If you’re part of a medical facility, work in the health care sector, or own a pharmacy, chances are you’ve heard of HIPAA compliance.
But what exactly is HIPAA compliance? Who and what is it really relevant to? In this guide, we’re going to explore all the facts that you need to know about HIPAA compliance and a useful checklist you can keep on hand as you build your medical business.
What is HIPAA Compliance?
HIPAA, also known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a legal term that encompasses patient data protection. Any business that deals with protected health information (also known as PHI) must have security measures in place to protect physical data storage, networks, and online processes. These measures must be implemented and followed in order to be HIPAA compliant.
Anyone who provides payment, treatment, or operations in the health care world needs to abide by HIPAA, as well as any businesses or entities that have access to patient or client information.
Why is HIPAA Compliance Important?
HIPAA compliance is important because it doesn’t just cover medical facilities— it covers any business in any niche that deals with protected health information from clients of customers. That can include health insurance companies, health care clearinghouses, health care providers, medical manufacturers, and businesses that handle medical-based financial and administration transactions online or digitally. Business associates that can access this information from any of the above businesses must also be HIPAA compliant.
The HIPAA rules are important because so much of the health care world is becoming digitized, which means it is becoming easier for hackers and unauthorized users to find sensitive medical information about citizens. To ensure the utmost safety of this information, HIPAA compliance is very important for everyone.
The HIPAA Compliant Business Checklist
These steps should be followed to ensure your business is HIPAA compliant.
Perform an in-depth risk assessment and security analysis of your data platforms. You can seek a third-party business to do this thoroughly for you.
Take note of the risks that are found and address them immediately. This could involve improving internet security, changing your network settings, looking into new tech vendors, etc.
Use automated compliance reporting to guarantee that ongoing evaluations are being performed for your business to remain HIPAA compliant.
Use monitoring and breach notification platforms and applications to identify problems in real-time.
Continue to evaluate your system risks for the lifetime of your business to ensure HIPAA compliance. A third-party security platform may make this process easier.