HIPAA Compliance – Make Sure You Are Following The Guidelines

HIPAA Compliance - Complete Controller

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a legislation of the United States that ensures data security of all medical information for individuals. Today, the top healthcare organizations’ concern is compliance with HIPAA (Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996).

HIPAA rules are meant to secure protected health information (PHI), whether electronic or manual. To achieve HIPAA compliance, healthcare institutes and professionals must follow guidelines that will ensure the security and protection of their patients. If you are not sure about the rules, engage the Chief Information Security Office for review. ADP. Payroll – HR – Benefits

HIPAA Compliant – A Checklist

HIPAA rules and regulations have changed over the years, causing healthcare organizations to face many challenges. Its complex language has often hindered organizations, making it hard to determine if their activities are appropriately maintained according to HIPAA compliance. Healthcare organizations must address some specific rules by HIPAA, which are as follows:

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

HIPAA Privacy Rule

The HIPAA Privacy rule ensures that an individual’s healthcare information is adequately protected, including all medical records and personal information (healthcare plans, insurance, and financial). The goal is to provide security while allowing secure access to healthcare practitioners without a patient’s authorization.

The rule is to balance the disclosure of information and protect an individual’s privacy. According to the HIPAA Privacy Rule, patients have full rights over their medical information, which means they can obtain their medical records or request a correction.

HIPAA Security Rule

The HIPAA Security Rule has set the national principles to safeguard the electronic health information of an individual as declared under the privacy rule. The Security Rule ensures the electronic PHI’s reliability, security, and confidentiality. Three types of safety measures fall under HIPAA Security Rule: Physical protection, Technical protection, Administrative protection. Download A Free Financial Toolkit

Physical Protection

Limited Access to Facility – The organization must limit physical access to its amenities and ensure that only authorized personnel are allowed in the facility.

Workstation security – The organization must implement strict policies and procedures for using electronic devices at the workstation. A covered entity must record all hardware activities, including people responsible for transferring or moving data.

Technical Protection

Access Control – The organization must allow only authorized personnel to access electronic PHI. Any removal of e-PHI from the system must be examined, ensuring that it is properly altered or destroyed.

Audit Control – All hardware and software activities must be recorded and examined, ensuring no data theft or misuse of the information. It is the organization’s responsibility that only authorized people to have access to the information.

Administrative Protection

Security Officials – The organization must entitle a security official to implement policies and procedures. Exit Advisor

Training Management – The organization must train all of its employees and brief them on the security measures of e-PHI and the consequences of violating any policies and procedures.

Assessment – The organization is responsible for assessing all its security measures and how well they are being followed. Organizations must be consistent with the rules by limiting disclosure of e-PHI to a minimum. Only authorized personnel should have access to the information.

HIPAA Enforcement Rule

The HIPAA Enforcement Rule requires all healthcare organizations’ enforcement of the Privacy Rule. If any organization fails to comply with HIPAA, it must face penalties. There are several ways the OCR implements the Privacy and Security Rules:

  • Investigation of complaints
  • Determining whether healthcare organizations comply with HIPAA
  • Educate organizations and provide substitute compliance if required

HIPAA Breach Notification Rule

Any organization that allows disclosure of healthcare information without authorization, under any circumstances, will be convicted of violating HIPAA rules. If the organization discovers a breach of information, it must notify the secretary right away.

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