“The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop regulations protecting the privacy and security of certain health information.”
But what does this really mean? This means that most medical information recorded and stored by healthcare providers has to be stored based on a certain standard of security to protect the patient’s privacy. Companies that deal with sensitive health information must have security procedures in place, and they must follow them to ensure they are HIPAA Compliant.
A healthcare data breach can result in a fine of up to $50,000 per incident, so this is a very serious topic. Processes and procedures can be put in place to ensure HIPAA compliance. The American Health Care Association has created a policy and procedures manual for HIPAA Compliance that can be used for various businesses. Click here to read more.
Breaches can happen in a variety of different ways: vocally through conversations, electronically through computers and/or mobile devices, and theft.
Below is a quick list of 5 simple ways to help prevent HIPAA data breaches:
- Educate and inform all staff members about HIPAA regulations on a regular basis
- Enable encryptions and firewalls on all company electronics
- Ensure that all patient and confidential files are securely stored at all times
- Employ a AAA-NAID certified document destruction company for disposal of records and confidential documents
- Regularly perform internal audits to confirm procedures are being implemented properly
Understanding HIPAA compliance is not easy, but it is extremely important to your business. HIPAA rules apply to all healthcare providers regardless of the size of the business, and violation fines can be detrimental to any business. Take the necessary time to read and understand the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to protect your business and your patients. For more information on HIPAA compliance, click here.
The Bottom Line: HIPAA Compliance is a top priority for Healthcare providers