PRMS Blog

In January, I posted about the “Top Three HIPAA Lessons Learned in 2015”, citing the need to encrypt portable devices containing PHI as the number one lesson learned.  In March, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced two new resolution agreements – both stemming from the loss of unencrypted laptops.  It appears that OCR is beginning to lose patience with covered entities wh ...

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For the third time in as many weeks, today I received a phone call from a family member of one of our insureds calling to let us know that the doctor had passed away.  As always, I was saddened to learn of the passing of one of our clients but my heart really went out to the family member – in this case the doctor’s wife – who was frantically trying to provide for the doctor’ ...

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As an accomplished psychiatrist and educator, Deborah J. Hales, MD has long had her finger on the pulse of issues facing psychiatrists, residents and medical students considering entering the field. In medical school, Hales wanted to become a psychiatrist but a mentor steered her towards pediatrics, so she could be “a real doctor.”  Dr. Hales eventually fought back the stigma a ...

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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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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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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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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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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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