The American Dental Association recently published an article in their March newsletter stressing the importance of being ready for OCR’s HIPAA audits.
On March 24, the American Dental Association (ADA) provided a newsletter article warning health care organizations of the upcoming Office for Civil Rights (OCR) audits.
The ADA article outlines information provided by the OCR that confirms that they are auditing dental offices to ensure they are complying with Privacy and Security regulations for Protected Health Information (PHI). Dental offices are considered covered entities if they submit electronic dental claims, and all covered entities, from dentists to chiropractors, must comply with HIPAA regulations.
In the article, the chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice, Dr. Andrew Brown, is quoted saying: “We want dentists to be aware that this is happening and to take HIPAA compliance seriously.” He is also quoted saying: “There are steep consequences for health care providers that don’t comply with the law and we don’t want to see any dentists having to pay tens of thousands of dollars in a penalty.”
In the article, Paula Tironi, senior associate general counsel in the ADA Division of Legal Affairs provides more information about the OCR audits. She states:
It would be prudent to have documentation demonstrating HIPAA compliance ready and up to date should a dental practice be audited. If an audit determines a dental practice has not been complying with the law, the government may initiate a compliance review. . . . It can be a lot of work and may be difficult to gather all the required documentation if a practice is caught unprepared.
As seen in this newsletter article and in news headlines across the U.S., HIPAA compliance is a serious government requirement, and the OCR will be ensuring that organizations small, medium and large, be compliant. Don’t risk the penalties for noncompliance with HIPAA. Use HIPAAgps to get you started on your HIPAA compliance journey.
Review our previous post for more information about the OCR’s upcoming audits.