With many activities carried out in the business environment taking place digitally, the amount of sensitive and confidential data that organizations use and store is also increasing. The protection of private data in medical fields, which can be considered as one of the most sensitive of these data, has also gained great importance. In this direction, organizations continue to make efforts to keep their data at the highest level of security.
The primary figures on expenses and losses for health care data leakage in the US as of 2017 are estimated at millions of dollars, according to statistics. The total annual cost of data breaches to the US healthcare industry was estimated to be about 6.2 billion dollars as of that year. A data breach cost health businesses an average of half a million dollars in lost brand value.
Like organizations, governments also take HIPAA seriously. So much so that governments are enforcing it by establishing data security guidelines and imposing penalties for noncompliance. Noncompliance with regulations can end up with a slew of financial consequences, including hefty fines. The most essential function of HIPAA is to safeguard the privacy and security of health information, therefore you should be well informed of the HIPAA requirements and benefits it will bring.
What Is HIPAA?
The US federal government developed the law known as “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability.” The primary purpose of HIPAA is to ensure the security of data organizations and secure personal health information and ensure compliance with all PHI regulatory standards. It protects all kinds of sensitive information from individuals. The information can be listed as individuals’ health status, health care, health services received and the price to be paid.
Data is now stored digitally in all areas. Today, as modern healthcare organizations also store patient data digitally, HIPAA has become the most popular method for archiving confidential patient data. Thanks to this method, health institutions can share information safely and securely. This means ensuring that no one outside the business has access to this information and data without your express consent and the legal owner of the data.
HIPAA Compliance FAQs
Although there is much more HIPAA content on the internet than might be expected, there may still be unanswered questions that confuse you. Below are short and quick answers to these questions.
Who needs HIPAA compliance?
Hospitals, doctors, clinics, psychologists, dentists, nursing homes, and pharmacies, which can be called Covered Entities by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), are subject to a full scope of HIPAA regulations. Subcontractors who are cloud hosting providers, shredding companies, etc. need to be HIPAA compliant since they have access to PHI and help with specific niche roles.
Business associates which are consultants, accounting firms, IT suppliers, and lawyers are subjected to HIPAA compliance since they cover various enterprises supplying various services to the health sector. Health insurance companies, HMOs, and corporate health plans defined as Health Plans should also need to be HIPAA compliant.
What are the HIPAA compliance requirements?
If you want your organization to be HIPAA compliant, you must first have the ability to identify and assess potential risks aimed at ensuring PHI privacy. The main areas it provides studies can be listed as confidentiality of administrative applications, security of IT systems and hardware, physical security, action plans for implementation in times of crisis, and more.
How do I know if my documents passed the HIPAA compliance control?
To find out if you have passed the HIPAA compliance check, you can visit your HSS site and get help from the audit protocols. Thanks to these, you can understand whether you will get successful or unsuccessful results in HIPAA controls. If it’s beyond your skills to do this, it can also be learned from consulting services for a fee.
When I fail to pass HIPAA compliance control, what is next?
There are some consequences if you do not pass this HIPAA compliance control. The severity of these consequences occurs in direct proportion to your violations. Your control and audit report should definitely include minor infractions too. This is because they would probably ask you to prove that you are operating to protect your data. However, major offenses may not be easy, they may cause serious problems and you may face some penalties.
What are the most widespread violations of HIPAA?
The underlying cause of HIPAA violations is HIPAA ignorance of employees within the company or security gaps or vulnerabilities within the company.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, in short, HIPAA compliance is comprehensive legislation aimed at ensuring the confidentiality and security of your medical records. HIPAA security works with its own designed security rule and privacy rule to protect the data it receives, stores, and forwards from you. Without technical requirements and advanced setups or long deployment, organizations take a big step towards ensuring security by becoming HIPAA compliant.
There are many different areas where this law can be applied. Therefore, the benefits HIPAA will provide are quite high. Designed to defend data privacy and ensure that you can keep your medical information confidential, this law provides the highest level of protection for all your data. You can see the many benefits of making your company HIPAA compliant for overall security and privacy.