When a healthcare company or its business associates willingly or unwillingly neglect the privacy rules of HIPAA compliance, they are then compelled to pay a fine of upto $55,010. After the new amendments under Hitech laws, HIPAA compliance is a new norm for the healthcare sector.
Ighty support understands the current requirements of medical practices and also the complexities of the HIPAA law. We offer professional assistance in providing HIPAA compliance IT support to health care businesses in DFW, metroplex.
This blog is to let our readers know everything about what is hipaa compliance, HIPAA privacy rule, HIPAA security rules to protect the information of patients and run a smooth healthcare businesses.
To start, let’s first discuss
What is HIPAA Compliance and what are its main components?
HIPAA is acronyms for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which states all the necessary protocols required for sensitive patient data protections. The digital world has opened up the entire new world for us but at the same time is also a threat to our privacy. There are many predators who look for data related to people’s name, age, their ailments, or even the medicine they use, for their own benefits. HIPAA helps in protecting patients health information by setting up the standards on use of devices, software, billing machines ,and other instruments that can store patient information.
Why Was HIPAA formed?
The HIPAA act came into existence in 1996. The Act has two main components:
Ensuring everyone has access to health care facilities: This part of the Act ensured that insurance coverage is available to people.
Proper use of patients’ health information(PHI): This part of the Act states the responsibilities of all the health care professionals engaged in storing and processing all the electronic data related to the medical information of patients.
Many new hospitals, healthcare facilities, physicians’ offices, etc., are using IT to generate and store data. This data on patients’ information is vulnerable to malware attacks , virus abuse, and theft. In response to this HIPAA, legislation came into place to protect patients’ privacy.
The Three Components OF HIPAA
Privacy, security, and administrative are three components that are covered in HIPAA. These are interdependent and formulated to work collectively for patients’ privacy.
HIPAA Privacy Rules
Privacy is the most important and crucial part of HIPAA to understand. We all know that basic details like date of birth, finances, religion, or any medical history are confined to the person and should only be accessed if they allow it.
In the privacy section of HIPAA, rules are stated for “covered entities,” i.e. (health care facilities, health care professionals, employers, and health insurance companies) on sharing the private and sensitive information of patients like social security number, address, date of birth, diagnosis, medical record number, etc.
HIPAA allows associates members of the healthcare industry to share the data of their patient only
- To provide treatment to a patient,
- To ensure patient safety,
- To facilitate payment for medical care.
The covered entities also need to ask the permission verbally or in writing before using the information for any purpose. They are also entitled to create written privacy policies and procedures and share them with patients. The patients also have the right to ask covered entities; how their private information has been used and can even file a complaint on any privacy policies violation.
Ighty support understands all the privacy rules of HIPAA. As an IT consultant for healthcare professionals, we summarized this section as the patient’s protected health information is only shared appropriately, and a patient’s PHI should only be shared by associates only after getting their consent.
HIPAA Security Rules
The privacy rules state what covered entities should do to protect patients’ privacy, while security rules state the guidelines on how to protect their privacy. However, both regulations are closely interrelated. The privacy part of HIPAA was for written and electronic PHI, whereas the HIPAA security rules are basically for electronic protected health information. By following the security rules, health care providers make sure about employing specific safeguards for patients’ data.
Security rules cover the norm for administrative safeguard, physical safeguard, and technical safeguard.
Administrative safeguards: HIPAA security rules for administrative safeguards are:
- Health care providers must have a HIPAA privacy officer,
- Health care providers should appoint a responsible person in advance to use the PHI in case of any contingencies.
- Health care providers should have a written document stating all the information on how and when they will use sensitive data.
Physical safeguards: HIPAA security rules on how health care associates can access PHI physically:
- Electronic data storage devices like computers’ should be adequately monitored.
- Health care service providers must clearly state the access right for these electronic data.
- The workstation must be well secured from external threats like hacking and viruses.
Technical safeguards: This section of the security rules of HIPAA is mainly for IT support providers to the health care service industry. It deals with protecting the breaching of privacy policies due to compromised or breakdown of electronic storage devices. Healthcare businesses consult with their outsourced IT professionals to abide by the rules laid by HIPAA. The rules are:
- The computer system or other storage devices used by medical shops, hospitals, nurses, or any other health care provider should be safe and protected from any external threats.
- The health industry’s business should install appropriate back-up systems.
- The entire procedure to store, retrieve, and transmit the patient’s data should be documented by the covered entities.
Ighty support has the experience to assist their clients from the healthcare industry with HIPAA compliances and policies. So far, all our installations for covered entities are approved and abided by HIPAA technical rules to protect all their patients’ personal and payment details.
Cost of HIPAA compliance
“The HHS estimation of how much HIPAA compliance might cost is split into 4 points.
- $80 for an updated Notice of Privacy Practices
- $763 for breach notification requirement updates
- $84 for business associate agreement updates
- $113 for security rule compliance
Grand total per organization: $1,040″
Since every organization is different, we assume every firm will calculate the cost based on
- Type of covered entities: Health care service providers with a high risk of PHI will pay more HIPAA compliance costs.
- Business size: Large and medium businesses will need more workforce and more computers, making PHI highly vulnerable to risk, making the HIPAA compliance costlier.
- Business working Ethics: The company that has already invested in a cybersecurity program for client privacy will bear less cost on HIPAA compliances.
- Business environment: When businesses outsource HIPAA compliance IT support, they have high quality and safety devices like computers, firewalls, servers installed at their workplace. Companies that are having such robust IT infrastructure pay less for HIPAA compliances.
- Outsourcing dedicated HIPAA workforce: With a dedicated HIPAA team, get constant updates and support on PHI safety.
Why IGHTY Support HIPAA Compliances Services Are Beneficial
HIPAA compliances rules and policies can be complex and confusing at times. We believe that understanding the different parts of HIPAA is the best way to use it regularly. Our clients come to us with queries like
- How Will HIPAA be beneficial for my business
- What is allowed and prohibited under HIPAA compliances?
- When are we violating HIPAA regulations?
- How much will I be fined after any violations?
Fortunately, we can guide our valuable clients with all the compliances and regulations on protected health information with our 10 years of experience.
We ensure that with HIPAA compliance, businesses in the healthcare industry will gain more trust, make more profit, and will be able to sustain for the long run.
Call us to get professional assistance in keeping your patient’s data and your client’s payment card details secure.