7 Benefits of HIPAA Compliance

Explore the benefits of HIPAA compliance for healthcare providers, healthcare SaaS companies and healthcare business associates. Connect with HIPAA Experts

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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) outlines the rules and regulations with regard to the use and disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) by all businesses in the Healthcare industry. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulates HIPAA Compliance while the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces it.

HIPAA Compliance is very beneficial for patients since it ensures their personal and identifiable information is protected from known and potential channels used for cyber-attacks. However, there are several benefits for HIPAA-compliant organizations as well. Some of the numerous advantages for Healthcare Providers, Business Associates, and Subcontractors are listed below.

1. Protect Health Records

HIPAA acts as a benchmark checklist for businesses that work directly or indirectly with Protected Health Information (PHI). It helps them plan a cumulative approach to security and data privacy. The Act equips the Healthcare industry and its allied businesses with the information they need to protect PHI from known, predictable, and potential channels and sources of cyber-attacks. The emphasis on annual staff training and preparation for an unannounced HIPAA audit ensures that businesses stay alert at all times.

2. Prevent HIPAA Violations, Penalties & Fines

Adherence to HIPAA rules helps Healthcare Providers, Business Associates and Subcontractors to prevent HIPAA violations. Since a HIPAA violation leads to fines and jail time, being HIPAA compliant ensures they can protect their organization, personnel, and brand reputation.

3. Enforce a High Security Standard for Vendors

HIPAA compliance is mandatory across the Healthcare delivery ecosystem. This includes mandatory protection of PHI according to HIPAA rules by Business Associates, Subcontractors, and any vendor, even if they have access to only a few elements of PHI like diagnostic images associated with a patient ID. While this may not seem like identifiable information to us, it is a gold mine for hackers, who find ways to locate the personal information associated with the patient ID from other sources.

4. Protect your Brand Reputation & Ensure a Patient-First Approach

Being HIPAA compliant is mandatory not only for Healthcare providers but also for their Business Associates and Subcontractors. This ensures that a patient-first approach is adopted across the Healthcare delivery ecosystem. Since HIPAA is mandatory, an organization’s brand reputation is damaged if they are penalized by the HHS. In order to retain the trust of patients, B2B customers and their brand reputation, it is critical for organizations to evaluate their level of HIPAA compliance regularly.

5. Develop a Security and Compliance Process

Adherence to HIPAA requires regular maintenance of security protocols, with particular emphasis on the security rule and the physical and technical safeguards outlined under it. This is achieved by developing an IT compliance process to review if all the safeguards are in place. Developing this process is beneficial as it allows organizations to detect deviations faster and take corrective actions to prevent a cyber-attack.

6. Ensure Compliance across the Organization

HIPAA mandates specific actions from the IT department and all stakeholders since its rules, amendments,  and regular updates from the OCR ensure that compliance is a shared responsibility. The Act is mandatory for all businesses in the Healthcare Industry. As a result, businesses that are HIPAA compliant are protected from known sources / channels of data breaches. This ensures that ignorance of security protocols does not accidentally result in a vulnerability / loophole in the system.

7. Implement Security Best Practices to Prevent Cyber Attacks

The OCR has a subscription service to share security best practices with organizations and regular updates about the security measures that need to be updated. This helps organizations to stay informed and implement them.

If you have any questions about HIPAA compliance and would like to connect with a HIPAA Expert, please contact us for a free consultation. If you are looking for a convenient Do-It-Yourself HIPAA Attestation Kit, you can sign up for a free trial.

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Last Updated on September 1, 2022 By databracketsIn HIPAA/HITECH Compliance Assurance
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  • What is HIPAA?

    Learn HIPAA Basics, amendments to HIPAA and get an overview of HIPAA rules. Connect with HIPAA Experts

    Rules of HIPAA Compliance

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a set of mandatory standards to manage the use and disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI). It is mandatory for all Healthcare Providers, Business Associates (Vendors of Healthcare Providers), Healthcare SaaS companies, and any Organization directly or indirectly working with PHI.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulates HIPAA compliance while the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces it. The OCR regularly publishes recommendations on new issues affecting healthcare and investigates common HIPAA violations on a regular basis.

    While the Act was passed in 1996, there have been several amendments to keep up with technological advancement:

    • The Security Rule Amendment of 2003
    • Technical Safeguards
    • Physical Safeguards
    • Administrative Safeguards
    • The Privacy Rules Amendment of 2003
    • The HITECH Act and Breach Notification Rule of 2009
    • The Final Omnibus Rule of 2013

    The Final Omnibus rule of 2013 streamlined HIPAA compliance rules to include any business that stores, manages, records, or transfers Protected Health Information (PHI). These businesses are called ‘Business Associates’ under HIPAA. This broad term includes all vendors and subcontractors who directly or indirectly work with Healthcare Providers.

    Currently, HIPAA consists of 5 main rules:

    • HIPAA Privacy Rules
    • HIPAA Security Rules
    • HIPAA Enforcement Rules
    • HIPAA Breach Notification Rules
    • HIPAA Omnibus Rule

    There are additional rules that relate to transactions and code sets, in addition to unique identifiers. HIPAA compliance focuses on specific data privacy rules to protect sensitive patient data. Its aim is to create a culture in the healthcare industry to ensure protected health information’s privacy, integrity, and security. Annual HIPAA training of all personnel who come in contact with patient data is one of many aspects of the Act that ensures all stakeholders are involved and they understand their role in protecting PHI.

    We recommend that IT professionals, CTOs, and CISOs carefully examine the details of the Administrative, Technical, and Physical Safeguards outlined under the Security Rule to ensure their IT systems are HIPAA compliant.

    If you have any questions about HIPAA compliance and would like to connect with a HIPAA Expert, please contact us for a free consultation. If you are looking for a convenient Do-It-Yourself HIPAA Attestation Kit, you can sign up for a free trial.

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    Last Updated on September 1, 2022 By databracketsIn HIPAA/HITECH Compliance Assurance
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