Is an employer that does not provide on-site health care for its employees considered a covered entity?
No, the employer is not eligible as a covered entity as they do not have any health clinic function accessible to employees or act as the connection between the health care source and the employee, or offer a self-insured plan for the employees’ health. These are all necessities for an employer to be termed a covered entity (Sharyl 2009).
Does HIPAA entail a medical doctor who does not use computers in the office to buy them?
Yes, the doctor needs computers in the office as HIPAA’s privacy rules acts on protecting any personal exclusive health information pertaining to a patient (Sharyl 2009). The information that the patient gives should be stored electronically to encourage confidentiality. HIPAA privacy rule states that a professional should transmit any HIPAA protected information electronically (Sharyl 2009). HIPAA facilitates a safety management procedure so as to care for the patients’ confidential information (Sharyl 2009). The systems are monitored, and reports are taken to ensure utmost confidentiality and safe guarding of the information. (Sharyl 2009).
Is it possible for the provider in this case (page 23) to avoid HIPAA compliance by using a medical billing service?
No, as a provider who bills electronically, the provider is required to conform with HIPAA requirements of the privacy rule by April 14, 2003, except, by that date, the provider stopped all HIPAA’s transactions. The response clearly states that the provider cannot avoid HIPAA services by hiring another entity, such as a billing service to carry out those transactions electronically.
Are electronic claims paid more quickly or more slowly, according to the response?
The electronic claims are quicker in payment as the claims receive payments after 14 days while the paper claims receive payments 28 days after receipt due to the problems they receive such as, having to prepare paper claims, checking eligibility and claiming status by phone. They also discouraged paying paper claims as effective October 16, 2003; Prohibition of Medicare by law from paying paper claims, apart from those from small providers and under assured partial conditions.
Sharyl, Nass, Laura A. Levit, Lawrence O. Gostin. Beyond the HIPAA Privacy Rule:, Improving Health Through Research. New York: National Academies Press, 2009.