Protect your practice with new AOA HIPAA notices

August 30, 2013

Federal privacy protection standards have become more stringent. Make sure your practice is up to date with the AOA’s new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Notice of Privacy Practice forms.

The new form reflects changes to HIPAA. Using it is one way to make sure you are in compliance with new rules, which technically took effect in March. You have until Sept. 23 to comply.

To avoid penalties related to notices, take these steps:

1. Order new notices

New HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practice forms are available from the AOA Marketplace. To order, email orders@aoa.org. Or call the AOA Marketplace at 800-262-2210 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. CDT, Monday through Friday. Include your member number to qualify for a discount.

HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practice forms are sold in pads of 100 and include acknowledgement of receipt slips. Pricing is:

  • 100 forms for $42 (members) or $63 (non-members)
  • 500 forms for $65 (members) or $97.50 (non-members)
  • 1,000 forms for $110 (members) or $165 (non-members)
  • Imprinting available for an additional $8 per pad

2. Provide new notices to patients

Provide an updated HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practice to all patients. For new patients, distribute the notice during the first office visit. For existing patients, make the new policy available upon request.

3. Post copies in person and online

Post a copy of the updated notice in a prominent location in your practice and on the practice website.

4. Stop using old notices

Cease use of any old HIPAA privacy practice notice, but retain a copy along with any written acknowledgments of receipt from patients.

The AOA HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practice form was developed by the AOA Office of General Counsel in conjunction with HIPAA experts at the nationally recognized law firm of Stinson Morrison Hecker. It is offered as a resource but is not intended to suit all optometry practices or to constitute legal advice.

Be sure to review the form with your legal counsel to ensure it reflects any applicable state privacy protection regulations and the actual privacy protection measures taken in your practice.

HIPAA resources

The new HIPAA Compliance section of the AOA website at www.aoa.org/optometrists/tools-and-resources/hipaa-compliance (member login required to view) includes:

  • Updated AOA HIPAA Security Regulation Compliance Manual (available free of charge to AOA members)
  • Sample HIPAA Business Associate Agreement
  • Sample HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices, developed by the AOA Office of Counsel for use in optometric practices, which are available to order by calling 800-262-2210.

On the AOAExcel™ HIPAA page at www.excelod.com (member login required to view):

  • AOA White Paper: Updated HIPAA Regulations-What Optometrists Need to Know, with questions and answers about the privacy regulations.

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