The New Medical Billing and Coding Agenda: Providing Patient Security is a Must

medical billing and codingMedical billing and coding experts have the important responsibility of dealing with patient’s medical records and private information. In this age of technology, most medical records are stored in databases on a computer. While this method makes it easier to record information, code it, and create medical bills to send to both the patient and the insurance company, without the right kind of software a patient’s medical records could become vulnerable to unwelcome intruders.

Why Patient Records Should Be Confidential

Patient records and health information are protected by the American Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics. According to this law, any information a patient discloses to a physician, either through a diagnosis process or during a direct patient to physician consultation is confidential to the utmost degree of the law.

Private information such as HIV test results and communicable diseases are also part of this protection act, and with good reason. If a patient felt that their private information was accessible by other, unknown parties, this could prevent the patient from feeling at ease to reveal such information to the physician. As a result, this could lead to false diagnosis or additional work for a new physician who would have to re-diagnose a patient.

Upcoming Security Regulations for Medical Billing and Coding Specialists

Although the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics is, in fact, law, their own website states that access to confidential patient information is regularly allowed, especially through the electronic transmission of data, such as a medical billing and coding specialist would use.

Recently, the Office of the Inspector General performed an inspection and determined that many hospitals and medical billing and coding facilities are not providing their patients with enough security when it come to their computer based medical information. As a result, they have recommended that steps be taken to ensure not only security of the software applications, but general security as well that covers the policies, procedures, and structure of any computer used to hold patient medical information.

The Office of the National Coordinator, which is responsible for making sure that all medical facilities follow security guidelines was encouraged to oversee the development of general types of security on medical computers. They were also encouraged to teach the medical community the importance of using security software to protect a patient’s confidential medical information.

What Does this Mean for the Future of Medical Billing and Coding Specialists

With the apparent development of tougher rules and regulations forming, it is important to stay ahead of the game. Now is the time for either you or your company to purchase secure software that will be safe from hackers.

Shopping for the right type of software for your billing and coding practice is essential if you want to protect your patients. You must work closely with the software provider to find out if the software is right for your business. Here are some things you should look for:

  • Whether the software is HIPPA compliant
  • If the software is secure and discrete
  • If the provider will continue to help you with any security issues
  • Whether there are free updates that will be provided when needed
  • If the software has a back up disk to protect lost or incomplete patient information

Ensuring the privacy and security of your patients is important, and it can be easy if you use the right type of medical billing and coding software. Take the precautionary steps now, before you place your career as a medical billing and coding specialist at risk.

Comments are closed.

Premium Wordpress Plugin