What is HIPAA Compliance?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) decide the standard for private patient information. Organizations that deal with protected health information (PHI) must have a network, process and physical aspects in place and follow them to abide by HIPAA Compliance. The entities that come under HIPAA Compliance are:
• Anybody providing treatment, therapy, operations and carrying out payment transactions in the healthcare field.
• Business Executives & Associates having access to sensitive information about any patients, payments or operations.
• Other entities, such as subcontractors and any other staff or members of the organization must also be in compliance.
HIPPA Security Rules and Privacy
Health and Human Services (HHS) has established national standards for HIPAA Compliance Rule, Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information for the protection of private and sensitive health information. These protection rules also establish a set of security standards to be followed all over the nation for securing specific health information that is stored or communicated in electronic form. Within HHS, the OCR i.e. Office for Civil Rights is responsible for enforcing the Protection and Security Rules with voluntary compliance engagements and civil monetary fines.
Why is HIPAA Compliance essential?
HHS has pointed out that as health care providing organizations and other entities associated with PHI continue to move online and digitize their operations, including Online patient-physician consultations, Online Appointment Scheduling, Electronic Health Records (EHR), in all fields of medicine including psychiatry. HIPAA compliance is extremely essential right now. While all the mentioned electronic methods provide efficiency and mobility, they also considerably increase the security risks with respect to healthcare data.
The Privacy and Security Rule is in place to protect the privacy of individuals and their related health information. However, at the same time allowing already secure entities to adapt to new technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care is essential too. The Security Rule design-wise is flexible enough to give a covered entity the freedom to carry out policies, procedures, and use technologies that are suited to the companies’ organizational structure, and risks posed to their patients or clients.
HIPPA Compliance for Data protection of Healthcare Organizations
Data Protection and Data Security are the need of the hour. The main reason being increasing reliance on electronic media for the transfer of senstive patient information. Today, high-quality care requires healthcare organizations to be agile and adaptable to these changing times. Delivering data while complying with the HIPAA regulations and securing PHI is complex and requires organizations to work with vendors who abide and take seriously the protection of data. Organizations need to have a data protection strategy which allows them to:
• Ensure the protection and availability of PHI to maintain the trust of their patients.
• Meet HIPAA and HITECH rules and regulations for access, audit, integrity controls, data transmission, and device protection.
• Maintain control over sensitive data of the organization and patients and hence reduce its risk from non-compliance.
The best data protection and security practices identify and secure patient data in all forms, including structured/unstructured data, emails, documents, fax and scans. Patients trust their data with the healthcare organizations and hence it is their moral duty to take care of their sensitive health information.
• Substantial and effective fines/ penalties were updated earlier in 2019. Intricacies outlined in the document included a tiered structure for violations with corresponding “caps” now starting from $25,000 for Tier 1.
• The Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS OCR) has secured and tightened its enforcement efforts. The increased number of violations recorded could be the reason for a record-setting year of fines charged.
• The HHS has long talked about a permanent audit program. When the organization launched “Phase 2” of the HIPAA audit program, it brought to notice the establishment of a permanent Audit organization. This is yet to be implemented though.
• The opioid addiction and misuse in America has been abelled as a “significant crisis” and an “epidemic”. New legislation has been appointed and debated to survive the issues surrounding the controversial drug. However, it may cause significant changes to HIPAA.
How we at GroupThera meet HIPAA Compliance?
· GroupThera is a secure and 100% hipaa compliant video conferencing & telehealth platform. You can have confidence knowing that you are working on a trusted platform that is powerful and safe to use.
· All data transmitted by our telehealth software is encrypted end-to-end over a secure SSL/TLS connection with 256 bit.
· GroupThera also signs a BAA to ensure you compliant for any audits that may be done on your operations.
You can now use your time more effectively than ever before with complete piece of mind on security and data protection of your PHI. For further information contact us at: +1 617-775-3429 or [email protected]