Special HIPAA Interactive Online Broadcast Predict More Changes in HIPAA Privacy Regs

Interactive Internet Broadcast Presented by the Journal of Health Care

Finance; Powered by Internet Television Network and WorldStream

Communications, Inc.



Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Journal of Health Care Finance

    CHICAGO, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of the national Blue
 Cross/Blue Shield Association's announcement last week that BC/BS will team up
 with the American Medical Association and the State Medicaid Directors to urge
 immediate bipartisan sponsorship of a bill in Congress to extend the
 implementation period of the 'transaction and code set' portion of the
 administrative simplification section of HIPAA, spokespersons for several
 major national healthcare trade associations voiced continued concerns about
 various aspects of HIPAA, with respect to: (a) the differing timetables on
 implementing the various rules under administrative simplification, (b) the
 risk of installing expensive systems that will later need to be changed, (c)
 the overall cost of HIPAA compliance to health care providers and (d) the
 variation among providers in their relative abilities and budgets with respect
 to HIPAA implementation.
     Representatives of the following health care associations appeared on an
 interactive nationwide Internet broadcast to the healthcare industry April
 23rd presented by the Journal of Health Care Finance
 ( healthfinancejournal@yahoo.com ), and powered by Internet Television Network
 ( INTV.net ) and WorldStream Communications, Inc. ( www.WorldStream.com ):
 
     * American Hospital Association (AHA) ( www.aha.org )
     * Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association (BC/BS) ( www.bcbshealthissues.com )
     * Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) ( www.mgma.com )
     * Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) ( www.hfma.org )
     * Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
       ( www.himss.org )
     * Workgroup For Electronic Data Interchange (WEDi) ( www.wedi.org )
     * Electronic Health Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC)
     * American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) ( www.healthlawyers.org )
 
     The archived event can be viewed in its entirety by clicking:
 http://events.wsecn.com/login/login.asp?showtimeid=48549549453
 
     Christina Nyquist, director of policy for the national Blue Cross and Blue
 Shield Association, reinforced the intent of BC/BS to team up with the
 American Medical Association and the State Medicaid Directors to urge
 immediate bipartisan sponsorship of a bill in Congress to extend the
 implementation period of the 'transaction and code set' portion of the
 administrative simplification section of HIPAA:
     "We have a concern that the transactions and code set rule that was
 finalized last August is a clock that has been ticking, and now we have less
 than 18 months to comply as an entire industry.  Yet, we have been receiving a
 number of reports indicating that providers at the local level-individual
 doctors, clinics, hospitals-are still behind in implementing HIPAA, and even
 those who are pursuing it vigorously are finding that it's going to cost a lot
 more than was originally projected by HHS.  Our concern is that providers and
 health plans need additional time to implement the transaction and code set
 rule, and we think that time frame should be coordinated with the issuance of
 the security reg and the identifier reg so the industry can make system
 changes all at once," said Nyquist.
 
     Added the AHA's Kristin Welsh:
     "People need to understand that every dollar that we spend on implementing
 HIPAA is going to be a dollar taken away from patient care.  We don't want
 people to do things that will change, because that may be a waste of time and
 money."
 
     Also appearing on the broadcast was Robert Tennant, government affairs
 director of the Medical Group Management Association.  Commenting on the
 varying timing of implementation of HIPAA rules, he said:
     "It's not often that providers and payors agree, but certainly I think
 there are a lot of agreement here, and MGMA has continually pushed for a
 harmonization of the rules.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield is absolutely correct
 in that when you go to make your systems changes it's desirable to have all
 the rules at your disposal to reduce the cost of those changes."
 
     A poll among participants using the interactive webcasting technology
 during the presentation indicated that over half of the respondents felt that
 Congress will 'squawk' about HIPAA, but no legislation will be passed and over
 forty percent of respondents indicated that there is confusion "everywhere" in
 their organizations with respect to HIPAA.
     At the same time, there appeared to be agreement that hospitals, medical
 practices, vendors, health plans and others can't just stand still and wait
 out what might or might not happen in Washington.  The AHA's Welsh made clear
 that hospitals should be moving ahead in a sensible way:
     "What I would say to hospitals is to at least get going in the planning
 process, now is a good time to assess what your current situation is: look at
 how you currently house information, look at how you protect it, look at how
 you share information, examine your databases, look at your consent process to
 the extent you have one.  At least get all your baseline assessments done now
 so that when things do become final, you're a little bit further ahead in the
 process."
 
