HIPAA update poses challenges

April 25, 2011

A majority of medical groups stated that critical software upgrades to comply with new patient privacy standards have not been made and testing with health plans has not been scheduled.

A majority of medical groups stated that critical software upgrades to comply with new patient privacy standards have not been made and testing with health plans has not been scheduled, according to survey results from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

The transition to the new electronic standards for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Version 5010 could cause interruption of claims processing and other essential administrative transactions should groups not meet the January 1, 2012, compliance date, according to the MGMA.

Only 22.3% of respondents believed their current software would permit them to use Version 5010, with 48.6% stating that their software would require an upgrade. As an additional challenge, only 47.7% of respondents indicated that they had received any communication from their practice management software vendors regarding the update.