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How to Ensure HIPAA Compliance with Image Sharing in 2022

Sharing medical images in a HIPAA-noncompliant fashion is a violation of patient privacy that can expose you to large fines and potentially criminal liability. But what exactly constitutes a HIPAA violation? In theory, the actions that constitute HIPAA violations are straightforward: sharing what's considered to be private health information (PHI) with someone who's not supposed to receive it.

But from this simple definition, HIPAA violations related to medical images in particular, can take many forms, including exposing a patient's medical images to a vendor who does not have a Business Associates Agreement (BAA), sharing images with a family member or spouse without the patient's written consent, losing a laptop computer or cell phone containing protected medical information, or even mailing a medical image to the wrong address.

This blog will present guidelines for remaining HIPAA compliant, sharing images, protecting patient privacy, and reducing your risk of violating HIPAA rules and regulations.

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8 Healthcare Recruitment Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

In the wake of COVID-19, competition for clinical talent has never been more fierce. Health systems were already up against staffing shortages, high turnover rates, and an epidemic of provider burnout before the virus swept across the globe. After the pandemic, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects that physician shortage could be as high as 139,000 physicians by 2033, with an annual turnover rate of six to seven percent. 

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Does Medicaid Cover Second Opinions in 2022?

Second opinions are, in the words of many within the healthcare industry, essential in the case of critical illness and should be the right of every patient. Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover or even require an in-person second opinion consultation with a specialist prior to treatment. Medicare even pays for a third opinion if the second opinion differs significantly from the first.

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What is a Remote Second Opinion (RSO)?

If you are like most practices, the words “virtual care” have become critical to your survival. With the changes the world has faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, facilities that once relied exclusively on in-person treatment have been forced to explore ways to meet their patients’ needs without always seeing them face-to-face. By 2021 and 2022, most practices have used telehealth software to enable a virtual meeting with a patient. These programs allow physicians to talk through simple issues with patients during a live video consultation. But what about complex cases, chronic issues, or complicated cancer diagnoses? What if your practice offers specialized care that requires an assessment of a patient’s case history?

Basic telehealth tech does not typically have an answer for these questions as the systems lack a comprehensive method for aggregating and presenting health information, especially for records like test results and radiology scans. It’s for these cases that your virtual care toolbox needs to include a method for Remote Second Opinions. But what is a Remote Second Opinion (RSO)?

Well, I’m glad you asked…

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