Data Security & HIPAA
What Is HIPAA And Why Is It Important To Your Business?
When many business owners think of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines, they tend to think of hospitals, physicians, and other medical care professionals who directly interact with patient’s personal healthcare information. However, the truth is, these guidelines now apply to a much larger number of businesses. This is because as part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act that was part of the American Recovery and Investment Act passed into law in 2009, companies that are referred to as business associates must now comply with HIPAA standards in the same way as more traditional medical and healthcare professionals and companies.
What Is A Business Associate Under The HITECH Act?
Quite simply, a business associate under the HITECH Act is any person, company, or entity that has access to personal healthcare information as part of the work they do for a healthcare provider. For instance, if your company handles transcription or billing for a local doctor’s office, your company would be considered a business associate under the new HIPAA guidelines. The same is true of a company who handles the disposal of sensitive healthcare documentation.
What Are Your Responsibilities Under HIPAA?
Whether your company deals directly with patients or if you encounter healthcare information on a secondary basis, your responsibilities under the HIPPA guidelines are the same. These responsibilities simply state that you must take the proper precautions to protect your patient’s personal healthcare information from both physical and cyber threats.
How We Can Help You Remain Compliant?
We can help ensure you are compliant with HIPAA standards by implementing and maintaining required physical security protocols for accessing healthcare information. This will ensure that access to patient information is limited to an employee’s access and privileges. Additionally, we use encryption and other cyber security measures to safeguard the transmission of data across the network and protect against web-based threats.
What Happens If You Are Not HIPAA Compliant?
Ensuring that your company is HIPAA compliant should be a top priority for you. This is because along with the new legislation, an increased penalty cap was put in place for companies who were found to be non-compliant. Under the new law, companies can be fined up to 1.5 million dollars for each year they fail to meet mandated guidelines.If your company needs to be HIPAA Compliant, IT 21st can help.