Compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for Southern California healthcare providers is a must as such businesses are storing, processing, and transmitting Protected Health Information (PHI). Some of the biggest challenges with HIPAA for any organization is understanding scope, remediating essential gaps, along with putting in place continuous monitoring activities. Furthermore, becoming compliant with HIPAA is by no means an overnight process. It can take considerable time and money, but before you begin journeying down the road towards HIPAA compliance, Southern California Covered Entities (CE) and Business Associates (BA) need to take note of the following best practices.
HIPAA Compliance Best Practices for Southern California Healthcare Providers
1. Understand HIPAA Boundaries: Where does PHI live and reside? What systems are responsible for storing PHI, and is the date encrypted? Do you have documented HIPAA policies and procedures in place? Has your organization performed a comprehensive HIPAA risk assessment, along with implementing HIPAA security awareness training? These are just a few of the dozens of questions that Southern California CE’s and BA’s need to be asking themselves, but where do you begin and what’s the objective?
Simple. Begin with a HIPAA scoping & readiness assessment from Flat Iron Technologies, LLC, one of North America’s leading providers of federal regulatory compliance services and solutions. When conducted by professionals, a HIPAA scoping & readiness assessment will help your business identity critical issues, gaps and control deficiencies, while also putting in place a “game plan” for HIPAA compliance.
Don’t have the budget for a scoping & readiness assessment – no problem – just download our HIPAA Security Rule and HIPAA Privacy Rule Readiness Assessment documents today for a “do-it-yourself” approach.
2. Know that Remediation is Essential: Every healthcare provider throughout North America will have or has had some type of marginal to meaningful remediation activity regarding HIPAA compliance – it’s just a fact of life. Hey, nobody has a picture perfect internal control environment, so don’t get overly consumed about your gaps and deficiencies that require remediation. However, with that said, be aware that remediation generally falls under the following three (3) main areas: (1). Technical/Security. (2). Documentation, and (3). Operational.
3. Perform Necessary Technical/Security Remediation: Do you have a comprehensive password policy in place? How about firewall rules that are written in accordance with best practices? Do you have anti-malware, ransomware, file monitoring, and performance monitoring security tools in place? These are just a few of the questions you’ll be asking yourself during the initial HIPAA scoping & readiness assessment. Often times, the answers are disheartening and revealing, requiring healthcare organizations to begin the process of comprehensive technical/security remediation.
4. Start Authoring HIPAA Policies and Procedures: Southern California healthcare providers are already under siege by current state regulations that are often seen as burdensome and costly. What compounds the problem even more is the requirement for heavy documentation for HIPAA and other compliance mandates. With that said, there are generally two (2) sets of HIPAA policies and procedures that need to be developed – HIPAA policies in accordance with the HIPAA Security Rule, along with HIPAA Policies for the Privacy Rule.
Authoring such documentation is often mundane, time-consuming, and quite expensive, especially if hiring HIPAA policy writers. The easy and cost-effective solution for Southern California healthcare providers is downloading the industry leading HIPAA policies and procedures toolkits today at hipaapoliciesandprocedures.com. Want to save thousands of dollars, then obtain our policy templates today.
5. Undertake Essential HIPAA Operational Initiatives: Performing a risk assessment. Testing one’s incident response and contingency planning, implementing organizational-wide security awareness training – these are just a few of the many “operational” initiatives required for HIPAA compliance. And much like our industry leading HIPAA policies and procedures, we also offer tools, templates, checklists – and more – for achieving full compliance with many of the required operational mandates for HIPAA.
6. Monitor Critical Third-Parties: Do you outsource essential services to other organizations that could impact – both directly and indirectly – the safety and security of PHI? If so, then putting in place comprehensive third-party monitoring practices is crucial. What types of third-parties should be in scope for such an exercise? Any organization that works with, touches, and transmits PHI for your organization.
The very best tool that can be used for monitoring third-parties is also available for instant download today as part of our professionally developed HIPAA compliance toolkits. Visit hipaapoliciesandprocedures.com to learn more.
Remember something very important; outsourcing is a rapidly expanding businesses model, which means Southern California healthcare providers need to be working hard in conducting necessary due-diligence and monitoring initiatives on such companies. You don’t need expensive software or sophisticated tools, just download our HIPAA toolkits today and you’re covered.
7. Engage in HIPAA Continuous Monitoring: As a Southern California CE or BA, have you just become – or are in the process – of becoming HIPAA compliant? Great, but the real battel begins by putting in place critical activities for staying compliant. Specifically, you’ll need to monitor your controls, make changes to them as necessary, and continuing to strive for ensuring the safety and security of PHI. It can be challenging, but with our HIPAA toolkits and templates, HIPAA continuous monitoring becomes a much more efficient and achievable task.
Southern California’s HIPAA Experts – Toolkits, Consulting, and More
You’ve got a business to run, so run it, and leave HIPAA compliance to the experts at Flat Iron Technologies, LLC. Since 2009, we’ve assisting healthcare providers all throughout Southern California by offering high-quality, cost-effective HIPAA services and solutions. Need a HIPAA scoping & readiness assessment? Go you covered. How about HIPAA policies and procedures toolkits and templates? Check the box on that also. Perhaps assistance is needed for implementing technical controls? We can assist! Ready to get moving on HIPAA compliance, then contact ¬the Southern California HIPAA professionals today