HIPAA Compliance | 5 Critical Points every Covered Entity and Business Associate Must Know

HIPAA compliance is mandatory for healthcare entities storing and transmitting sensitive consumer information – known most commonly as Protected Health Information (PHI) – therefore it’s important that both Covered Entities and Business Associates put in place all necessary policies, procedures, and processes with regards to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Specifically, HIPAA compliance can be an incredibly challenging and demanding undertaking for many businesses, and it’s why understanding the following 5 important points is essential for maintaining costs, while also becoming compliant in an efficient and comprehensive manner.

1.  Understand your HIPAA requirements. Covered Entities (CE) and Business Associates (BA) have both similar compliance requirements for HIPAA, such as the HIPAA Security Rule provisions, yet differences begin to emerge under the complex Privacy Rule provisions. Though the lines of compliance have begun to blur recently as BA’s are being pushed towards greater responsibilities, there still are differences for which healthcare entities need to be aware of. 

2.  Develop HIPAA policies and procedures. Have you looked at the dozens of “standards” and “implementation specifications” mandated throughout the HIPAA Security Rule and HIPAA Privacy Rule? If so, then you’ll clearly see the need for documented HIPAA policies and procedures, both from an information security and operational perspective. The development of HIPAA specific documentation is often the most time-consuming - and overlooked – aspect of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and it’s why Covered Entities (CE) and Business Associates (BA) should obtain a comprehensive set of HIPAA policy templates, such as the HIPAA Security & Privacy Compliance Toolkit (HSPCT) from Flat Iron Technologies, LLC.

3.  Implement major programs. Risk assessments and security awareness training are two of the most important initiatives for ensuring HIPAA compliance, thus they require that both Covered Entities (CE) and Business Associates (BA) undertaken comprehensive measures for both provisions. It means finding and sourcing high-quality and cost-effective training programs for employees, along with developing a sound risk management strategy. There are numerous providers online offering both security awareness training and risk assessment templates, such as us, so learn more about our industry leading HIPAA Security & Privacy Compliance Toolkit (HSPCT) from Flat Iron Technologies, LLC. Remember also that these programs require much more than policies and procedures, they mandate that Covered Entities (CE) and Business Associates (GA) actually put in place comprehensive programs, and that’s a big difference.

4.  HIPAA compliance is a moving target, forever and always. There’s no such thing as “one and done” when it comes to compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Rather, look at HIPAA as a moving target, one that requires constant attention for ensuring all policies, procedures, and processes are in place. It’s a challenging task – no question about it – one that must be undertaken constantly in today’s world of growing cyber security threats and challenges.

5.  Regulatory compliance and government oversight is the new norm. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice the incredible growth in regulatory compliance laws, legislative edicts and industry mandates that have popped up in the last ten years. What’s interesting to note about them is that they follow a very similar theme – information security and operational specific policies and procedures are absolutely vital, no question about it. From HIPAA to PCI DSS, and many other legislative and industry specific mandates, having documented policies and procedures is so important these days, and it’s why businesses are scouring the Internet in hopes of finding high-quality policy templates for HIPAA compliance. With the HIPAA Security & Privacy Compliance Toolkit (HSPCT) from Flat Iron Technologies, LLC, there’s no need for developing time-consuming policy templates when the hard work has already been done.

Download HIPAA Policies and Compliance Toolkits Today
hipaapoliciesandprocedures.com also offers industry leading HIPAA toolkits for both Covered Entities (CE) and Business Associates (BA) consisting of high-quality security policies and procedures, training material, readiness checklists and templates, essential legal forms, a HIPAA specific disaster recovery manual, and so much more. Learn about our industry leading HIPAA compliance toolkits today.