Social Media and Your Health Care Organization

A new study on social media and health care shows that more than 1, 200 hospitals participate on 4,200 social networking sites. Social media is changing the nature of healthcare interaction, and health care organizations that ignore this virtual environment may be missing opportunities to engage consumers. From a marketing perspective, health care organizations and small businesses should seize the opportunities to capitalize on social media. However, social media in health care is not … [Read more...]

Institute of Medicine to Conduct Year-Long Study in HIT Safety

Under the HITECH Act of 2009, the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record ("EHR") incentive programs provide a financial reward for the meaningful use of qualified, certified EHRs to achieve health and efficiency goals. In July, CMS announced regulations outlining the initial requirements that eligible health care providers must meet to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology for the Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments program, which CMS will administer.  Also in … [Read more...]

Court’s Texting Decision Shows Importance of Updated Policies

The United States Supreme Court considered an employer’s policies on e-mail and texting use in a decision issued on June 17. As reported previously in this blog, City of Ontario v. Quon raised the issue of whether a governmental employer who reviewed the content of text messages sent using an employer-provided pager had committed an unlawful search in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Quon was a SWAT team police officer who was issued a pager capable of sending and … [Read more...]

Employee Texting Case Goes to Supreme Court

On Monday April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case that has important implications for employers who provide cell phone texting and other electronic communications tools to their employees. This case serves as a reminder to all companies to take precautions with electronic communications and the corporate policies that surround them: 1) Be certain to have a corporate policy in place that clearly addresses use of e-mail, text messaging, voicemails, Internet chat, and other … [Read more...]

Can You Spot the Red Flags of Medical Identity Theft? FTC Rule Enforcement Now Begins November 1, 2009

The Red Flags Rule, designed to prevent and detect identity theft, takes effect August 1. Health care providers should carefully review the Rule’s definitions, because you may be surprised at how many health professionals are considered “creditors” who must develop Identity Theft Prevention Programs. The Red Flags Rule, 16 CFR § 681, applies to “financial institutions” and “creditors.” However, if your patients are not paying for services at the time that they are received, then … [Read more...]