13 Aug HIPAA Compliance Continues to Grow in Complexity and Your Clients Need Help
HIPAA IT compliance is primarily concerned with ensuring all provisions of the HIPAA Security Rule are followed and all elements on the HIPAA IT compliance checklist are covered. Identifying risks via ongoing assessments and documentation is critical to HIPAA IT security and compliance.
Failure to comply with HIPAA regulations can result in substantial fines, even if no breach occurs. Breaches can result in criminal charges and civil action lawsuits. There are also procedures for reporting breaches of the separate HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, and issuing HIPAA breach notifications to patients. Fines can be issued for non-compliance with HIPAA regulations regardless of whether violations are inadvertent or result from willful neglect.
Non-Compliance is Expensive
In Alaska, a Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) employee stole a portable hard drive from the agency. The theft potentially exposed the electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) of an estimated 2,000 individuals. The subsequent investigation unearthed a number of non-compliance issues and inadequate policies and procedures to protect the ePHI of its Medicare beneficiaries and DHSS was ordered to pay a $1.7 million fine.
HIPAA Security Rule
The HIPAA Security Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ ePHI that’s created, received, used or maintained by a covered entity. The Security Rule requires appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and security of electronic protected health information. It requires providers to implement security measures to protect patients’ privacy by creating conditions for patient health information to be available but not improperly used or disclosed.
The security rule standards are grouped into five categories:
- Administrative Safeguards
- Physical Safeguards
- Technical Safeguards
- Organizational Standards
- Policies, Procedures & Documentation Requirements
These safeguards, when applied well, help organizations avoid some of the common security gaps that lead to cyberattacks or data loss. They help protect the people, information, technology and facilities that healthcare providers depend on.
Safeguards are Critical to Success
The HIPAA Security Rule requires three kinds of safeguards: administrative, physical and technical. Administrative Safeguards establish standards and specifications for your client’s health information security program. Physical Safeguards control physical access to their office and computer systems. Technical Safeguards include hardware, software and other technology that limits access to e-PHI.
Help Your Customers Succeed
Meeting these requirements makes it difficult for businesses and organizations to maintain HIPAA compliance. Even knowledgeable clients can struggle with HIPAA. Intelligent MSPs are helping clients reduce HIPAA violation risks and maintain audit health with compliance process automation software, such as Compliance Manager by RapidFire Tools. IIt’s a comprehensive solution that includes complete HIPAA assessments, management plans to remediate issues, evidence of compliance and a policies-and-procedures manual allows MSPs to keep clients’ HIPAA requirements current and risk-free.
HIPAA continues to increase in complexity and detail and MSPs need a solution that goes beyond manual capabilities. Compliance process automation is the answer, and solutions like Compliance Manager are purpose-built for MSPs who are serving multiple clients.
To learn more about how you can help your clients manage the entire HIPAA compliance process, request a demo of Compliance Manager today.