HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is a set of regulations that govern the proper use and sharing of protected health information (PHI). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulates HIPAA compliance, which is enforced by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The OCR’s responsibility in maintaining medical HIPAA compliance is to provide routine guidance on new health-care issues and to investigate common HIPAA violations.
HIPAA compliance is a living culture that health care businesses must integrate into their business to preserve the privacy, security, and integrity of protected health information through a number of interlocking regulatory requirements.
Any statistical profile that can be used to identify a patient or client of a HIPAA-covered entity is considered protected health information (PHI).
Names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, medical data, financial information, and full facial pictures are just a few examples of PHI.
Electronic protected health information, or ePHI, is PHI that is transferred, stored, or accessed electronically and is subject to HIPAA regulations.
The HIPAA Security Rule, an addition to the HIPAA legislation enacted to account for developments in medical technology, governs ePHI.
The HIPAA rule distinguishes two categories of companies that must comply with the law.
Any organization that collects, generates, or transmits protected health information (PHI) electronically. Covered entities in the health-care industry include health-care providers, health-care Clearing houses, and health-insurance providers.
A business associate is any organization that comes into contact with PHI in any way while performing services on behalf of a covered entity. Because of the vast range of service providers that may handle, transmit, or process PHI, there are several examples of business associates. Billing companies, practice management firms, third-party consultants, EHR platforms, MSPs, IT providers, faxing companies, shredding companies, physical storage providers, cloud storage providers, email hosting services, attorneys, accountants, and many more are examples of business associates affected by HIPAA rules.
Many healthcare businesses are feeling exposed as a result of higher compliance standards and are unsure how these new regulations will affect them. SecIQ provides a number of healthcare-related IT auditing, security, and compliance tools to assist you in determining:
How HIPAA, HITECH, and the Omnibus Rule will affect your business.
What you must do to safeguard your company.
Which aspects of your business are at risk from IT?
The IT security procedures you'll need to comply with HIPAA and reduce risk.
How to show, document, and manage compliance for your company and its business partners.
Our IT security experts will use established procedures and standard controls frameworks to discover potential vulnerabilities, regardless of the SecIQ IT security solutions you use. You will receive a complete report along with a comprehensive consultation at the conclusion of any IT evaluation to ensure that your key staff members understand:
Your current level of compliance.
Steps to improve compliance.
Things to be addressed in the future.
Our HIPAA/HITECH compliance experience extends beyond healthcare providers to include service providers (business associates) who are subject to new requirements as part of the current healthcare reform.
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