It's no secret that healthcare is digitizing at a rapid pace, but we've seen exponential growth in these technologies in this past year alone. Telehealth alone grew by 154% during the first half of 2020.
As we digitize healthcare information, HIPAA becomes increasingly important for businesses. But what is HIPAA? And what does it mean to be HIPAA compliant?
That's what we're here to look at today. Read on to find out what HIPAA compliance means for businesses like yours!
What Is HIPAA?
The abbreviation HIPAA refers to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. It's a law that allows for the sharing of medical information to improve the quality of care while protecting patient privacy.
For organizations that deal with medical information in any way, HIPAA compliance is incredibly important. This encompasses private businesses and startups, not just hospitals and other healthcare organizations.
But what does it really mean to be HIPAA compliant?
What Does It Mean to Be HIPAA Compliant?
HIPAA compliance refers to a business or other entity having the right procedures, systems, and framework to safeguard protected health information, or PHI. These procedures have to abide by HIPAA standards.
What Is HIPAA Compliance for Businesses?
Any businesses or persons who work with healthcare organizations it similar entities usually have to be HIPAA compliant. If they do any work that uses PHI, then HIPAA compliance is needed.
Becoming HIPAA Compliant
While you might assume HIPAA compliance is just a regular administrative hurdle that businesses have to go through, it's actually quite valuable for organizations. The benefits of HIPAA compliance go beyond legality.
It provides better overall security frameworks and other strategies that improve your administrative processes. So what are some of these HIPAA rules that employers typically follow?
Privacy Health Information
HIPAA compliant organizations can usually only share private information between the person who owns that information, i.e. a patient. This is typically for billing, procedure information, and other treatment.
Privacy with health information under HIPAA emphasizes transparency. Businesses must tell patients why they need specific information and how they're planning on using it.
HIPAA compliant organizations must have the right security infrastructure to protect all private information. It's up to the business or startup to have the right framework in place.
Regulators take this aspect very seriously. Fines can get to the tens of thousands of dollars, especially with the threat of cyberattacks becoming more common.
When any breach that compromises private information occurs, businesses have to report it. Notifications have to be made to any affected individuals, while copies of those notifications have to be sent to the HHS.
HIPAA Employee Considerations
Those are only some of the main factors which affect HIPAA compliance for b businesses. It's not all up to the employers, however, to ensure their business is following the rules.
Employees have to hold up their end of the bargain. Being careful not to share passwords or sharing sensitive information in unsecured channels is crucial.
Locking one's screen and securing data when employees leave their workplace is another key consideration. Implementing two-factor authentication is a great way to improve employee compliance.
HIPAA Compliance for Startups and Other Businesses
HIPAA compliance can be daunting for startups and other businesses, but attaining that status is easier than it might seem. Use this guide to help you understand just what HIPAA compliance means.
Looking for reliable cybersecurity services to get HIPAA compliant? Contact us and schedule a demo today to find your best possible solution!