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Posts tagged ‘Regulation’

Report: Congress, Presidents, U.S. Supreme Court Have Obstructed OSHA Regulatory Process


Some OSHA regulations have been delayed for as long as 31 years, with presidents, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court all contributing to the slowdown in the rulemaking process.

“The requirements on OSHA have nearly paralyzed the agency,” said Justin Feldman, worker health and safety advocate with Public Citizen and author of the report. “As a result, OSHA cannot adequately protect workers from toxic chemicals, heat stress, repetitive use injuries, workplace violence and many other occupational dangers. Inadequate regulation imposes tremendous costs on workers, who may be forced to pay with their health or even their lives.”

Because so much time and resources are spent trying to promulgate fewer standards, Public Citizen asserts that OSHA has been unable to address many other risks. For example, NIOSH has identified 682 toxic chemicals to which workers are exposed. OSHA has no existing regulation for 244 of these chemicals, meaning workers can be exposed to them at any level. For another 196 chemicals, OSHA’s standards offer less protection than NIOSH recommends. OSHA has regulated only two chemicals since 1997; industry, meanwhile, develops two new chemicals every day.

This article was originally posted at http://ehstoday.com/standards/osha/report_obstruction_osha_standards_1007/

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Doctor’s office settles with OSHA


A local doctor’s office has agreed to pay a $10,500 fine as part of a settlement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The Kirkland Family Practice also agreed to correct violations involving exposure of employees to needles and other sharp devices, infection control and employee training, according to a settlement signed Aug. 18 by Dr. Clem Kirkland.

In July, OSHA cited the office, 5928 Springboro Pike, with eight violations calling for a potential $32,000 fine.

In the settlement, OSHA withdrew citations involving steps taken after an employee suffered a needle-stick in June 2011 and annual employee training. OSHA reclassified and reduced the fines for other violations.

In addition to the fines, Kirkland agreed to rewrite its exposure control plan, including “annual consideration and implementation of safer needle devices” and “identification of the appropriate disinfectant to be used in decontaminating contaminated work surfaces.”

Kirkland also agreed to hire inspectors for annual job safety and health inspections for the next two years and to report “how each item was abated or corrected” to OSHA.

Kirkland did not return calls.

HIPAA- Enforcing Stricter Regulations to Provide Greater Protection for Patient Health Information


HIPAA is a United States Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and consists of HIPAA I and HIPAA II. HIPAA I administer health insurance norms, which are meant for people who loose or change jobs. The HIPAA II is about standardization of healthcare procedure that the health providers are required to follow. The later version is what is talked about the most and also governs the norms that are necessary for protection of the patient health records. This is necessary to protect the patients and the health insurance agencies from the frauds due to stolen identity.

HIPAA is enforcing stricter laws and norms to deal firmly with health insurance fraud cases like the one reported in the SUN newspaper about sale of vital health records of patients to attorneys so that they could mint money. There are few steps that have been taken in recent months with sole purpose to make electronic exchange of human health data, foolproof.

  • In November 2009 eight Federal agencies approved a notice approval form. It makes mandatory for the health providers to share with customers how their information is gathered and distributed. This makes it easy for the customers to decide easily whether they want to stay in or opt out of the service.
  • The new regulations allow the state to sue the defaulter for HIPAA violations, expand criminal prosecution and impose heavy fines
  •  The final rule of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued as per American Recovery and Reinvestment Act makes it necessary for the health providers to report breach in patient health information to the consumer. If the health information of 500 or more people is leaked then it should be brought to notice in media. The rule also clarifies on the timing, content and method of reporting the leak.
  •  The Recovery act makes it necessary for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct a survey on the entities that provide health services but are not covered by HIPAA. The aim is to frame rules on how such entities can discharge their medical services and at same time safeguard vital patient statistics.

In the end new and stricter regulations point out to the effort of the regulatory authorities to clamp down on the fraudulent practices that still exist in the system in spite of safeguards that are placed in it. The sole purpose is to make the electronic sharing of patient health data secure and tamper proof. This will save the State and people from loosing millions of dollar every year due to fraudulent insurance claims.

This is how regulatory authorities are taking atough stand to root out malpractices from health care system by enforcing stricter HIPAA regulations to make the patient identity and their health data more safe.

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Jason Gaya

HIPAA Privacy Policies and Standards


Howdy Readers, I was just going through an interesting read on the internet which i wish to share with you all…

Why is the HIPAA Privacy Rule needed?

When it comes to individual health and medical data it can be collected, stored, analyzed and distributed in unprecedented quantities and put to diverse uses. Employers utilize health records to minimize their health care and workers compensation costs, as well as to identify employees who may be costly in the future. Payers not only use patient data for claims payment but also for utilization review, underwriting and coverage decisions.

Health care providers have a strong tradition of protecting private health and medical information. In today’s world, traditional method of data locked in filing cabinets is not enough.

Here some of the incidents that necessitated the passage of HIPAA standards and regulations

In Rapid City SID – A medical student took home copies of patients’ psychiatric records to work on a research project. He disposed of the material in the trash basket of a fast food restaurant. And that material was found and given to a newspaper reporter.

In Minneapolis MN – A university health facility sent emails to transplant recipients that revealed the names of hundreds of donors to whom confidentiality had been promised.

In Miami FL – Several hundred hospital workers browsed through the records of a famous patient that had recently come to the facility, even though few of them were actually involved in the case.

In Tampa FL – A county health department worker copied lists of HIV patients, distributed the information to his friends and sent the information to a local newspaper.


HIPAA Privacy Standards

The HIPAA Privacy rule covers national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.

The Privacy rule standards address the use and disclosure of individuals’ health information called “Protected Health Information” by organizations subject to the Privacy Rule – called “covered entities”, as well as standards for individuals’ privacy rights to understand and control how their health information is used. Major objective of privacy rule is to ensure that individual’s health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public health.

We all think that Healthcare practices would be rest assured with Regulations, but these kind of discrepancies causes them a great deal of problems and penalties. Hence, they should enhance proper training and follow the strict guidelines of the federal regulation.

J.G.

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