HIPAA Compliance


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What you should know about HIPAA Email

The full form of HIPAA is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act was passed in the year 1996. The reason of this act was to develop a set of regulations or security rules in order to protect the privacy of health information. Accordingly, the Health and Human Services department of the United States published a set of Security Rules complying with which leads to the HIPAA email. The healthcare sectors routinely conduct business transactions via the electronic modes. Emails are the standard form of interaction in the world of healthcare and they serve a number of purposes. Be it interacting with patients, transcribing medical records, scheduling appointments, patient referrals or even authorizations for medical services – it is all done by emails. This is why the need for ensuring the security was felt, which made way for the HIPAA email compliance.

What comes under HIPAA security compliance?

HIPAA email is simply a form of securing all the information transactions done by healthcare facilities. Every business entity that is covered by the HIPAA has to comply by these security rules. It must be noted that these compliances are applicable only on the health information that has been electronically protected. It is not meant for the hard copies of such information. The security compliances are divided into three main categories. These categories are technical safeguards, administrative safeguards and physical safeguards. Each of this takes care of one aspect of the complete security of health information. For instance, under technical safeguards, the points included are security of transmission, proper authentication of the person or entity, audit controls, access controls etc. These form the primary basis of the entire security compliance method.

Does the HIPAA security rule prohibit information?

The HIPAA email important resource security compliance may confuse many into thinking that probably they are not allowed to email patients or other professionals. This is not true. The HIPAA security is less about prohibiting communication and more about protecting communication. As long as the emails sent with the health information are well protected, one is perfectly allowed to communicate via emails with patients or other medical professionals.

The kinds of information kept secure by HIPAA security compliance

When it comes to electronic protected health information, there are various kinds that are to be protected under the HIPAA security rules. Data in any healthcare entity is usually in one of the four stages. The data might be in motion, which means it is being sent or received via email over the internet. The data could be in stored state in various servers, databases or even flash drives. The data could be in present use, which is its being created, or updated or retrieved from other sources. And lastly, the data might be a discarded one. In all these cases, it is very important to maintain the security of the data so that it does not fall into the wrong hands. For this very reason, usage of HIPAA mail security rule has been made mandatory throughout the health sector.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Benefits of Attaining HIPAA Compliance

Not only does a covered entity benefit from attaining HIPAA Compliance requirements, but also those that they serve.  The new legislation has been brought into effect to ensure that the rights of those affected by the handling, transmission and disclosure of Protected Health Care Information (PHI) are not violated.  Another benefit of achieving HIPAA Compliance is that the new transaction code sets have the capability of handling larger file sizes when transmitting information electronically.  This will definitely help in improving the efficiency of the system as time is also saved as more can be done in a shorter period.

As HIPAACompliance mainly entails the electronic transmission of medical and health care information, implementation of the new standards will also assist greatly in raising the level of patient care.  This will come to fruition once the recipients of the transmitted information realize that more detailed and elaborate patient data is now readily available as and when needed and the data will be more consistent right across the board as the new regulations improve on consistency and standardization.

What does it take to Fulfill HIPAA Compliance Requirements?

To really inspire covered entities, their members of staff as well as their business associates, in order for them to whole heartedly strive for HIPAA Compliance, one needs to be able to display the positive aspects that will come to bear after implementation of the new regulations.  HIPAA Compliance requirements will, therefore, make sense to those affected when all are brought up to speed with the benefits they, as well as those they serve, stand to gain.

Once there is consensus on the benefits of HIPAA Compliance, then the journey begins towards effecting organization-wide changes that are also essential in order to meet the HIPAA Compliance target.   Furthermore, documentation that meets the standards of the new legislation is also crucial in meeting HIPAA Compliance requirements.  There are prescribe forms and other documents that need to be printed or ordered in to enable compliant disclosure as well as transmission and presentation of information to the concerned clients.

Ways to Achieve HIPAA Compliance

Particular aspects of the new legislation need to be implemented in order for covered entities to achieve HIPAA Compliance read this postTwo of these areas include HIPAA Security as well as HIPAA Privacy rules.  For an organization to attain the required, reasonable level of HIPAA Compliance, it is crucial that the affected systems and operations be brought in line with the laid down regulations.  

A number of firms specialize in assisting covered entities towards achieving HIPAA Compliance more information albeit at a cost.  Even after setting up the required changes to the systems of operation and achieving the necessary implementation requirements, covered entities need to train their staff on how to operate under the new regulations along with motivating employees to ensure the success of the new dispensation.  

Motivation of staff includes providing the prerequisite instructions to enable using the new transaction code sets as well as making sure that employees and other members of staff are aware of the objectives and the benefits of attaining HIPAA Compliance.

Resources to Help Covered Entities Achieve HIPAA Compliance

In the race to achieve HIPAA Compliance, the impact will definitely vary from one covered entity to another.  The need, thus, arises for resources to assist in this regard so as to make the transition less of a hassle especially for the smaller organization whose resources may not be as vast as the larger entities.  The Department of Health and Human Services continues to provide covered entities with channels of communication as well as other resources in the form of training sessions and documentation all in the name of fulfilling HIPAA Compliance requirements.

The resources provided by the concerned authorities aim to achieve a reasonable level of compliance and continued upgrades and improvements to affected operations.   The internet has played a major role in facilitating research and providing information that is relevant to this regard.  HIPAA Compliance and continued implementation will be a long term and ongoing process that will require continued review and discussion.  It is in this respect that the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Human Rights (OCR) has provided forums to assist those affected to reduce the number of complaints that may arise from HIPAA non-Compliance.