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HIPAA COMPLIANCE

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that establishes national standards to safeguard sensitive patient health information from being released without permission. In other words, HIPAA gives patients control over who can access and use their private health data to prevent healthcare fraud and identity theft.

Pediatrician

WHO SHOULD COMPLY WITH HIPAA REGULATIONS?

HIPAA laws apply to specific organizations known as covered entities, such as:

  • Healthcare providers – clinics, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and nursing homes.

  • Health plans – company health plans, HMOs, and health insurance companies.

  • Healthcare clearinghouses – private or public organizations that convert nonstandard health information components into standard data elements.

  • Business associates – third parties contracted by covered entities to perform tasks requiring access to or use of personal health information.

Financial Data

Enhanced Protection Against Security Threats

Healthcare data holds significant value on the black market due to its inclusion of personally identifiable information, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, bank account details, insurance information, and more. Cybercriminals can exploit this data for various illicit activities, such as fraud, identity theft, and extortion.

To safeguard patient information, covered entities are obligated to adhere to the physical, technical, and administrative safeguards specified in HIPAA regulations. This includes:

  1. Conducting workforce training and management.

  2. Limiting access to areas and devices containing patient information.

  3. Encrypting sensitive data.

Implementing these safeguards not only ensures the protection of patient information but also aids in the organization's compliance with HIPAA regulations.

Preserve Patient Trust

Security breaches or the inadvertent loss of private health information due to human error can swiftly erode a patient's trust and foster animosity toward your organization. Establishing and maintaining a robust HIPAA compliance program demonstrates to your patients and customers that you have undertaken essential measures to safeguard their private information. When patients have confidence in your ability to protect their sensitive data, they are more inclined to choose your organization as their primary healthcare provider.

WHY IS HIPAA COMPLIANCE IMPORTANT TO YOUR BUSINESS?

If your organization falls into the category of “covered entities,” here are reasons why you should strive for HIPAA compliance.

Avoid Hefty Fines and Penalties


The consequences for violating HIPAA rules vary, ranging from informal reprimands to more severe measures, contingent upon the severity of the violation. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) commonly employs non-punitive alternatives, such as mandating voluntary compliance or offering technical guidance to assist organizations in addressing areas of weakness. However, if the violations are severe, prolonged, or involve multiple areas of noncompliance, financial penalties may be deemed necessary. The HIPAA violation penalty structure is categorized into four levels:

  • Tier 1 – A covered entity had no knowledge of the violation, even when a reasonable amount of care was taken to comply with HIPAA regulations. Fines range from $127 to $63,973 per violation.

  • Tier 2 – A Tier 2 violation is one that a covered entity should’ve been aware of, but could not avoid even after taking a reasonable amount of care. Fines range from $1,280 to $63,973 per violation.

  • Tier 3 – This violation results from the willful neglect of HIPAA regulations, but the covered entity made efforts to correct the issue within 30 days. Fines range from $12,794 to $63,973 per violation.

  • Tier 4 – A Tier 4 violation is one caused by willful neglect, without an attempt to resolve the issue within 30 days of the incident. Fines range from $63,973 to $919,173 per violation.

I.T. Resources LLC Will Provide A Comprehensive HIPAA Technology Audit For Your Organization
 

During the HIPAA Technology Audit, our third-party HIPAA compliance vendor will scrutinize your current policies and procedures, assess the technologies in use, and provide a comprehensive report of our findings. The results of our audit will include recommendations to ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations.

The HIPAA Technology Audit encompasses:

  1. Onsite Analysis of Existing Policies & Systems in Place.

  2. Thorough Analysis and Delivery of Reports Outlining Our Findings.

  3. Implementation Plan to Ensure Compliance.

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