Do You Need to Be HIPAA Compliant?

If you’re an organization that handles protected health information (PHI), like a healthcare provider, group health plan, or insurance company, then yes—you need to be HIPAA compliant. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), all organizations that handle PHI must comply with HIPAA’s Privacy Rule and Security Rule.

Here are 7 main factors to making sure your business is HIPAA compliant:

1. Privacy Policy

Your organization needs to have a privacy policy in place that outlines how it will protect the PHI of its patients. This includes disclosing how and when the PHI can be used, and who will have access to it.

2. Security Measures

HIPAA requires that organizations take appropriate security measures to ensure only authorized individuals have access to PHI. This includes physical, technical, and administrative safeguards such as encryption technology, user authentication protocols, and restricting access rights.

2. Training

Train all employees on proper handling of PHI, as well as any updates to the HIPAA regulations. The HHS also recommends regular training and refreshers.

3. Data Security

Ensure that PHI is kept secure by implementing procedures such as data encryption, firewall protection, and limiting access to authorized personnel.

4. Risk Assessment

Conduct a risk assessment to identify where your organization’s weaknesses are and how they can be remedied. There should be regular assessments and testing to evaluate your organization’s security measures.

5. Breach Notification

If a breach of PHI occurs, have a plan in place for notifying affected individuals and the HHS Office for Civil Rights. The notification plan should include specific steps to take in the event of a breach.

6. Business Associate Agreements

If your organization works with a third party, ensure that they are aware of and compliant with HIPAA regulations by having them sign a business associate agreement.

7. Monitoring

Monitor the effectiveness of your organization’s HIPAA compliance measures on an ongoing basis.

By taking the necessary steps to ensure that your organization is HIPAA compliant, you’ll be able to provide quality healthcare services while protecting the privacy of your patients.