With today’s heightened awareness of data breeches, scams, hacking and malicious software, it is essential that we arm ourselves with knowledge and tools in an effort to reduce the risk of identity theft and computer intrusion as much as possible. One such resource is a new scam tracking page from the Better Business Bureau. The tracker identifies scams and enables citizens to self-report potential scams. Anyone can report a scam, which makes it a genuine community-sourced resource. Being able to find out about scams in our area and throughout the US in essentially real time provides the public with another great resource.
The FTC is hosting Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week Jan 25-29. There are a number of webinars available for consumers to learn about what steps to take concerning identity theft. The link below is one selection. For additional information, go to the Federal Trade Commission's website and click on their events calendar.
On January 7th HHS Office of Civil Rights released a publication on their list serve titled “Understanding Individuals’ Right under HIPAA to Access their Health Information”. The publication discusses how individuals can utilize their right to access to their health information. The link will take you to the OCR’s website and fact sheet which is the first in a series. Specifically, “This set of FAQs addresses the scope of information covered by HIPAA’s access right, the very limited exceptions to this right, the form and format in which information is provided to individuals, the requirement to provide access to individuals in a timely manner, and the intersection of HIPAA’s right of access with the requirements for patient access under the HITECH Act’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program.”
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule on 1/6/16 modifying the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Privacy Rule that permits certain HIPAA covered entities to disclose to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) the identities of persons who are not allowed to possess or receive a firearm because they are subject to the Federal mental health prohibitor. The effective date of this final rule is February 5, 2016. For additional information from the Federal Register click on the following link: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/01/06/2015-33181/health-insurance-portability-and-accountability-act-hipaa-privacy-rule-and-the-national-instant
New bankruptcy forms and rules became effective on 12/1/15. To access the updated forms and information follow these links:
(Form 410-Proof of Claim Filing) http://www.uscourts.gov/forms/bankruptcy-forms/proof-claim-0
It is likely that we will be faced with someone who is angry at some point in time. Knowing how to handle an angry person whether that person is a client, consumer, patient, friend or family member is key to de-escalating the situation. Take a look at the following article published in Nursezone 2005 titled "When Emotions Escalate: How to Handle Angry Patients," by Christina Orlovsky. The article provides some excellent guidance on how to positively manage situations when a patient becomes angry. The article is geared for healthcare, however the techniques applied can be utilized in many other situations.
In our last newsletter we shared with you our excitement about our new website. We went live with it this month and want to introduce you to our new look! We kept the good stuff and added some fresh features to enhance your browsing experience. Our client login page will now take you directly to the on-line portal so you can enter and view your accounts in real time. We have also added a news and blog page that will be filled with articles and information as well as a resource page called Lending a Hand.
To Our Valued Clients:
Welcome to our first quarterly newsletter!! In this issue we will share some interesting facts about our company and introduce you to our talented and dedicated staff! Watch for our next newsletter coming in December...more