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MiraMed’s eAlerts are distributed via email every Wednesday, and contains the latest industry information regarding business process outsourcing solutions, helpful coding news, or any number of relevant topics in the fast-paced, ever-evolving world of healthcare. To subscribe, simply complete the form below. Below the subscription form, you will find the archived eAlerts available.

A Refresher for Healthcare Providers on Business Associate Agreements: Are Your Contracts in Order?

October 25, 2017

Under the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, failure to have written business associate agreements in place can lead to sizable fines and penalties for covered entities. In 2015, for example, Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic, PA, of North Carolina paid $750,000 to settle charges that it potentially violated the HIPAA Privacy Rule by sharing patient protected health information (PHI) with a potential business partner without executing a business associate agreement. The vendor had agreed to transfer x-ray images to electronic media in exchange for harvesting the silver from the films.

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Hospitals Take on ‘Food Insecurity’ to Impact Population Health

October 11, 2017

As healthcare delivery shifts toward population health management, hospitals and health systems are beginning to understand—and take steps to address—the connections between a wide range of socioeconomic factors and the health and well-being of the communities they serve.  One of these factors is “food insecurity,” which the U.S. Department of Agriculture defines as a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food with either disrupted eating patterns or reduced food intake.  The USDA reported that this social determinant of health affected more than 15.8 million (12.7 percent) households in 2015.

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Final Two Deadlines Loom for Medicare Quality Payment Program

October 4, 2017

The Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) began on January 1, 2017, and required that eligible physicians and certain non-physician practitioners participate in either the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or an advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM).  MIPS-eligible clinicians who do not participate in either track in 2017 will receive a four percent penalty in their 2019 Medicare reimbursement.

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OIG Zeroes in on Opioid Misuse, Abuse, Diversion and Fraud

September 27, 2017

Addiction experts report that the opioid epidemic is shifting more to the illicit trade of heroin and fentanyl.  However, that doesn’t diminish the central role that prescription painkillers continue to play in this public health crisis.  Nor does it diminish the responsibility of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and healthcare facilities to ensure that opioids, when they are prescribed, are prescribed judiciously and used carefully, and that patients are closely monitored and educated early on about the risk of opioid dependence.  (See Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.)  In 2015, the number of opioid-related deaths exceeded 33,000 for the first time.  Nearly half of these deaths were related to prescription opioids.

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