Did you know that the average HIPAA Violation costs upwards of $50,000 and can frequently include over a year in prison? With the continued changes being implemented to the current regulations violations not only continue but are on the rise, with random audits increasing as well. Physicians First Messages is here with a friendly reminder to not put off ensuring that your practice is not only compliant but is constantly apprised of the ever changing laws regarding HIPAA and HITECH Act. After all, there's no better time than now.
And if your facility is already up to date on the regulations, you can still be in violation if you or someone in your practice makes any one of these very common HIPAA mistakes.
The violation could be as simple as leaving your personal device unattended & unlocked, using public Wi-Fi networks, having your work computer be susceptible to malware, or staff members that gossip about patients to friends and family. But even these seemingly minor mistakes can be enormously costly for a medical practice.
Here at Physicians First Messages we have taken steps to ensure that we are also in continuous compliance with the HIPAA HITECH regulations, especially in our system's transition to transmitting only over secured messaging for all text messages, so rest assured we've got your patients' privacy covered for you and your staff from this end.
You're a solo medical practitioner but don't even employ a full-time receptionist due to the overhead. Or maybe you only work in the practice a few days a week and so only need your calls handled during those times. Do only need someone to answer your after-hours calls so you can stop forwarding to your cell phone, and being woken up all night for non-urgent refills?
A medical call center's staff like the one here at Physicians First Messages is experienced, trained and ready to help you with all of these situations and more.
While many of us feel that the ability to multitask is a desirable attribute and often include it in their curriculum vitae, multitasking can often be problematic for the medical professional.
Doctors who are juggling patients in their office, patients in hospital settings, urgent phone calls from patients or other doctors, along with their own staff's demands often find that they are being pulled in too many directions to effectively serve their patients' needs.
Physicians First Messages is here to show you why hiring a trusted medical call center to manage your practice's communication needs is an affordable and beneficial solution to this problem.
First, hiring a medical call center over your standard call center ensures that your calls are given the care and priority they need. No longer will your critical medical calls wait in the phone queue as an operator dispatches a tow truck for a flat tire. The staff at a medical call center is trained and, even more importantly, HIPAA-certified to guarantee your patients' messages are handled with the utmost care and confidentiality. We can dispatch your messages to you however you prefer - secure text, email, fax... Have a numeric pager or alphapager? We do that too! We'll even update your greeting for you, whenever you need! It's all part of the service.
Next, even if you only need someone to answer your emergency calls after hours, with your routine calls directed to a voicemail... the answering service can help you decide which calls should be put through immediately and which can be held until you are able to retrieve them.
Hospitals, consults, patients... you decide the priority as you can customize your plan to your own practice's needs.
Need to make a change to your oncall schedule? Our customers even have access to their very own secure web portals where they can make changes to their own availability and view their accounts at a moment's notice.
Finally, in terms of cost alone, employing a medical call center over a full-time live receptionist earns you some extra features at a significantly lesser cost. Our medical call center is available 24/7, 365 days a year. We never close, go on vacation, or have sick days. You don't need to worry about details like office furniture, phone equipment, or even a parking space.
Physicians First Messages also guarantee 20% savings over your current answering service bill, no hidden fees, and require no contracts.
Call us now for your Free Trial and find out why so many of your colleagues have made PFMI the Doctors' First Choice Medical Call Center.
HIPAA. Everyone from patients to providers has heard this acronym and, while not everyone even understands what the letters stand for, we all know it applies to patient rights. For a medical practice, ensuring that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that define HIPAA can seem like a minefield. Physicians First Messages is here with some important information that may better help you navigate your way through to 100% compliance successfully.
Our friends at Becker's Healthcare write in their article "10 Common HIPAA Violations and Preventative Measures to Keep Your Practice in Compliance":
"The HIPAA law to protect patient health information is quite well known by personnel in most physician offices. There still remain, however, some questions regarding HIPAA's rules and regulations. Providers who are not up to date with changes in the law risk potential violation that could not only damage a practice's reputation but cause criminal and civil fines... HIPAA violations can result in substantial fines to a practice ranging from $100 to $1.5 million. Healthcare providers can also be at risk for sanctions or loss of license.
We list below some of the more common reasons for HIPAA violation citations:"
This year's the World Health Organization's smoking cessation campaign 'World No Tobacco Day' on May 31, 2018 is focusing on the damage tobacco use does to the cardiovascular systems with the slogan "Tobacco Breaks Hearts: Choose Health, Not Tobacco".
Physicians First Messages believes that this is a valuable push to increase awareness of the dangers tobacco use has on the body beyond the most well-known affected areas such as lung damage, ENT issues, and even skin damage.
"Tobacco use is an important risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral
vascular disease. Despite the devastating harms of tobacco to heart health, and the availability of solutions to
reduce tobacco-related death and disease, knowledge among large sections of the public that tobacco is one of the leading causes of Tobacco Breaks Hearts diseases (CVD) is low," said WHO in its message.
Around the world, nearly 6 million of our fellow humans die from tobacco-related causes. The numbers are decreasing every year, but we need to keep sharing these important health effects and statistics, until we can eradicate the unnecessary deaths. As we all know, knowledge is power.
It is through active and annual campaigns such as 'World No Tobacco Day' that increase awareness that we can hope to see tobacco use among the general population decrease.
Won't you join PFMI in sharing this important information?
What Our Customers Are Saying
"I have used many answering services in my 30 years of practice. Since joining Physicians First Messages, I can finally sleep at night knowing my calls are being handled correctly."
- Dr. Cohen
"Thank you! Not only did I get a great answering service that understands my practice, but I save thousands of dollars a year, too! Flat-rate billing allowed me to plan my budget."
- Dr. Patel