     Still, the American Hospital Association and others continue to push for
 changes in HIPAA's privacy rule, perhaps now spurred on by the effort of Blue
 Cross/Blue Shield to extend the timing of the implementation period of the
 'transaction and code set' portion of HIPAA:
     "I think the Administration will deal with a certain first tier set of
 issues that they can rectify or clarify within 30 days.  The things that are
 more difficult, substantive changes, may end up going through a rule-making
 process and could occur until late summer or fall," said the AHA's Welsh.
 
     The consistently egregious underestimations of the cost of HIPAA
 compliance by HHS was a major concern during the forum.  Everyone interviewed
 by host-moderator James Unland, Editor of the Journal of Health Care Finance
 ( healthfinancejournal@yahool.com ), agreed that cost was a major concern on
 all aspects of HIPAA:
     "Our studies found that the cost to hospitals to implement HIPAA is a lot
 higher than HHS originally estimated.  For example, some hospitals expect to
 spend between $775,000 to $3.5 million, whereas HHS was estimating a range of
 $100,000 to $250,000 and that's a significant underestimate.  And, we believe
 they underestimated the cost of HIPAA compliance to health plans by about 10
 times," reported Blue Cross/Blue Shield's Nyquist. (more about the Blue Cross
 and Blue Shield studies and positions may be found at:
 www.bcbshealthissues.com )
 
     About Internet Television Network
     The Internet Television Network, a WorldStream partner, is a full-service
 interactive streaming media production company based in Chicago.  INTV.net is
 a leading provider of Internet broadcasting solutions focusing on the client's
 communication objectives including investor relations, human resources,
 training, product launches and demonstrations, sales, e-learning and public
 relations using interactive streaming media technologies.  For more
 information visit INTV.net .
 
     About WorldStream
     Founded in 1998, WorldStream Communications, Inc. provides interactive
 communication services that let businesses create and deliver meetings,
 presentations, training and other events to the desktop.  WorldStream combines
 streaming video and audio with the interactivity of PowerPoint(R) slides,
 group and private text-based chat, email, links, Q/A, and polling -- with
 extensive real time reporting that tracks user participation, email addresses,
 feedback, questions asked, quiz and poll results, and more.  WorldStream is a
 privately held company with investors including Crosspoint Venture Partners,
 Polaris Venture Partners, and the company's founder, technology visionary and
 Sierra Online founder Ken Williams.  For more information visit
 www.worldstream.com
 
     "I do see that there will be significant changes to the rule, and I think
 both Secretary Thompson and President Bush understand that that this can't
 work if the hospitals aren't on board."
                             -- Kristin Welsh, American Hospital Association
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X07763688
 
 

SOURCE Journal of Health Care Finance
    CHICAGO, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of the national Blue
 Cross/Blue Shield Association's announcement last week that BC/BS will team up
 with the American Medical Association and the State Medicaid Directors to urge
 immediate bipartisan sponsorship of a bill in Congress to extend the
 implementation period of the 'transaction and code set' portion of the
 administrative simplification section of HIPAA, spokespersons for several
 major national healthcare trade associations voiced continued concerns about
 various aspects of HIPAA, with respect to: (a) the differing timetables on
 implementing the various rules under administrative simplification, (b) the
 risk of installing expensive systems that will later need to be changed, (c)
 the overall cost of HIPAA compliance to health care providers and (d) the
 variation among providers in their relative abilities and budgets with respect
 to HIPAA implementation.
     Representatives of the following health care associations appeared on an
 interactive nationwide Internet broadcast to the healthcare industry April
 23rd presented by the Journal of Health Care Finance
 ( healthfinancejournal@yahoo.com ), and powered by Internet Television Network
 ( INTV.net ) and WorldStream Communications, Inc. ( www.WorldStream.com ):
 
     * American Hospital Association (AHA) ( www.aha.org )
     * Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association (BC/BS) ( www.bcbshealthissues.com )
     * Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) ( www.mgma.com )
     * Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) ( www.hfma.org )
     * Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
       ( www.himss.org )
     * Workgroup For Electronic Data Interchange (WEDi) ( www.wedi.org )
     * Electronic Health Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC)
     * American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) ( www.healthlawyers.org )
 
     The archived event can be viewed in its entirety by clicking:
 http://events.wsecn.com/login/login.asp?showtimeid=48549549453
 
     Christina Nyquist, director of policy for the national Blue Cross and Blue
 Shield Association, reinforced the intent of BC/BS to team up with the
 American Medical Association and the State Medicaid Directors to urge
 immediate bipartisan sponsorship of a bill in Congress to extend the
 implementation period of the 'transaction and code set' portion of the
 administrative simplification section of HIPAA:
     "We have a concern that the transactions and code set rule that was
 finalized last August is a clock that has been ticking, and now we have less
 than 18 months to comply as an entire industry.  Yet, we have been receiving a
 number of reports indicating that providers at the local level-individual
 doctors, clinics, hospitals-are still behind in implementing HIPAA, and even
 those who are pursuing it vigorously are finding that it's going to cost a lot
 more than was originally projected by HHS.  Our concern is that providers and
 health plans need additional time to implement the transaction and code set
 rule, and we think that time frame should be coordinated with the issuance of
 the security reg and the identifier reg so the industry can make system
 changes all at once," said Nyquist.
 
