HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is meant to prevent healthcare fraud and ensure the PHI of patients is secured and no unauthorized individuals get access to their health data. This legislation was created when the health industry transitioned from paper records to keep digital copies of the health information of patients.
Since its inception, HIPPA has helped streamline several administrative health functions and protected how information is shared. By law, all medical facilities and hospitals must develop a HIPAA compliance practice. Violation can result in remediation, penalties, reputational loss as well as the loss of customers.
Why Should Your Practice Become HIPAA Compliant?
It’s clear that non-compliant will result in penalties. It can cost you thousands of dollars and affect your reputation big time. Patients might not trust you again.
How does a practice become HIPAA compliant? To get started, you must first have a BAA (business associate agreement). You must submit it to all your vendors. As soon as all parties sign this agreement, they are liable to follow the regulations of HIPAA.
Have a look at the benefits of receiving this compliance
Build customer trust
Having HIPAA compliance means your practice has adequate measures in place for protecting your patient data. It also makes it easier for new and existing patients to trust you.
In the healthcare industry, data breaches are surging. If a patient feels their personal health information has been breached, they will never do business with you again.
Since HIPAA compliance status is only provided to practice when there’s a reliable data security infrastructure in place, they will know that the practice they have chosen protects patient data adequately.
Proactive data protection
A healthcare practice can only scale if it can protect the customer data. By implanting a protective data risk management strategy, you are protecting patient data and stay away from breaches.
Having a data security management strategy in place means your organization or practice can adapt to emerging cybersecurity threats. HIPAA lays the groundwork for adopting new technologies without compromising on patient security.
Ensure transparent healthcare
Every patient wants to know that their information is carefully safeguarded. They trust an organization or health practice better if it’s transparent about its procedure about how they handle patient information.
to be able to provide the highest level of patient care, just like physicians need to know the information provided by the patient is correct, patients also be to be sure their personal information or records will be protected at all cost. With HIPAA compliance status, you can ensure your patients that their information will be in safe hands. By law, you are now bound to ensure transparency.
Proper data handling
HIPAA focuses on ePHI and PHI is to stored accessed, stored, transmitted, and shared. Facilities must know how the PHI moves throughout the system. This is to ensure the sensitive data of patients remains protected.
Having HIPAA compliance status will save you from penalties that can cost thousands of dollars. Also, patients never trust a practice that doesn’t have compliance. This could mean losing potential customers.
How to get HIPAA Compliance?
There are no shortcuts to become complaint. You must ensure complete integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the health information of your patients and develop policies and procedures in line with the HIPAA Act and HIPAA privacy rule.
You must read the complete text of HIPAA, which is 115 pages long. Then, these rules must be applied to your business. This can be daunting and any mistake can lead to a severe violation. If your practice is trying to achieve compliance status, it’s helpful to create a compliance checklist. This will help you access the safeguards as well as policies you must implement.
Remaining HIPAA Compliant
Achieving compliance is one thing, the next task that’s pretty much on-going is to remain in compliance. It’s a challenge to implement the policies, procedures, and safeguards appropriately. For this, you must perform regular risk analysis and keep on identifying new risks that could intervene with the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of the personal health information of patients. Once those risks are identified, they must be managed and reduced immediately.
It is mandatory for the practice to maintain documentation on the compliance effort especially when an audit is in progress.
HIPAA compliance cannot be understated. There is no doubt it significantly contributes to the growth of an organization.
HIPAA compliance is not really an option. All medical practices and businesses must be compliant to stay in business. The practices that are guilty of breaches are being exposed via the media outlets and this could hurt the reputation big time.
The complexity of the law and the mandatory requirement to stay compliant can be time-consuming. If you don’t keep up, apart from losing patient trust, you could also lose the business.