My day got slammed in a hurry. My supervisor came into my office and said, “I need you to be HIPAA certified in a hurry” and gave me his business credit card, because it was $1200 and he didn’t want to make me wait to get reimbursed. I finished the first module today, which basically talked about how HIPAA came into being and why it’s important… and basically boils down to “don’t be an idiot with other people’s information.” You know, like in Jason Bourne, where all the black ops files are located in a subdirectory named “Black Ops.” [Editor’s Note: I KNOW, RIGHT?] So for the next few days, I am in class and writing like a mad man, because typing doesn’t allow me the same retention of knowledge that handwriting does… even though it hurts my wrist way worse than typing at this point. I don’t know which client requires it at this point, but it doesn’t matter. This is a good cert to have no matter what I do with it.

I am lucky that I come from a medical family, because I already know the basics. This is just going to give me a much broader understanding of the working parts, and a deeper understanding of the details. For instance, HIPAA required that Congress pass legislation on privacy. Guess what? They didn’t. So Health & Human Services had to bat cleanup and wrote the policies themselves. Yet another illustration of why the opposite of progress is Congress.

The main part I’m interested in is EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange. This is a huge, huge deal as more and more doctor’s offices, medical clearinghouses, insurance companies, etc. switch to electronic records as opposed to paper charts, and provides a national standard for them. That way, doctors can more easily share information, because especially with databases, it helps for all the columns to be the same so that the records end up in the same format across offices and billing, especially with Medicare and Medicaid.

So far, the questions in the quiz seem easy. I’m wondering if I will feel that way about the official exam. I’m going to Google around and see if there are practice exams I could look at/take before I sit for the real one. Luckily, the lessons are not timed, and I can take the quizzes as many times as I want to reinforce learning. Today I got 7/8 right, which is passing, but not great. When there’s only 8 questions, that’s a 75. I don’t do well with “not perfect.”

The difference between the quizzes and the test is that if I get under 75%, it’s another $3-400 to retake. So I am studying very, very hard and taking it seriously.

On the plus side, I am too busy to think about anything else.


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