PRMS Blog

Earlier this month I commented on a Los Angeles hospital’s computer system that was taken over by hackers, and the criminals demanded a ransom payment in bitcoin to release the electronic medical records.   The hospital ended up paying the ransom in 40 bitcoins (approximately $17,000), as demanded by the criminals. In that post I shared some technical advice from the Office of ...

Medscape recently published the results of its annual physician lifestyle report, consisting of responses from more than 15,800 physicians in 25 specialties. According to the respondents, psychiatrists are not reporting burnout, but are reporting biases. Here are some of the interesting results: *The most burned out specialty was critical care (55%), and the least burned out s ...

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As I’m polishing my talk for the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry’s Annual Meeting in New York later this week, I thought I’d share some thoughts on liability risk related to treating children and adolescents. Greatest Professional Liability Exposure In terms of frequency, your greatest exposure areas treating children and adolescents are the same as for treating ad ...

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Categories: PRMS Blog

Last month a Los Angeles hospital’s computer system was taken over by hackers and the criminals demanded a ransom payment in Bitcoin to release the electronic medical records. From the hospital’s press release: “On the evening of February 5th, our staff noticed issues accessing the hospital’s computer network. Our IT department began an immediate investigation and determined ...

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Categories: PRMS Blog

One of the major issues with telemedicine is that, for the most part, the rules are not clear. The regulators have been slow to share their exact expectations and how those expectations can be met by licensees.  However, until very recently I thought at least these two points were clear: Physicians cannot prescribe to individuals based solely on an online questionnaire. This ...

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Categories: PRMS Blog

I thought you might like to see our Program’s cause of loss chart, updated to include data from our claims and lawsuits closed in 2015. Note that for the first time with this data, “medication issues” has pulled ahead of “suicide/attempted suicide” as the most identifiable cause of loss for psychiatrists. However, keep in mind that cases coded as “incorrect treatment” can cert ...

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Categories: PRMS Blog

For only the second time in history, OCR has imposed a civil monetary penalty for a HIPAA violation. And the penalty was upheld by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) on summary judgement (meaning there was no genuine issue of material fact, and the party requesting summary judgement was entitled to judgment as a matter of law). The $239,800 penalty was imposed on Lincare, a com ...

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Categories: PRMS Blog

I often have conversations with doctors regarding tail coverage and always receive the same two questions: what is it, and do I need it if I want to switch my insurance to PRMS? What is it? Tail coverage only applies if you have a claims-made policy.  The insurance term for “tail” is an extended reporting period.  Having this coverage allows you to report claims after the poli ...

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Background: Under HIPAA’s Breach Notification Rule, individuals must be notified if their protected health information (PHI), which includes demographic and medical information, has been improperly accessed or disclosed. However, if the information is encrypted consistent the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidance, using the Advanced Encryption Standa ...

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1.  Encrypt! Admittedly, this lesson should have been learned quite some time ago. In 2014, one-third of Office of Civil Rights’ (OCR) resolution agreements were related to the improper disclosure of protected health information (PHI) due to the theft of an electronic portable device.  In 2015, half of OCR’s case resolution agreements involved the theft of portable devices.  W ...

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Categories: HIPAA, Risk Management