HIPAA Compliance and Certification for Physician’s Offices

Own or manage a physician’s office or practice and curious if you are really compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996? Need advice on understanding what HIPAA compliance and certification really means, and what best practices you should be following for ensuring the safety and security of Protected Health Information (PHI)? Non-compliance with HIPAA is a serious issue for physician’s offices, so now’s the time to get compliant and put in place all mandated HIPAA policies, procedures, and processes, and we can help as we offer industry leading HIPAA Security & Privacy Compliance Toolkits (HSPCT) for instant download at hipaapoliciesandprocedures.com.

HIPAA Compliance Starts by Downloading our Award-Winning Toolkits

What’s without question one of the most demanding and time-consuming activities for physician’s offices in becoming compliant with HIPAA? Documentation. That’s right, the amount of policies, procedures, and other essential forms and documents needed for meeting HIPAA compliance is absolutely staggering for physician’s offices. Both the HIPAA Security Rule and the Privacy Rule require literally dozens of information security and operational policies and procedures be developed – a task that no physician’s office really wants to undertake. The solution? Instantly download the industry leading HIPAA Security & Privacy Compliance Toolkits (HSPCT) today from hipaapoliciesandprocedures.com. Developed by healthcare compliance experts, the HSPCT includes hundreds of pages of professionally developed HIPAA policies and procedures, forms, checklists, and so much more.

Saving time and money on HIPAA compliance begins for physician’s offices by having a proactive approach to the voluminous amount of documentation needed, and that’s why physician’s offices turn to us. Additionally, Flat Iron Technologies, LLC, the developer of the HSPCT documentation, also offer customized policy writing services, if needed.

7 Facts about HIPAA Compliance for Physicians Offices

1. Documentation is Critical: Here’s the very first and most important fact you need to understand about HIPAA – documentation is absolutely essential to becoming – and staying – HIPAA compliant. We’re talking about policies, procedures, office forms, checklists – all the essential materials a physician’s office needs in terms of healthcare documentation. More specifically, you’ll need a HIPAA information security policy and procedures manual, a documented Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDRP) program, security awareness training materials, essential office forms, and so much more.
The amount of time and effort it takes in developing such documentation can be staggering – thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours – but not anymore thanks to our award-winning HIPAA Security & Privacy Compliance Toolkits (HSPCT) for physician’s offices. With our HSPCT documentation, you get it all, saving you a tremendous amount of time and money, while also helping ensure rapid HIPAA compliance.

2. Get ready for a Culture Change: Nobody likes change, we really don’t, but when it comes to HIPAA, all the new policies and procedures you’ll be developing will ultimately require new processes to be followed. It means you’ll have to slowly, but methodically, implement, establish, and “institutionalize” a new way of thinking at your office, one that can be successful so long as everyone is on board. Lastly, change is not an overnight process, that we all definitely know, but taking baby steps on a consistent basis will get you there.

3. Practice What You Preach: Developing industry leading policies and procedures with our award-winning HIPAA Security & Privacy Compliance Toolkits (HSPCT) is simple, but documentation is only as good as the controls you practice. Therefore, it’s critically important that all stakeholders, from part-time employees to C level executives, have a comprehensive understanding all mandated policies and procedures that are now in place. Practicing what you preach means taking time to educate all employees on the importance of information and operational best practices, so begin with regularly scheduled training initiatives that allows everyone to voice their opinions on policies and procedures, while also acknowledging the importance of such controls.

One of the very best mechanisms for getting “the message across” regarding policies and procedures is to include such discussions with regularly scheduled security awareness training procedures. Your employees are your greatest asset, so educate them to the fullest extent possible.

4. Remediation is Essential: Does every physician’s office throughout North America have a picture perfect internal control environment – no – so don’t think you’re any different than the tens of thousands of other Covered Entities (CE) and Business Associates (BA). What will make you different, and in a good way, is that your business clearly can see the need for correcting security, technical, and operational deficiencies. For example, you may need to implement encryption, strengthen your access control initiatives regarding passwords, or tighten up your firewall configuration files – just a few examples of the possible dozens of remediation items to be performed. Remediation is just a part of regulatory compliance, so keep this in mind.

5. Train your Employees on Information Security Best Practices: What’s the very best way to ensure the safety and security of Protected Health Information (PHI) at a physician’s office? Simple – put in place high-quality, comprehensive security awareness training initiatives that educate your workforce members on current InfoSec threats, issues, and best practices. All the money spent on industry leading software and hardware tools mean nothing if employees don’t have a solid and firm understanding of information security best practices.

Looking for an incredibly well-written and easy-to-use set of HIPAA security awareness training materials? They can be purchased individually, and are also included within the HIPAA Security & Privacy Compliance Toolkits (HSPCT) that’s available for instant download at hipaapoliciesandprocedures.com. Simply put, training and educating employees (i.e., workforce members) is one of the wisest investments you can make for your business. Also, keep in mind that occupational fraud is a big challenge with physician’s offices as only a few select personnel are often responsible for all financial related matters.

6. Assessing Risk is a HIPAA Mandate: One of the more notable mandates for HIPAA compliance is conducting an annual risk assessment; a process for assessing, identifying and ultimately reducing risks and other threats to an organization. There’s been quite a bit written and published on the topic of risk, much of it academia in nature, which tends to lend itself to language that’s highly complex, but also cumbersome. Risk Assessments need to be performed in a manner that’s commensurate with one’s internal environment, thus if you have a smaller, more centralized business with just a handful of employees, then treat the risk assessment in that regard.

Likewise, if you’re a large organization with a healthy employee base, then it’s a good-idea to put in place a structured, formalized risk assessment process that can adequately capture information from a large number of employees participating in the process. Whichever route you go, just remember to make the risk assessment fit for you, effectively ensuring a beneficial process that yields measurable results. Our risk assessment materials are included within the HIPAA Security & Privacy Compliance Toolkits (HSPCT) available for instant download at hipaapoliciesandprocedures.com.

7. HIPAA is a Moving Target: Are you finally compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – then congratulations – but the real work begins by implementing continuous monitoring activities. More specifically, “Continuous Monitoring” is the concept whereby an organization regularly monitors their internal controls for ensuring they are functioning as designed. Such monitoring activities ultimately requires physician’s office to make all necessary changes, enhancements, and updates to one’s internal controls. This in turn requires organizations to anoint a true HIPAA champion that will drive these initiatives throughout the organization on a regular basis. It can be a challenging task as employees don’t like change, but monitoring one’s controls is essential for maintaining HIPAA compliance.

Get HIPAA Compliant with Our Award-Winning Toolkits

Compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for physician’s offices doesn’t have to be a painful and laborious exercise, and it’s not when using our industry leading toolkits, so visit hipaapoliciesandprocedures.com today to learn more. Available for instant download, the HIPAA Security & Privacy Compliance Toolkits (HSPCT) come complete with hundreds of pages of information security policies, templates, checklists, and other essential forms for helping meet and maintain HIPAA compliance. HIPAA is the largest and most well-known of all the healthcare laws in effect today, so do yourself a big favor and get compliant by using our HIPAA Security & Privacy Compliance Toolkits (HSPCT) today.