About HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
HIPAA compliance encompasses regulations for protecting consumer healthcare information, including privacy, security, breach notification, and enforcement rules. Covered entities, such as physician and dental practices, pharmacies, and electronic health record (EHR) firms, along with their business associates, are required to implement policies to ensure compliance accountability through risk analysis, limit access to Protected Health Information (PHI), conduct workforce training, and safeguard PHI. Since its implementation in 1996, HIPAA has transformed how organizations handle PHI to prevent data theft and ensure sensitive healthcare information is only disclosed to appropriate parties. Non-compliance with HIPAA regulations can result in penalties per day and per violation, with fines potentially reaching up to $50,000 per day for each violation until the violation is resolved.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes federal safeguards to protect private protected health information and grants patients various rights about their health information. At the same time, allowing the disclosure of protected health information necessary for patient care and other crucial purposes.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule:
- Spells out administrative responsibilities
- Discusses written agreements between covered entities and business associates
- Discusses the need and implementation of privacy policies and procedures
- Describes employer responsibilities to train workforce members and implement requirements regarding their use and disclosure of PHI
The Privacy Rule has a broad scope, covering all healthcare providers, regardless of their use of electronic health records. It encompasses all mediums, including electronic, paper, and oral. It grants patients the right to access their protected health information and information on how their records are utilized or shared.
The HIPAA Security Rule mandates that covered entities, business associates, and subcontractors implement safeguards to protect electronically protected health information (ePHI) that is created, received, transmitted, or maintained. It outlines a set of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI. Failure to follow the established policies and procedures for safeguarding ePHI is the most common reason for violations of the HIPAA Security Rule.
The HIPAA Security Rule:
- Establishes a national set of security standards for ePHI.
- Protects health information held or transmitted in electronic form
- Requires administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to secure ePHI
- Supports the Privacy Rule requirement to safeguard PHI in all forms reasonably
HIPAA Breach Notification
- The Breach Notification Rule mandates covered entities, business associates, and their subcontractors to notify affected individuals, the HHS Secretary, and the media (if more than 500 residents are affected) following a breach of unsecured PHI.
- The Breach Notification Rule outlines protocols for businesses to follow in case of data compromise.
- HIPAA Safeguards comprise Administrative, Physical, and Technical Safeguards.
- Administrative Safeguards include policies, procedures, and actions to manage the development, implementation, and maintenance of security measures to protect ePHI and oversee the workforce’s conduct regarding its protection.
- Physical Safeguards include policies, procedures, and measures to safeguard a covered entity’s electronic information systems, buildings, and equipment from environmental hazards and unauthorized intrusion.
- Technical Safeguards encompass technology and associated policies and procedures for protecting ePHI and controlling access to it.
Does your company require it?
It’s important to note that anyone who deals with healthcare information needs to comply with HIPAA regulations. Many organizations have been audited and fined due to the misconception that only covered entities (CEs) must comply. You must be HIPAA compliant to handle protected health information (PHI). Violations of HIPAA can result in daily penalties per violation, potentially reaching up to $50,000 per day until the issue is resolved.
How can Univate help you?
At Univate Support, we offer comprehensive assistance to ensure that your operations comply with HIPAA requirements. Our services include training, documentation, and implementing policies, procedures, processes, templates, checklists, guidelines, and other necessary controls. We provide end-to-end support until your organization completes a compliance audit, meeting all control requirements.
Why Univate? How we stand out?
Univate has extensive experience and expertise in implementing HIPAA compliance, with over 20 successful implementations in the last five years. We deeply understand control requirements across various industry segments and business lines. Our unique approach ensures that all organizational components work together seamlessly to achieve the best possible outcomes. Trust us to guide your organization through the implementation and audit reporting processes.
Our Implementation Approach:
Univate uses a 5-phase approach for GAP analysis, risk assessment, and implementation support.
Salient features of our engagement approach are:
- Unique and Proven engagement approach
- End-to-end documentation
- Training on the control implementation and sustenance.
- Complex client implementation experience in different countries
- Cost arbitrage
- Reduce management time required
- Reduce the cost of sustenance
- Reduce cycle time of end-to-end implementation process
- Our unique automation tool automates managing the system
Our assessment and implementation support methodology addresses the key areas like:
- Conduct a Gap Assessment of the existing controls.
- Assess risks and opportunities.
- Define, review and update Policies, procedures, processes, templates, guidelines, and checklists.
- Active support for effective implementation of controls
- Internal Audit for compliance
- Corrective and Remediation/ Preventive actions
- Conduct/Support the final compliance audit process
- Trust: Organizations that are HIPAA compliant are more trusted
- Loyalty: One of the main benefits of HIPAA compliance is increased patient/client loyalty
- Differentiation from your non-compliant competitors
- Profitability due to increased loyalty & trust