Top 10 Tips on How You Can Ensure Your Medical Billing Company is HIPAA Compliant

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Any medical billing company that offers multiple services, combined with Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) consultation, should be Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant. Especially when recording and configuring patient records and Protective Health Information (PHI).

Protected Health Information (PHI)

Protected health information (PHI) is also referred to as personal health information. It generally addresses the demographic data, medical histories, test and laboratory results, mental health conditions, insurance information, and other information of the patient. This information is vital for a healthcare professional to identify an individual and determine appropriate care. It is the most crucial aspect of healthcare administration as Electronic Health Records (EHRs) contain sensitive data that requires extensive scrutiny features that are essential for data protection.

The Role of HIPAA in Securing and Protecting the PHI

PHI is an essential factor in the medical record of a patient. The moment an individual is born, or even during conception, his/her PHI is already recorded into the EHR system. It provides the necessary information about the following aspects of a patient;

  • Length
  • Weight
  • Body temperature
  • Complications

As the person ages, this data is kept on updating in the EHR system over time. The HIPAA outlooks the use of this critical information. HIPAA strives to limit access to these details and implement the policies that regulate those who can have access to these records. Therefore, no one is allowed to disclose the PHI unless it is for:

  • Research and treatment
  • Public health activities
  • Merger or acquisition of a HIPAA covered entity

Medical billing companies must guarantee their privacy policy about PHI to become HIPAA compliant. They must implement such strategies that can legally bound them to handle this confidential information according to HIPAA Privacy and Security rules. They should also comply with HIPAA audits conducted by agencies such as the US Department of Health and Human Services. This article will showcase the significance of PHI and how HIPAA can help in data protection, highlighting the need to partner with HIPAA compliant medical billing company;

How to Know if a Medical Billing Company is HIPAA Compliant?

Medical billing and coding companies that are HIPAA compliant have a physical network and process security regulations in place. It means having technical and nontechnical safeguards in place that provide ultimate protection to an individual’s EHR/ electronic PHI. The following are tips to know whether your medical billing company is HIPAA compliant.

Regular training

Medical billing companies must provide ongoing training to their employees to ensure everyone knows how to protect patient privacy. 

Secure software applications

Medical billing services vendors must ensure that their billing software is well guarded against ransomware attacks and other online hacks. 

HIPAA protocol on transition

Medical billing companies must follow HIPAA protocol on online information transfer that controls the patient information transited from one department to another.

Complete authorization

It is primarily essential for medical billing services vendors to limit facility access to patient’s data and control the channel with authorized access in place.

Regulations for channels

Medical billing professionals need to implement established policies regarding the use and access of electronic media and workstations. 

Apply restrictions on data transmission

Medical billing companies must apply restrictions when deposing of, transferring, removing, and even re-using electronic media and ePHI.

Apply restrictions on data transmission

It is crucial for medical billing service vendors to utilize unique user credentials, automatic log-off, encryption and decryption mechanisms, and emergency access procedures.

Data Monitoring

Medical billing professionals should provide regular audit reports and tracking logs that are securely recorded on their hardware and software systems.

Strategic implementation of policies

It is critically important to apply privacy policy notices in strategic locations of their office.

Annual HIPAA Security Risk Assessment

It is essential for medical billing professionals to conduct the Mandatory Annual HIPAA Security Risk Assessment. 

Medical Billing Benefits is an insightful healthcare news wire. We provide the latest news and information that will help you run your medical business successfully. Learn more about how can you streamline your medical billing services.

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