Managing Your Risk with HIPAA

HIPAA Can Help Manage Risk

There is a lot to unpack with HIPAA law. It may seem more work than it's worth, but unfortunately, it must be addressed. HIPAA isn’t all bad. Did you know HIPAA can help you manage your risk in several ways?

  1. HIPAA Security Risk Assessments limit the likelihood of hacking incidents
  2. Policies and procedures limit the risk of improper use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI)
  3. Business associate agreements limit liability when your client violates HIPAA
  4. Implementing a HIPAA compliance program reduces the risk of fines

HIPAA Security Risk Assessments and Hacking

HIPAA Security Risk Assessments (SRAs) are essential to improving cybersecurity practices. While SRAs are an annual HIPAA requirement, there are other reasons to conduct yours.

The purpose of a risk assessment is to measure your current security practices against HIPAA standards. Once completed, deficiencies in your security are identified, enabling you to use this information to improve your security.

Policies and Procedures and Use and Disclosure of PHI

Policies and procedures provide guidelines for properly using and disclosing protected health information. A significant number of healthcare breaches occur because healthcare workers are unaware of how PHI should be shared. By clearly outlining how your business uses and discloses PHI, and having policies and procedures to limit PHI access, the likelihood of “insider breaches” reduces dramatically.

Business Associate Agreements and HIPAA Violations

Business associate agreements (BAAs) are an integral part of HIPAA. You must have signed BAAs with each of your healthcare clients. A BAA is a legal contract that states that each signing party is HIPAA compliant, and will maintain their compliance. Should your client be breached, a BAA also limits your liability.

HIPAA Compliance Program and Fines

Implementing an effective HIPAA compliance program is the best way to manage your risk. Your HIPAA compliance program should include security risk assessments, remediation, policies and procedures, and business associate agreements. Your program should also include employee training and incident management.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigates healthcare organizations’ HIPAA compliance. These investigations usually occurs the result of a breach or patient complaint. When the OCR finds an organization’s compliance program lacking, the organization may be subject to costly fines.

To protect your business from fines, you must ensure that you meet each of HIPAA’s requirements.

Contributed by Compliancy Group

Need assistance with HIPAA compliance? Compliancy Group gives healthcare business consultants confidence in their compliance plan, increasing client loyalty and profitability of their business, while reducing risk. Their simplified software helps businesses achieve HIPAA compliance with ease. Get compliant today!

Additional Healthcare Compliance Resources

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