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New technology is introduced at a rapid pace.  Anesthesiologists, among other medical providers, are not always cognizant of the legal risks that can be involved.

Here are 5 ways to protect your practice from facing legal woes, plus information on an upcoming educational opportunity on, “How Can I Protect Myself (legally) in My Practice?”

  1. Storing PHI on Mobile Devices

    Evaluate the mobile devices being utilized in your practice to aid staff and providers with day-to-day tasks.  Is the staff allowed to use their own mobile devices?  It is important to remember as a best practice, that all devices utilized should be encrypted.  When disposing of or selling devices (including photocopiers) verify that all PHI and practice information has been removed.

  1. Communication via Email

    Ensure all email is encrypted when your office communicates (internally or externally) via email, and especially if you are communicating PHI.  Even if your office is not communicating about charts or medical records via email, encryption can protect your practice in the event other clinical matters, such as patient schedules, are distributed.

  1. Texting

    Texting to patients or your practice staff consist of many legal risks.   Texting can be a quick way to communicate with patients.  Hospitals often have a secure network, but the phones used by group members are often outside the hospital’s secure network.  Even if you do not send a text with PHI you cannot control the response, which may include PHI.

  1. Use of “Cloud” Storage

    Practices should consider whether or not PHI is being stored on “cloud” type storage.  There are several things to consider when using this type of storage to house data.  Will this data leave the United States? Do you have a Business Associate (BA) agreement with the storage company?  Is an encryption solution available?

  1. State Privacy Issues

    Make sure you are aware of the State Privacy Laws that apply to your practice.  State medical associations often have information on the privacy laws that apply to health care providers in their state.  Establish a process for how your practice will be trained and educated on State Privacy Laws.  This process should include a plan for how your practice will stay abreast of updates on an ongoing basis.

Judith Jurin Semo, J.D., a member of the Semo Law Group, presenting a session titled, “How Can I Protect Myself (legally) in My Practice?”  This session will explore ways to protect your practice legally.  Join the Society of Ambulatory Anesthesia, (SAMBA) for their 30th Annual Meeting held in Scottsdale, Arizona on April 23-25.  abeo is a proud sponsor of SAMBA.  We look forward to an opportunity to discuss practice management and billing challenges the SAMBA attendees face.  You can find abeo at booth #27.

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abeo Management Corporation (abeo) serves as a leading source of revenue cycle management and practice management with a specialization in anesthesia. The company leverages its people, processes, and software to serve independent practices, surgery centers, hospitals and healthcare systems with a scope of services that include billing, coding, transcription, practice management, and business consulting.

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