Moving health privacy forward

Most people are familiar with HIPAA because of the forms at every medical office, from doctors to dentists. Chances are, many patients sign without even reading today. It’s an important document, though, that controls who can see personal medical information.

For medical providers, there’s more to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act than that one-page form. Behind the scenes, complicated laws cover everything from release of information to keeping information secure. These laws cover more than doctors’ offices. They also apply to “business associates” of medical providers – insurance companies, accounting firms or consultants, to name a few.

Patients can file complaints if there are violations, and the government can audit businesses. The cost of violations can be steep – up to $50,000 per incident for violations due to willful neglect. Criminal penalties are also possible.

It’s a daunting task for a new medical practice or small firm to try to figure it all out. At Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, we can offer providers and other business the advantage of an attorney who knows both the law and business.

Founder Nekki Shutt has worked for decades in human resources, first in the personnel department of a publicly traded insurance company and now as a lawyer.

We also can provide the services of privacy professional Jax Pavlicek. She’s a licensed attorney who has special training in the applicable laws as well as in best practices.

The skills of these attorneys allow Burnette Shutt & McDaniel to provide a full range of services, from drafting policies to reviewing existing procedures. We can advise you on creating training programs for staff. Our attorneys can troubleshoot, reviewing vendor agreements that are becoming common as more providers move record storage to cloud services.

If problems arise, we can represent you in the event of an audit. Jax also can help businesses and medical providers recover in the event of a data breach.