The most important strategy to staying HIPAA compliant involves creating a routine HIPAA compliance program. This program will analyze potential risks and identify key areas of need. Since HIPPA laws can change, it is important to routinely pull out your compliance program and ensure that your office complies. There are three main components that your program should have, which includes risk assessment, policies and procedures, and business associate agreements.
Policies and Procedures
The policies and procedures involve reviewing your written employee rules and training processes to ensure that they cover all current HIPAA compliance rules. As laws change, you may need to adjust your policies and procedures for the staff at your office.
The risk assessment is a way to identify all sources that patient information is available to, such as tablets, mobile phones, fax machines, networks, email addresses, phone numbers, and more. This helps you identify potential privacy leaks that could occur and ensure that all sources that hold private information are properly secured or controlled. For example, a mobile phone with patient data could get lost and provide access to someone who is unauthorized to view the information. Another prime example would be network loopholes that allow a hacker to access private patient data. Aside from that, a particular program or application could be allowing the wrong people to access private patient medical information. Basically, the list could go on and on, but this provides some insight.
Business Associate Reviewing
The business associate agreements ensure that your third-party associations are aware of your office’s policies and procedures, as well as their responsibilities to comply with HIPAA. If private information is leaked by the party in relation to you, you may be responsible if you don’t provide them the important information related to your practice. They may also face penalties, but you need to protect your profession too. HMBD Insurance Services follow all HIPAA rules and regulations to protect us and you, but you will still want to review your other third party affiliations that must adhere to HIPAA regulations.