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Patient Attraction Episode 789
A March article in ADA News announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has begun auditing dental practices to check for HIPAA compliance. After the break, I’ll tell you what that means for your practice and how to prepare.
– I’m Colin Receveur, Founder and CEO of SmartBox Web Marketing.
– This is the Patient Attraction Podcast.
– HIPAA has been something of a moving target for dentists.
– But the ADA News article makes it clear that the target is now coming for you.
– Your practice needs to be ready for an audit.
– You need to have documentation at hand that shows you’re compliant and up to date with the law.
– If you don’t have that, or if you ignore the initial audit email request, you may be subject to a compliance review.
– And that is a huge time suck and inconvenience.
– The government’s email may get routed to your spam folder, so be alert.
– The good news is that you still have time.
– According to the article, the Office for Civil Rights will post the audit protocols online as the dates for the initial audits draws near.
– Those protocols can help you do an internal audit so that you’re as ready as you can be when Uncle Sam knocks on the door.
– Beyond the penalties, which can range from mild to severe, a HIPAA violation is a huge black eye for your practice.
– Dentistry is a trust-based business.
– Anything that impairs that trust can cost you current patients, new patient referrals, and new patients.
– Just like dentists are assumed to be competent, practices are assumed to protect their patients’ privacy.
– Being able to post on your website or social media that you’re fully HIPAA compliant won’t necessarily get you points with patients.
– But a violation will definitely LOSE you points, and patients.
– The time to prepare for a possible audit is now so that you don’t lose patients’ trust.
– Until next time, keep moving forward.