Medical office discussing HIPAA regulations

Does Your Medical Office Need a HIPAA Assessment?

HIPAA regulations require healthcare organizations to meet certain security standards when handling patient data and any confidential information. Every healthcare organization needs to be in accordance with HIPAA, but businesses may not have the internal resources to put these strict standards in place. If you’re not sure whether your business meets the requirements, a professional assessment can help. This will help identify any weak spots in security and minimize risk.

Any healthcare or insurance business will need a HIPAA assessment to protect themselves and their clients from security leaks.

What is HIPAA, and why is it important? 

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It was put in place to ensure that healthcare organizations dealt with private and sensitive data in a secure manner. All businesses in the healthcare industry must follow HIPAA compliance including but not limited to hospitals, pharmacies, lawyers, billing companies, and shredding companies that deal with patient data. 

HIPAA regulations require businesses that handle protected health information (PHI) to have physical, network, and process security measures in place and follow them according to HIPAA compliance.

HIPAA states what safeguards need to be in place to ensure appropriate protection of PHI. These include ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of PHI and identifying and anticipating any possible threat to security. All workers must be compliant with these rules and follow security measures in accordance with HIPAA compliance.

HIPAA compliance is important because it ensures the implementation of multiple safeguards to protect sensitive PHI. It is necessary for all healthcare providers, health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and business associates of HIPAA covered entities. As well as protecting the privacy of patients and keeping health information secure, it also improves efficiency in the healthcare industry and improves the portability of health insurance.

What are the consequences of not being HIPAA compliant?

If your medical office is not HIPAA compliant then there could be serious consequences. The penalty is a $50,000 fine which can increase to a maximum of $250,000. Additionally, you might be liable for the loss of patient data which could mean you paying restitution to those involved. In extreme cases, jail sentences can be enforced for intentional infractions.

The consequences aren’t only legal. If your business isn’t HIPAA compliant, you could be more at risk of a security breach, causing your patients’ private information to become compromised. The recommended thing to do is have a regular HIPAA assessment in order to ensure your business meets the required security standards.

How can regular HIPAA assessments mitigate risks?

All businesses dealing with the healthcare industry and HPI need regular HIPAA assessments. If it’s been over a year since you’ve had an assessment or if you’ve recently moved locations, implemented new processes, or expanded, you should get a HIPAA assessment. 

A HIPAA assessment will identify any ways in which you are non-compliant and allow you to make any necessary changes. An experienced IT company in Muncie can help you audit and update your systems to ensure they’re in accordance with HIPAA compliance. This way, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your business is operating legally and protecting your patients’ personal information.