6 Steps To Know: How To Become HIPAA Compliant?
by Sumona Technology 09 August 2022
You have decided to comply with HIPAA because you manage private health information (PHI).
Next, what? What actions need to be taken to comply with HIPAA? The simple fix is that Covered Entities and their Business Associates must ensure the confidentiality and security of the protected health information (PHI).
However, once you start creating a task checklist, it gets complicated.
How To Comply With HIPAA?
Here are the steps healthcare providers must take to become HIPAA compliant.
- Security and Privacy Regulations
- Officer for Security and Privacy
- Business Partner Arrangements
- Protocol for Breach Notification
It would help if you yearly audited your business procedures by HIPAA privacy and security rules to find any technical, administrative, and physical inconsistencies.
According to HIPAA, the Security Risk Assessment is insufficient to satisfy the standards for compliance. Utilizing HIPAA compliance software is a possibility here.
2. Security and Privacy Regulations
HIPAA compliance calls for much more than merely following the regulations for security and privacy. Businesses and other covered organizations should demonstrate that they have implemented security and privacy policies to prevent HIPAA violations.
The rules should be written down, given to the personnel, and updated frequently. Employees must get HIPAA policy training at least once a year and be able to certify (in writing) that they are familiar with all applicable HIPAA laws.
A Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) document must be created and distributed by healthcare facilities for patients to sign and examine. The NPP must describe the organization’s privacy policies, including how PHI is handled.
Patients should also be made aware of their legal entitlement to seek records about their medical records.
3. Officer for Security and Privacy
For compliance in these positions, choose two or three people knowledgeable about HIPAA requirements. Making sure that your data is secure—most crucially, secure—is a crucial and critical part of adhering to HIPAA regulations.
It makes sense that the HIPAA privacy officer and security officer, who are in charge of that information, are experts in the subject. They can assist you in establishing strict regulations (as described in step #1 above) and putting the best plans into action in case of a security lapse or mistake.
4. Business Partner Arrangements
To ensure that business partners with access to your PHI are compliant, you need to have specific agreements.
Choose partners to whom they also grant access and who have similar agreements with their partners. To guarantee that PHI is protected and reduce the risk of liability, it is advised that you keep a record of all vendors with whom you disclose PHI and that you sign Business Associate Agreements.
Annual reviews of BAAs are required to account for changes in how you deal with your suppliers.
5. Protocol for Breach Notification
Even if they can prove that the breach was unintentional and took all reasonable precautions to prevent it, firms can nevertheless find themselves in the press for other reasons besides HIPAA violations.
They risk making the situation worse if they don’t disclose any violations. A formal breach notification procedure that outlines how they will abide by this law must be established by healthcare organizations that are required to do so under HIPAA.
Vulnerability Reviews Regularly
It’s crucial to check and assess your risk adjustment regularly. Naturally, you should correct anything that is found to be incorrect. Additionally, policies need to be updated in light of these analyses. Since a chain’s strength depends on its weakest link.
Therefore, even if most of the mechanisms you have in place are secure, there is always a chance that a tiny mistake or oversight might lead to severe problems.
If they are not dealt with immediately, cybercriminals, hackers, and unintentional employee mistakes could cause significant problems and compromise your security.