     Added the AHA's Kristin Welsh:
     "People need to understand that every dollar that we spend on implementing
 HIPAA is going to be a dollar taken away from patient care.  We don't want
 people to do things that will change, because that may be a waste of time and
 money."
 
     Also appearing on the broadcast was Robert Tennant, government affairs
 director of the Medical Group Management Association.  Commenting on the
 varying timing of implementation of HIPAA rules, he said:
     "It's not often that providers and payors agree, but certainly I think
 there are a lot of agreement here, and MGMA has continually pushed for a
 harmonization of the rules.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield is absolutely correct
 in that when you go to make your systems changes it's desirable to have all
 the rules at your disposal to reduce the cost of those changes."
 
     A poll among participants using the interactive webcasting technology
 during the presentation indicated that over half of the respondents felt that
 Congress will 'squawk' about HIPAA, but no legislation will be passed and over
 forty percent of respondents indicated that there is confusion "everywhere" in
 their organizations with respect to HIPAA.
     At the same time, there appeared to be agreement that hospitals, medical
 practices, vendors, health plans and others can't just stand still and wait
 out what might or might not happen in Washington.  The AHA's Welsh made clear
 that hospitals should be moving ahead in a sensible way:
     "What I would say to hospitals is to at least get going in the planning
 process, now is a good time to assess what your current situation is: look at
 how you currently house information, look at how you protect it, look at how
 you share information, examine your databases, look at your consent process to
 the extent you have one.  At least get all your baseline assessments done now
 so that when things do become final, you're a little bit further ahead in the
 process."
 
     Still, the American Hospital Association and others continue to push for
 changes in HIPAA's privacy rule, perhaps now spurred on by the effort of Blue
 Cross/Blue Shield to extend the timing of the implementation period of the
 'transaction and code set' portion of HIPAA:
     "I think the Administration will deal with a certain first tier set of
 issues that they can rectify or clarify within 30 days.  The things that are
 more difficult, substantive changes, may end up going through a rule-making
 process and could occur until late summer or fall," said the AHA's Welsh.
 
     The consistently egregious underestimations of the cost of HIPAA
 compliance by HHS was a major concern during the forum.  Everyone interviewed
 by host-moderator James Unland, Editor of the Journal of Health Care Finance
 ( healthfinancejournal@yahool.com ), agreed that cost was a major concern on
 all aspects of HIPAA:
     "Our studies found that the cost to hospitals to implement HIPAA is a lot
 higher than HHS originally estimated.  For example, some hospitals expect to
 spend between $775,000 to $3.5 million, whereas HHS was estimating a range of
 $100,000 to $250,000 and that's a significant underestimate.  And, we believe
 they underestimated the cost of HIPAA compliance to health plans by about 10
 times," reported Blue Cross/Blue Shield's Nyquist. (more about the Blue Cross
 and Blue Shield studies and positions may be found at:
 www.bcbshealthissues.com )
 
     About Internet Television Network
     The Internet Television Network, a WorldStream partner, is a full-service
 interactive streaming media production company based in Chicago.  INTV.net is
 a leading provider of Internet broadcasting solutions focusing on the client's
 communication objectives including investor relations, human resources,
 training, product launches and demonstrations, sales, e-learning and public
 relations using interactive streaming media technologies.  For more
 information visit INTV.net .
 
     About WorldStream
     Founded in 1998, WorldStream Communications, Inc. provides interactive
 communication services that let businesses create and deliver meetings,
 presentations, training and other events to the desktop.  WorldStream combines
 streaming video and audio with the interactivity of PowerPoint(R) slides,
 group and private text-based chat, email, links, Q/A, and polling -- with
 extensive real time reporting that tracks user participation, email addresses,
 feedback, questions asked, quiz and poll results, and more.  WorldStream is a
 privately held company with investors including Crosspoint Venture Partners,
 Polaris Venture Partners, and the company's founder, technology visionary and
 Sierra Online founder Ken Williams.  For more information visit
 www.worldstream.com
 
     "I do see that there will be significant changes to the rule, and I think
 both Secretary Thompson and President Bush understand that that this can't
 work if the hospitals aren't on board."
                             -- Kristin Welsh, American Hospital Association
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X07763688
 
 SOURCE  Journal of Health Care Finance