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Editor's e-Note
A dizzying array of rules and regulations make the release of information one of the most challenging responsibilities in the HIM profession. Can the process be streamlined enough to curtail the constant swirl of requests and satisfy patient demands?

A recent survey by Porter Research, summarized in this month’s E-News Exclusive, attempts to get at the root of successful disclosure management.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
HIM Leaders Identify ROI Priorities and Strategies

Release of information (ROI), also termed PHI [protected health information] disclosure management, has been and will continue to be a fundamental HIM function. We’ve upheld dominion of ROI through decades of organizational centralization, mergers and acquisitions, and payer audit and review programs.

However, with added pressures for greater efficiency and accuracy, new requirements for the ROI function have emerged, leading many HIM departments to reevaluate their priorities, strategies, staffing, and budgets. These include the following:

• larger volumes of government and commercial payer audits;

• increased risks for privacy and security breaches; and

• greater sensitivity and demand for patient satisfaction and their rights to PHI under HIPAA.

To understand how HIM leaders are balancing these multiple challenges, MRO commissioned a national survey by Porter Research, an independent market intelligence and research group focused on HIT. The findings provide valuable perspectives for HIM departments to consider and assess as they move into the 2020 budget and planning season. Below are three key areas to know.

Full story »
Products & Services
Traliant Announces HIPAA Training for Covered Entities and Business Associates
Traliant has announced the availability of HIPAA training for health care organizations and their business associates. The online training courses focus on the essential information individuals need to comply with HIPAA regulations and keep patients’ personal and health information private and secure. The training is available in two versions: HIPAA for Covered Entities and HIPAA for Business Associates.

HIPAA for Covered Entities is appropriate for organizations such as medical practices, hospitals, dental practices, nursing homes, pharmacies, health plans, and health care clearinghouses. HIPAA for Business Associates is designed for individuals who come in contact with protected health information (eg, business associates of medical device companies, accountants, lawyers, consultants, and data processors).

The training courses cover the essential HIPAA compliance topics, including the purpose of HIPAA, why privacy and security are important, HIPAA’s privacy and security rules, different types of protected health information, disclosures, safeguards, security breaches, and penalties and enforcement. Topics are presented in a familiar news show format, featuring bite-sized episodes, news reports, interactive quizzes and exercises, and viewer mailbag segments that address common questions about HIPAA rules, rights, and responsibilities. The mobile-friendly training is accessible on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Learn more »

Partnership Brings 3D Interactive Modeling to Physician Practices
DrChrono and 3D4Medical have teamed up so practices can access 3-D interactive modeling and animation videos from within their EHR to better educate patients. Now, physician practices using DrChrono’s mobile EHR platform can directly access 3D4Medical’s library of 3-D interactive models of anatomy across ophthalmology, orthopedics, dentistry, physical therapy, chiropractic, and cardiology specialties.

Using the iPad and Apple Pencil, physicians can now draw on these models and display cross-sections of the anatomy in 3-D to better educate patients about their conditions and recommend specific treatment plans. In addition, clinicians can access 3-D animation videos to give patients more detailed visuals and a deeper understanding of their condition. Learn more »

Collaboration Supports Claims Scrubbing
Alpha II, a developer of software-as-a-service solutions that support health care reimbursement, has announced a collaboration with EZClaim, a developer of medical billing and scheduling software.

EZClaim customers will have access to Alpha II’s ClaimStaker clinical claim and encounter scrubbing solution. Alpha II ClaimStaker incorporates a full suite of edits for professional and institutional claims to improve accuracy based on a foundation of thousands of coding and billing requirements. ClaimStaker does this by verifying claims and encounters from a payer’s perspective and replicating Medicare’s claim adjudication system, including pricing calculations. It is designed to be deployed across multiple workflows within the revenue cycle allowing for corrections prior to filing. Learn more »
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In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
Finding the Right Coding Vendor
A director of revenue integrity and the chief operating officer of a coding vendor contemplate the ingredients that make up a productive relationship between a hospital and its coding partner. Read more »

Demand for Data Sharing Mounts
A survey illustrates the public’s desire for providers to have greater access to health records. Is anyone listening, though? Read more »

AHIMA Goes to Capitol Hill
An AHIMA leader summarizes the organization’s recent trip to Capitol Hill. Read more »

Data Standardization Can Improve Patient Matching
A new paper touts the prospect of using a system similar to the one employed by the US Postal Service to help curtail patient matching miscues. Read more »
Other News
NIH-Funded Project Aims to Build a ‘Google’ for Biomedical Data
The Biomedical Data Translator program, launched by the National Institutes of Health, would sift through hundreds of separate sources to make connections between datasets, reports STAT.

Staff at VA Hospital in Long Beach May Have Exposed 133 Patients’ Data, OIG Says
The Office of Inspector General determined that 133 patients may have had their sensitive information disclosed to unauthorized persons when VA hospital employees used unsecured e-mail accounts, text messages, and flash drives to transfer patient records, according to the Press-Telegram.
Industry Insight
Kaiser Permanente Launches Social Health Network

Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest nonprofit integrated health system, is launching Thrive Local, the most comprehensive, far-reaching social health network of its kind. Kaiser Permanente is partnering with Unite Us to connect health care and social services providers to address pressing social needs, including housing, food, safety, and utilities for millions of people across the United States.

With an ambitious timeline, the new Thrive Local network debuted in June in Oregon and southwest Washington. Within three years, it will be available to all of Kaiser Permanente’s 12.3 million members and the 68 million people in the communities Kaiser Permanente serves. These communities’ health care providers and caregivers will now have unparalleled capabilities to seamlessly match an individual’s social needs with the appropriate services from within a robust network of nonprofit, public, and private resources.

“Kaiser Permanente has long understood that total health can only be achieved through a combination of physical, mental, and social care,” says Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson. “In order to thrive, people need access to the things that are vital to health such as secure housing and nutritious food. Our unique mission to improve not only the health of our members but also that of our communities drives us to undertake impactful initiatives like Thrive Local to connect our communities with the services they need. This is one of our bold moves.”

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