Risk Management Tools & Resources


Contract Administration in Healthcare Practices: Managing the Moving Parts

Contract administration and management in healthcare practices can be daunting tasks. Healthcare providers often are involved in numerous contractual agreements, including arrangements with managed care organizations, office and equipment supply vendors, technology systems vendors, landlords, collection agencies, answering services, insurance carriers, partners, employees, and employee benefits providers. Contracts also might be in place for other services, such as serving as a training site for students or fulfilling a medical director role for a long-term care facility.

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Balancing Social Media and Patient Privacy in Healthcare

Maintaining privacy of patients' protected health information (PHI) is one of the most significant concerns related to social media use in healthcare. Privacy and security of PHI are addressed in federal law and governed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). States also may have laws related to the privacy and security of PHI, which might be more stringent than federal laws.

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Corporate Compliance: Covering the Bases

Corporate compliance is a concept that broadly applies to a range of corporate entities and refers to the processes these organizations follow to adhere to regulations and ethical standards. In healthcare, corporate compliance refers to an organization's commitment to, and procedures for, detecting and preventing violations of state and federal laws, establishing expectations for ethical business practices, and setting appropriate standards for patient care and services. In short, corporate compliance is a commitment to do the right thing, both legally and ethically.

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CASE STUDY: Lapses in Elopement Policies Have Grave Consequences for Behavioral Health Patient

The patient was a 20-year-old male with behavioral health issues who had multiple prior admissions to a hospital psychiatric unit over a 6-year span. On October 10, he was admitted to the psychiatric unit again through the emergency department (ED) for emergency detention. Upon arrival, the patient was having a psychotic episode (hallucinations and paranoia), but after 14 hours of sleep, he appeared calm and engaged. A nurse screened the patient for suicidal ideation and classified him as low risk. Because he had tried to leave the ED the previous day, the patient was placed on elopement precaution.

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Improving the Care and Management of Behavioral Health Patients in the Emergency Department

Behavioral health issues have escalated in recent years and pose serious public health and patient safety concerns. Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States has a behavioral health condition; more than 1 in 10 adolescents report having a major depressive disorder in the last year; and only half of people who have mental illnesses receive treatment.1

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Taking Decisive Action to Address Sexual Harassment in Healthcare

Sexual harassment in the workplace is not a new problem — yet, in the past couple of years, it has received renewed attention as a result of the #MeToo movement and countless numbers of women and men coming forward with accounts of being victimized. These reports indicate that harassment is an ongoing and serious issue across all types of industries and organizations, and healthcare certainly isn't immune.

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The Frontline: Cybersecurity Training for Healthcare Workers

In recent years, "cybersecurity" has become a top buzzword in business and public sectors, including healthcare. The need to protect proprietary and sensitive information is increasingly challenging as technology expands and evolves. Complex networks and data exchanges, cloud-based services, social media, online portals, the Internet of Things, and other technologies have introduced opportunities and efficiencies but also potential threats.

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Preparing for the Inevitable: Security Incidents and Data Breaches

In an ideal world, putting in place proactive security measures would guarantee the safety of protected health information (PHI) and other confidential data. However, experience has shown that even well-guarded networks and systems can be infiltrated, resulting in compromised infrastructure, privacy and security violations, and even data losses (for example, in cases of ransomware).

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