Any business that is required to be HIPAA compliant needs to have the help of the right managed IT services to ensure that the information to which they are privy is safe. There is a big responsibility in looking after the medical data of others, and with the right help and support, you can ensure that your business keeps information for clients safe and HIPAA compliant.
What is HIPAA
HIPAA is the acronym for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It’s mostly heard of in the medical profession because there is a requirement for medical professionals like doctors to keep the medical secrets of their patients.
Health facilities like clinics, hospitals and private practices need to ensure that they take care of the Protected Health Information (PHI) they have on file. Patient data must be protected, and any time a healthcare facility outsources this information, those services have to be compliant with HIPAA, too.
If all companies that deal remotely with medical information are HIPAA compliant, they will have exceptional data security. HIPAA has a series of standards for business to adhere to to remain compliant.
Why You Need HIPAA Compliance
Protected Health Information is data used to identify a client of a healthcare facility. Consider names, addresses, medical information, phone numbers and more, and you get information that HIPAA is there to protect.
Any of this information shared digitally comes under HIPAA regulations, too. If you don’t have HIPAA compliance, this becomes a problem for the business. There are two types of businesses that are required to have HIPAA compliance, and those include covered entities and business associates.
A covered entity is defined as an organization that collects and transmits and collects PHI electronically. A business associate is defined as any organization that encounters HIPAA in any way – like those outsourced providers we mentioned earlier.
What happens if you don’t have HIPAA compliance
Any company that is in breach of HIPAA compromises the integrity of PHI. A HIPAA violation is not the same as a data breach. Not all data breaches, for example, are HIPAA violations. It becomes a violation when the breach is due to incomplete and ineffective HIPAA compliance programs.
If an employee has a company laptop that’s unencrypted and they have access to medical records and that laptop is then stolen, this is a data breach. A HIPAA violation would be the case if the clinic or hospital didn’t have a policy in place to prevent the employee from removing the laptop from the premises in the first place.
If a business doesn’t have HIPAA compliance, they will be fined by the federal HIPAA auditors. The fine works on a sliding scale but can run up to $50,000 per incident. This depends on the level of perceived negligence. The best thing to do to avoid any HIPAA regulations violations is to speak to the best managed IT services available. They will ensure that your clinic remains compliant at all times, and that you have all that you need to offer better to your customers.