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Protection of PHI-Patients That Use DME Services

Protection of PHI-Patients That Use DME Services

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of medical billing is protecting your patients’ PHI. Durable medical equipment (DME) companies can have just as much of a problem with confidentiality as any other medical facility or practice. There are four main tips for DME businesses to protect the medical billing PHI information.

The first rule is medical equipment tracking. Some medical devices contain personal medical billing PHI information. When these devices are used by a patient, they could potentially breach that confidentiality if the information was not properly stored or disposed. It is much easier to track the device itself than to track the information the device gathers. Tracking devices can be helpful so that you know where the device is at all times. This way personal medical billing information can be kept confidential.

The second rule deals with communication. Each time you receive information that an update is required on your software that handles your patient information or hardware update, be sure to contact the device vendor. There may be specific updates for that particular piece of equipment. If that update is not installed correctly, you could be leaving your PHI medical billing information vulnerable. Great communication is a must!

Another measure to protect PHI is to back up information on devices. If a device breaks down, it is important to have the information stored in that media in another secure location. Be sure that the other information source has proper security measures as well. Any medical billing PHI should be protected to the fullest.

A final tip for protecting medical billing PHI is to increase physical security systems. Many people worry about computer or software hackers but forget about physical security. Be sure your equipment is behind lock and key. Also, make sure only authorized personnel are able to use and operate durable medical equipment. Some offices use sign in sheets or secure log-ins for anyone accessing the information.

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