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Do you want to stay safe from HIPAA violations? Here are some pointers to help you comply with HIPAA’s Security Rule and Privacy Rule and avoid significant penalties.

HIPAA Observance

More Information on HIPAA Compliance for Businesses

Along from safeguarding employees from preexisting condition exclusion, HIPAA also safeguards patients’ paper and electronically stored medical information via the Security Rule and Privacy Rule, which were adopted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

To be in compliance with HIPAA, each covered business must verify that the Security Rule and Privacy Rule criteria are followed.

Safeguards and Compliance with the Security Rule

The HIPAA clause known as the Security Rule was included to safeguard the security, integrity, and availability of electronic patient health information (EPHI). Compliance with the Security Rule necessitates three kinds of security safeguards: administrative, technical, and physical. For each of these three classes, security guidelines have been established for implementation.

Administrative safeguards are available. Certain administrative responsibilities must be in place inside a covered company in order to comply with the Security Rule. Some of these responsibilities include developing a documented set of privacy policies, appointing privacy officers, launching an ongoing training programme for staff who will be handling EPHI, and reacting to security breaches in a timely way.

Technical safeguards are available. The technical safeguards are concerned with the technological measures that must be put in place to secure data and data access. These include, but are not limited to, documenting HIPAA policies and making them accessible to the government, developing risk analysis and risk management systems, and verifying data has not been wiped in an unlawful way.

Physical Security. Physical safeguards are the steps that should be put in place to restrict physical access to EPHI. Monitoring access to equipment carrying health information, granting only certain persons access to software and hardware, and instructing any contractors and agents on their physical access constraints are some examples.

Compliance with Privacy Regulations

The HIPAA Privacy Rule governs the use and sharing of Protected Health Information by covered organisations (PHI). This information generally covers any spoken or recorded information on an individual’s health state, health records, and payment history. The first step in becoming HIPAA compliant is to appoint a Privacy Officer. The following are some examples of how a Privacy Officer should implement the Privacy Rule:

Keep track of the entity’s HIPAA compliance;

Staff should be educated on the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Keep track of combination codes and PHI access.

Keep documents and paperwork in a safe location;

Ensure that patient files are securely stored

Control PHI privacy by restricting software access;

Limit the use and disclosure of PHI to the bare minimum; and

Patients’ rights should be informed and supported.

This list is not exhaustive, but the goal is to keep as much patient information as possible private.

As covered companies expand in size, it is critical to prioritise HIPAA compliance. This will defend against any infractions that might result in serious professional and financial fines.