In case you haven’t heard, substantial changes to HIPAA regulations, enforcement, and penalties—with the catchy name of HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule—went into effect last March. September 23, 2013, is the day your pharmacy must be compliant with the new regulations. But, don’t panic, and don’t listen to consultants who try to scare you. The amendments to the regulations should be easy for currently compliant pharmacies to implement. However, it is imperative that you update your HIPAA program because the enforcement, in the form of proactive auditing, and the penalty increases are stiff enough to demand your attention.
Here are some of the fact about Omnibus HIPAA and how it impacts you as a pharmacy owner:
- As stated above, all pharmacies need to take action to replace or revise their existing HIPAA Compliance Program by September 23, 2013 to avoid repercussions of non-compliance.
- Enforcement of compliance was funded in the Affordable Care Act and will be handled by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).
- The big difference is that enforcement will be proactive and no longer just in response to complaints.
- OCR is hiring enforcement officers to visit facilities and conduct active compliance audits.
- Facilities that are audited and found non-compliant will then be penalized and/or excluded from programs payable, directly or indirectly, by a Federal health care dollars.
For more information about the specific changes and a solution for your pharmacy, visit PRS Pharmacy Services at Booth #1022 at the NCPA Annual Convention October 12-14, 2013 in Orlando or call PRS at 1-800-338-3688 and speak with one of the Specialists. Also, stop back here for additional posts on HIPAA Compliance and what you need to know as a pharmacy owner.