Today, learn how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act works with us as you will know the requirements to act on data protection.
A Rundown of HIPAA Compliance (Meaning)
HIPAA which stands for Health insurance portability and Accountability act is mapped out to protect sensitive data of patients. We recommend this for every company that deals with protected health information (PHI) as a simple measure to security, physical, network compliance. However, to every health care provider that supports treatment, payment, and operations, HIPAA Compliance is needed of you.
You must comply with HIPAA Compliance as related business associates. But what do you have to comply with? That brings us down to the privacy and security rules of HIPAA.
Privacy and Security Rules of HIPAA
How important is the privacy rule to the patient? The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards for the protection of certain health information as per se – US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). To the security Rule, it establishes a national set of security standards for protecting specific health information that is held or transferred in electronic form.
The security Rule defines the dignity of Privacy rule’s protection as it plays a role in offering technical and nontechnical protection to cover entities, which must be put in place to secure an individual’s electronic PHI (e-PHI). We recognized the fact that OCR- office of civil rights is responsible for enforcing the privacy and security rules as voluntary compliance activities and civil money penalties. Thus, they oblige to HIPAA Compliance voluntarily.
Why do I need HIPAA Compliance?
HHS upholds the need for HIPAA compliance to every health care provider. Every entity dealing with PHI should move to computerized operations such as CPOE systems (computerized physician order entry), Electronic health records (HER). Others like Pharmacy, radiology, and laboratory systems should as well move to computerized operations as stated by HHS.
HHS requests that HIPPA is more important than ever. In as many health plans provide access to claims as well as care management and self-service application, electronic methods will assure increased efficiency and mobility.
We must know that security rules are put in place to protect the privacy of individuals’ health information and as well allow the adoption of new technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. In as much as there is privacy rule, the security rules still find it pleasant to allowing entities to establish policies and organizational structure and risk to patient and consumer’s e-PHI.
The Need for HIPAA includes physical and technical safeguards in regards to policies and HIPPA Compliance.
For every entity, the HHS requires Physical and Technical Safeguards. These physical safeguards include
- You must establish policies about use and access to workstations and electronic media.
- You are restricted from transferring, removing, disposing, and re-using electronic media e-PHI.
- Even with Limited Facility access, control with authorized access should be in place. Thus, allowing authorized personnel to access ePHI.
The authorized personal access ePHI requires;
- A unique user IDS, emergency access procedures, automatic log-off, and encryption and decryption.
- Audit reports or tracking logs to record activity on hardware and software.
Other policies for HIPAA compliance cover integrity controls to secure ePHI. In case of loss, the IT recovery and offsite backup are responsible to ensure that electronic media errors and failures are recovered so that patient health information is recovered accurately. Furthermore, it as well safeguards the network in making sure they limit unauthorized access to the ePHI.
We can say that the safeguard covers all the methods of data transmission via email, cloud server, private network or internet. The overall conclusion over HIPAA Compliance compliments the fact that the US government posed an act that the health information technology for economic and clinical health (HITECH) Act will penalize any health organization that violates the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.
This is to build the use of technology to store and transmit electronic information.
Benefits of data protection for Healthcare organizations and meeting HIPAA Compliance
The need for security has grown with an increase in the use of electronic patient data today. This has made healthcare organizations meet up to the demand for data to comply with HIPAA regulations. Here are some benefits you get complying with HIPAA Rules
- To maintain the trust of practitioners and patients
- For regulations of access, audit, integrity controls, data transmission, and device security
- To Maintain greater visibility and control of sensitive data throughout the organization
A couple of recent HIPAA Updates
This is intentionally important because they may serve as a guide within the coming months. They include;
Penalties for HIPAA violation
This was updated earlier in 2019. It was officially documented on April 30th. The detailed of tiered structure violations with corresponding caps starting from $25,000 for Tier 1.
Enforcement and accountability of violations
Health & human service office for civil rights has amended to permanent enforcement of efforts. Thus, the violation number recorded was increased and tagged to be the reason for a record-setting year of fines levied. About $29 Million in 2018.
Introduction of Potential permanent Audit Program
This has been a long-awaited program of HHS. As of the time the organization launched “phahse2” of the HIPAA audit program, they mentioned a permanent audit structure in the future. Having this in mind, you are more advantageous because you program yourself before time.
Introduction of more Guidance and regulation in regards to Opioids
The drastic overuse of Opioids in America has been termed as a CRISIS and an EPIDEMIC. However, new legislation has been promised and debated to tackle the issues about the controversial drug. Thus, it may cause further changes to HIPAA which could range from further guidance or potential compliance issues.