats and liabilities, which has created the need for heightened enforcement," said Mariela Twiggs, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA, president, AHIOS. "This year's annual meeting provided an excellent opportunity for McLendon to engage AHIOS members in a discussion about HIPAA Privacy and Security measures and to foster a collaborative discussion about the state of ROI outsourcing as it relates to these increasing regulations. Our goal for the annual meeting is for the members to exchange ideas that promote high standards for the industry as a whole, and we are confident that AHIOS members are well-equipped to fully comply with existing and future HIPAA Privacy and Security requirements."
Guest speaker Jan McDavid, general counsel for Healthport, followed McLendon's presentation with a discussion of recent legislation trends that directly affect HIM professionals' ability to release a patient's health record safely and securely. McDavid has lobbied both the United States Congress and individual states to promote the value of HIM professionals and the importance and complexity of the services they provide.