HIPAA, ARRA, HITECH, and the Omnibus Rule

The Congress of the United States enacted, and the President signed into law the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) on August 21, 1996. Congress and the President also enacted into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009. Part of ARRA was the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH). In January 2013 the HIPAA Final Omnibus Rule was issued, enhancing the standards and protections of HIPAA and HITECH. These laws impact all areas of the health care industry and were designed to provide insurance portability, to improve the efficiency of health care by standardizing the exchange of administrative, clinical and financial data, and to protect the privacy, confidentiality and security of patients' health care information. Relative to health care office management software, the regulations specifically address, but are not limited to, the areas of:

  • Electronic Transactions
  • Transaction Code Sets
  • Security of Patient Data
  • Privacy of Patient Data
  • Electronic Copies of Patient Records
  • Business Relationships with the Providers Office

Life Systems Software continues to closely monitor the evolution of the Federal and State requirements for HIPAA and HITECH. We are aware of the legislation and regulations, and consistently upgrade the ChiroSuiteEHR programs of ChiroPadEMR and ChiroOffice to ensure compliance with the new laws and regulations as they are produced.

Compliance with HIPAA and HITECH regulations requires a coordinated effort that includes the practice staff and all the various businesses and vendors that the practice works with. This includes any and all entities that may interact with patients and/or a patient’s Protected Health Information (PHI). This includes but it not limited to the businesses and vendors of practice management and/or documentation software, billing companies, electronic clearing houses for insurance claims, patient portal services, and patient reminder services.

It is Life Systems Software policy to ensure both current and future compliance with all relevant Federal and State regulations, as they become effective. The updates and modifications to Life Systems ChiroSuiteEHR software will be provided at no charge to all registered software licensees (clients) with current annual technical support service agreements. Clients that have let their technical support agreements lapse will be required to pay an upgrade fee. Outside vendor relationships, (clearinghouses, billing companies, portals, reminders) have fees associated with their services that are not included in the purchase of the ChiroSuiteEHR programs, nor are they included in the annual technical support agreement.

Extension:

We request that all practices using Life Systems Software products to file for the automatic one-year extension of the October 2002 transaction and code set requirement.  This will protect you in the event that some of your payors fail to meet the deadline.  To request the extension go to http://www.cms.gov/hipaa/.