Windows XP Losing HIPAA Compliance

PHI FolderSince its implementation in 1996, HIPAA has shaped much of how medical care is given, recorded, and how those records are protected. Because so much personal health information (PHI) is stored on desktop or laptop computers, the operating system (OS) must be secure to meet HIPAA standards. This means receiving security updates and patches when they are released, and if you’re running Windows, Microsoft takes care of that for you.

Bad News for XP Users

Beginning April 8, 2014 Microsoft will no longer support their Windows XP Operating System. This means they will no longer release those security updates and patches necessary to keep the OS in HIPAA compliance.  Although ending support is a normal part of the operating system “life cycle,” the fact is that Windows XP was a popular OS and is still used on an estimated 37.74% of active PCs, second only to Windows 7.  Healthcare providers and their businesses are sure to be a part of that statistic, and April 2014 will be here before you know it.

What to Do?

Bite the bullet and upgrade. Windows 7 is a good option and is a relatively easy transition for most users. Microsoft will  be supporting  Windows 7 through 2020, keeping the OS HIPAA compliant for the next 7 years. It may seem like a large undertaking, especially if your office uses multiple PCs and licenses, but the security and compliance justify the switch. If you are an In Charge Office Solutions client, we can assist with the transition (ask us how).

Have You Heard? We’ve Gone Paperless!

One of the most frequent questions asked by prospective clients is, “How do you receive the charges?” HIPAA compliance is always on the forefront of everyone’s mind, and third-party medical billing requires transmission of protected health information. Email does not meet HIPAA security standards, so the most common method of charge transmissions were fax and courier service.

Seeking to create a more convenient means of transmission for our clients, In Charge Office Solutions has launched a new program this week. We have developed a software program exclusively for our clients that makes uploading charges to our server quick, easy, and secure.

How Does it Work?  keyboard

Clients simply:

  •  Scan their own superbill or use our fillable PDF
  •  Drop the file into a specified folder and double click on the “In Charge Office” icon.
  • The program pulls all files from the folder, encrypts the information, and uploads them directly to our server.

Clients receive immediate confirmation that their files have been received for posting/billing. The program and our server exceed HIPAA privacy and security standards.

Our hope is that this program increases efficiency, cuts down on paper usage, and gives peace of mind that your information is secure.