CMS’ Missive to Skilled Nursing Homes: You’ve Got 30 Days
Crackdown on Social Media Abuses Begins Sept. 4, 2016
New Privacy Offerings Help Nursing Homes Meet Deadline
Aug. 15, 2016 — In an unprecedented memo to state survey and credentialing agencies, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services directed state survey teams to begin enforcing privacy policies and procedures to protect patients from social media abuses. The memo cited recent media reports of social media abuses. Some of those reports detail horrific examples of nursing home residents on public display, sometimes partially or fully naked. Incidents often involve patients with dementia — with staff members taking photos or video of demeaning scenes, and then sharing them with friends.
In its memo, issued on Aug. 5, 2016, CMS orders state survey teams to review nursing home policies and procedures related to social media abuses beginning Sept. 4, 2016, and continuing until all skilled nursing homes have been inspected. The memo points out that staff training alone is not enough, and that compliance must include plans for implementing daily practices that protect residents’ privacy. The memo defines “staff” as employees, consultants, contractors, volunteers and others who provide care services to residents.
In January 2016, MyHIPAA Guide, of Akron, Ohio, and Pedagogy Inc., of Troup, Texas, began working on a training and compliance program with special emphasis on social media abuses. Currently, two accredited online courses are available:
Responsibilities for Managing HIPAA Compliance offers training for managers putting compliance plans in place, and Social Media Rules for Nurses and Healthcare Providers educates staff on how abuses often happen, and how they can be prevented.
A bulk packages of seats in the two courses comes with a compliance service offering, called A Nursing Home’s Total Privacy Plan, offered by MyHIPAA Guide. This Total Privacy Plan gives nursing homes a complete compliance management program, including social media guidelines, a secure online whistleblower service, posters, monthly training webinars, and regular news updates on privacy requirements.
The classes may also be purchased separately through Pedagogy. Discounts are available for bulk purchases.
About MyHIPAA Guide: Visit MyHIPAAGuide.com, read about us in Crain’s Cleveland Business, or check out our guest viewpoint in the June issue of Compliance Today.
About Pedagogy Inc: Pedagogy offers nationally accredited online continuing education (CEU/CNE) courses and in-services for nurses, certified nursing assistants, CNA’s, and other healthcare professionals.
Browse Pedagogy’s class catalog to see all course descriptions and curriculum by subject category; courses may be purchased individually on the Pedagogy website.