The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is one of the cornerstones for both healthcare cybersecurity and regulatory compliance.

Healthcare providers, insurance companies, and hospitals are required to follow HIPPA guidelines to safeguard patient data. Healthcare professionals are mandated to protect privacy and create standards for patient health data electronic transfers.

Breaking it down, HIPPA’s overarching purpose is to protect the security and confidentiality of healthcare information. This occurs in the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule. Privacy refers to the patients’ right to discretion and applies to written, oral, and electronic health information. The Security Rule ensures organizations follow standards to safeguard sensitive electronic information and remain in compliance.

Rules also apply for breach notifications, enforcement, and administrative simplification. Data leaks or security breaches must be reported within 60 days. Also, interestingly, HIPAA can now extend to consultants, lawyers, subcontractors, resellers, etc. In fact, pretty much everyone is subject to HIPAA, and non-compliance comes with hefty fines.

How can you comply with HIPAA?

Patient information is sensitive, and according to HIPAA, it’s also the law. HIPAA-covered entities, healthcare organizations, and business associates must comply with information protocols outlined by HIPAA across all networks.

Healthcare organizations alone often don’t realize how much sensitive electronic information they generate from multiple channels. HIPAA violation fines reach up to $50,000 per incident, up to $1.5 million per year. HIPAA-covered entities must understand how HIPAA regulations apply to their organization and embed strict protocols into all components of their practice.

HIPPA Compliance Checklist

  • NEnsure current policy alignment with changing laws, regulations, guidelines, and standards.
  • NDevelop and implement strong and well documented cybersecurity procedures.
  • NCreate multiple reporting methods for potential HIPAA compliance violations.
  • NConduct root cause analysis and remediation when issues do arise.
  • NMap compliance procedures and processes as part of a constant, multi-regulation program.
  • NEvery covered entity should undergo an annual HIPAA risk assessment.
  • NOffer detailed training to those in relevant, high risk positions to mitigate violation risk.
  • NExtend proper procedures to all venders and third parties with access to PHI.
  • NOnly authorized personnel should have access to PHI, and strong passwords should be used.

HIPAA Essentials

Corporate-wide Awareness

A detailed plan that conveys HIPAA responsibilities and instructions to those in high risk positions.

Medical Privacy Procedures

Policy creation and management processes from creation to approval for all HIPAA regulations.

Security Violation Reporting

Incident management and whistleblowers hotline for timely HIPAA violation and compliance reporting.

Supply Chain Alignment

HIPAA standards must be upheld by all parties handling PHI.

Embedded Framework

Maintain audit-ready processes by clear and consistent alignment with HIPAA rules and safeguards.

This information is not intended to serve as legal advice. Nor is it intended to act as compliance advice specific to the processes of any specific company. Application of compliance laws is a company-specific endeavor. We recommend that you contact compliance counsel to discuss the application of information found herein to your operations.