Healthcare practitioners are always concerned about HIPAA (Health Insurance Probability and Accountability Act). Although, this compliance arises several complications for the physicians due to the ever-evolving regulations and policies of HIPAA. This trend causes ambiguity in healthcare procedures, however, it is very crucial to stay connected to the healthcare industry. So, we have provided the following information; What is important to comply with HIPAA?
HIPPA COMPLIANCE DEFINITION
Through ongoing regulations, HIPAA compliance is a living entity that health care organizations must feature into their business in order to enhance protective measures of the privacy, security, and data integrity of protected health information. HIPAA’s regulatory standards were introduced to establish the legitimate use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulates compliance and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) implements compliance. The OCR also provides complete guidance on developments affecting health care and is responsible for investigating HIPAA violations.
Healthcare practitioners must follow these guidelines to sustain their compliance:
Protected Health Information (PHI) is the combination of patient identification information i.e. name or address and any health-related data collected from a physician or healthcare facility, such as their medical records, any conversations with physicians, or billing/insurance information of their visit. Conclusively, PHI is anything that consists of both your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and your health information.
While ePHI is electronically protected health information when PHI is transmitted, stored, or accessed electronically. ePHI complies with the HIPAA Security Rule, a HIPAA regulation addendum which came into effect to address the rapid changes in medical technology and how health records are stored. It is essential for healthcare practitioners to comply with HIPAA regulations and adopt strategies to ensure privacy and confidentiality. It improves accessibility to patient’s data and also reduces fraudulent activity and prevents data breaching. It all concentrated on data security.
HIPAA provides a complete framework that provides data scrutiny and security features and provides access to medical billing staff and other healthcare administration professionals by implementing several specifications while restricting to whom that information can be shared. Any organization dealing with PHI must implement physical, network, and process security measures in place to become compliant. These compliance restrictions are also meant for subcontractors. HIPAA is aimed to protect individuals and to ensure everyone has complete access to a copy of their personal medical records.
It ultimately covers a civil rights issue. It mandates data protection for anyone who creates, stores, transmits or uses individually health information against a specific identification. All healthcare entities and companies which handle, store, maintain or transmit patient health information are enforced to abide by all the security regulations of the HIPAA law. Healthcare practitioners must adhere to HIPAA laws, providers can save millions of dollars annually just by properly managing security features. Thy should also consider more stringent state laws (which vary, state to state) and some industry best practices that are more protective of patient data. These strategic arrangements to implement security can impact the bottom line of healthcare practices, and enhance their integrity, compliance, and value in the healthcare marketplace.
Related Tag: How To Ensure HIPAA Compliance With Telehealth