HIPAA, short for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, exists to ensure the maximum privacy and security of protected health information. All businesses that hold healthcare information must comply with the standards set by HIPAA.
Medical information is precious and is something many on the black market would pay to access. Companies must employ the utmost safety measures. So, how does HIPAA compliance work for businesses?
Established in the 1990s, HIPAA exists with the intention to enhance the portability of health insurance when a change in jobs occurs and to mitigate rubbish and misleading healthcare information. Over time, HIPAA eventually evolved to how we know it now.
Any company handling protected health information must adhere to the HIPAA requirements. These companies include healthcare organizations, business associates, and even businesses not directly working with medical institutions.
So, why is it that businesses not directly working with medical organizations must comply with HIPAA? Say a small business provides healthcare plans to their employees and administers it through a third-party company. Because the small business and the third-party company are handling protected health information, they must also uphold their employees’ privacy and security.
Business associates are any company that will come into contact with protected health information; this usually happens as a result of their providing a service to a covered entity. A covered entity includes healthcare providers, clearinghouses, and health plan providers. Business associates can be accountants, lawyers, private cloud companies, etc.
For business associates to adhere to HIPAA standards, they must have a contract that details precisely what services they will provide to the covered entity. Moreover, they must also sign a clause that agrees to follow HIPAA’s strict privacy and security standards.
How does HIPAA compliance work for businesses not directly in the medical field? Companies handle a plethora of confidential information that they must encrypt. With all these standards in place, that can seem overwhelming.
A failure to comply or a breach of protected health information can result in fines, civil action lawsuits, and criminal charges. As such, it is vitally important that companies choose the best corporations to help them maintain HIPAA compliance, especially because most of this information exists in cyberspace.
Changes in Legislation
In addition to ensuring the protection of health information in the safest way possible and adhering to HIPAA standards, companies must also ensure they oversee any changes in legislation. Since HIPAA has so much information and is constantly evolving, many companies will employ HIPAA experts.
These experts will learn the ins and outs of everything having to do with this legislation and will keep track of changes. This is vitally important to do, for if a company were to miss out on a recent change in legislation, they might be subject to the consequences as stated above.
Author: Libre Writer
Libre is a guest writer account under Newslibre sharing content from all over the globe while providing informative content on different topics.