HME News

DEC 2018

HME News is the monthly business newspaper for home medical equipment providers. This controlled circulation publication reaches 17,100 home medical equipment services providers, including traditional HME dealers & suppliers, hospital- and pharmacy-o

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News 6 WWW.HMENEWS.COM / DECEMBER 2018 / HME NEWS The HME Databank has the data you need to make knowledgeable decisions and move your business in the right direction. Determine your market share and track competitors with the most comprehensive database of Medicare data available. the gift of data! 2017 data recently added! Downloadable in two formats: Excel PDF BY LIZ BEAULIEU, Editor WASHINGTON – The finding that zero of the "covered entities" recently audited by the Office of Civil Rights fully complied with HIPAA require- ments is a "wake-up call" for HME Providers need to make major improvements HIPAA COMPLIANCE providers, says Wayne van Halem. What's more, the OCR found that more than 80% of "covered entities" made minimal, negligible or no efforts to comply with the requirements. "Our industry is really vulner- able here," said van Halem, presi- dent of The van Halem Group, a division of VGM Group. "This is an opportune time for providers to say, 'This is serious. We need to find out what we need to do and do it. We can't afford a $1 million fine.'" The OCR, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, audited more than 200 "covered entities" as part of the second of a three-phase program. The third phase: compiling the results of the audits and forming an educational program to help entities comply with the requirements. This last phase of the program will be crucial, as the "OCR does a pretty poor job of telling us what those specific requirements are," says Kelli Ogunlesi. "The OCR conducted the audits to find best practices and share them indus- t r y w i d e , " s a i d O g u n - lesi, a success manager for H I PA Aw i s e , which offers c o m p l i a n c e software and has an agree- ment with The v a n H a l e m Group to com- bine their ser- vices. "Based on the results so far, there are not a lot of best practices showcased, but I'm hop- ing they at least provide guidance on where providers need to bulk up their compliance and documenta- tion protocols." It's important to remember, van Halem and Ogunlesi say, that pro- viders don't necessarily have to experience breaches to be audited by the OCR. "There are also random audits where you need to show that you're doing everything in your power to mitigate willful neglect and that you're taking steps to reduce vul- nerabilities and have documenta- tion that spells out the process," Ogunlesi said. HME DOCUMENT C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 3 prepopulated with information already contained in the medi- cal record, such as lab results, so that they don't need to be constantly re-entered. CMS is currently recruiting EHR vendors, providers and health plans to participate in the DLRS pilot. While all providers are wel- come, CMS officials said they think the providers that will be most interested in participating in the pilot are ordering provid- ers, like physicians, as opposed to DMEPOS suppliers who they say already know that the rules are and don't need to look them up. However, during a question- and-answer period, officials fielded several calls from DME- POS suppliers, with one caller stating that the program would be "very beneficial" to his orga- nization. HME "Our industry is really vulnerable here. This is an opportune time for providers to say, 'This is serious. We can't afford a $1 million fine.'"

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