Whether you are a healthcare provider or clearinghouse, health plan, or business associate of any of these covered entities under the Health Insurance and Portability Act, 1996, your duty to protect patient information privacy has never been more vital. As data security technology fights to catch up with hackers and ransomware, it is incumbent upon you to ensure that you are remaining compliant with HIPAA requirements. The cost of non-compliance can be devastating — and may include government penalties, legal actions, irreparable loss of reputation, and goodwill for your business. At the same time, some protected health information (PHI) has to be shared efficiently when needed in order to maintain high-quality healthcare and public safety. HIPAA compliance can seem daunting if you don’t have the right solution in your corner; isn’t it time you did?
Consider the following.
Your HIPAA compliance solution needs to meet your needs
How big your HIPAA burden and the cost for you to be HIPAA-compliant are directly proportional to your organization’s type and size. The more PHI your organization manages, the higher your level of risk. Similarly, the more employees, departments, programs, and activities in your organization, the more PHI and devices containing PHI you potentially have on your hands. Make sure your HIPAA compliance solution can handle all of these aspects and still help you streamline your workflow processes.
Your HIPAA compliance solution must help you enhance security
The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires covered entities to implement stringent data security in the form of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. Your approach to maintaining HIPAA compliance should have transparent audit processes that can allow you to identify security gaps and create remediation plans. It should also allow you to track agreements and manage relationships with business associates handling your PHI to ensure that you are on top of the assurances you need to show your due diligence.
Your HIPAA compliance solution should inform back-up processes and recovery of data
Your approach to HIPAA compliance should not only help you assess the strength of your data back-up and recovery measures but ideally should also lead you to a robust back-up and recovery regime and framework. After all, proper management of PHI isn’t just about keeping it private but also about making sure it is never lost. Many HIPAA software companies offer cloud storage and other data management options that are designed to work with their compliance programs.
Your HIPAA compliance solution and your business processes should work hand in hand
Just as the HIPAA compliance solution you deploy should bolster your privacy and data security processes, you need to ensure that protocols for your staff support proper ongoing HIPAA compliance. Make sure you limit access to PHI and employee information — both in terms of who can access and what they can access. Stringently maintain the requirement for strong passwords and encourage staff to contact IT if they aren’t sure of something. Ensure that contracted workers from business associates sign agreements, which you can then track with your HIPAA processes.
Get HIPAA compliant with confidence
Since the Privacy Rule’s compliance date of April 14, 2003, there have been more than 237,000 HIPAA complaints resulting in more than 1,000 compliance reviews. As the sophistication of hackers and cybercriminals grows — and healthcare companies merge — the pressure to stay on the ball to avoid being the subject of OCR scrutiny and investigation continues.
Make sure your HIPAA compliance system helps you stay on top of all your HIPAA requirements. Contact us today to find out what solution is best for your organization.