5 Tips To Shield Your Practice from Consumer Fraud

February 3, 2014 – In The News
Medical Practice Compliance Alert

Michael Kline and Elizabeth Litten were quoted in the Medical Practice Compliance Alert article “5 Tips To Shield Your Practice from Consumer Fraud.” While the full text can be found in the February 3, 2014, Medical Practice Compliance Alert, a synopsis is noted below.

Physician practices must comply with federal and state consumer protection laws as well as HIPAA when it comes to storing patient information.

Practices should include all applicable privacy and security laws in their compliance program, as well as monitor business associates and reassess their own conduct.

One practice’s recent data breach triggered HIPAA investigations of some of its hospital clients, which were also found in violation. Allegations arose of overly aggressive debt collection practices and intimidation of patients in emergency departments by the practice and condoned by the hospitals, which could have led to charges that the hospital violated the FTC Act as well as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), says Elizabeth Litten.

Practices should also be sure to correct identified problems promptly. Don’t wait for the government to launch an investigation, says Michael Kline.

Finally, practices should cooperate with regulators, as it can make a difference in how you’re ultimately reviewed. One practice recently refused to communicate and comply with the FTC, according to Litten. “You’re poking in the lion’s cage when you do that.”