HIPAA which stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a federal law made in 1996 which ensures to protect the sensitive information of the patient from being disclosed without the patient’s consent. In other words, this law mainly focuses on how healthcare and healthcare insurance industries maintain their patient’s information and protect them from theft and fraud.

HIPAA compliance tips

In the recent times, there have been several reports of data breach caused by cyber attackers on the servers of health insurance companies and providers. When the personal information of the general public is compromised, it increases the risk of frauds. This is when HIPAA law comes into action. All healthcare related industries needs to follow up with the guidelines of HIPAA.

This is going to be our topic for this article. There are several HIPAA compliance tips which can help prevent data breaches and add an extra security layer to protect the personal information of the patients from unauthorised access. This tutorial will help you understand HIPAA guidelines better not only to protect client data but also to avoid potentially devastating fines. Below we have listed 5 simple HIPAA compliance tips -

1. Review HIPAA guidelines


Any organisation or corporation that handles personal health records (PHRs) needs to comply with HIPAA guidelines. This also includes healthcare providers such as doctors, clinics, nursing homes, and pharmacies apart from the healthcare plan providers like insurance companies. In order to compliance with HIPAA guidelines, first you need to have good knowledge on what these guidelines are and how you need to implement them exactly. You can also take HIPAA training online to learn more about HIPAA Complianace. There are basically 5 important requirements -
  1. National Provider Identifier Standard - National Provider Identifier number (also known as NPI) is a 10 digit number which uniquely identifies every healthcare entity.
  2. Transactions and Code Sets Standard - To submit and process insurance claims, you need to follow a standardized mechanism for electronic data interchange (EDI).
  3. HIPAA Privacy Rule - As the name suggests, this rule set standards for protecting patient health information.
  4. HIPAA Security Rule - This rule cover the patient data security.
  5. HIPAA Enforcement Rule - This rule manages how to investigate HIPAA compliance violations.

2. Regularly evaluate compliance


You need a regular evaluation in order to compliance with HIPAA guidelines. It’s not something that you did once and then forget. Regular evaluation includes reviewing updates in HIPAA guidelines, reviewing key vendors interaction with PHI (short for Protected Health Information), performing gap analysis to identify areas of concern, performing ongoing monitoring and audits, and much more. You can do these inspections one in a while to ensure that everything is fine.

3. Build and execute a plan to address security gaps


Nothing is 100% secure. The personal information has always been a target for cyber attackers. They really did a lot of hard work to find loopholes in the system and hack into the data. Before something wrong happens, you should be well prepared for it beforehand. Addressing the security gaps in your system is one of the most important things you need to do. Just build and execute a proper plan to test your system security.

4. Establish data breach incident response protocols


Protect data breaches - HIPAA

If you have implemented every security measures and still your data got breached somehow, you need to develop an instant response protocols to deal with the situation. This includes stopping additional data lose and identifying the security gap that allowed the foreign entity to access the data and then fixing it as soon as possible. You can consult with legal counsel and experts for helping you out fix the issue quickly. Also, make sure to notify law enforcement, individuals and other affected businesses about the data breach.

5. Ask experts for their assistance


You might not be an expert in this field but you can always ask experts for their assistance to help you compliance with HIPAA guidelines. HIPAA experts are individuals and firms who provide expert consulting services. They can do your inspection to look for potential security risks. Apart from that, they can also serve as an expert witness in court cases to tell that you have complied with HIPAA law and regulations. So basically, all your headache will be gone when you hand over the control to experts.
So these are some useful HIPAA compliance tips you should consider to comply with HIPAA guidelines. At the end, you main concern should be to protect the personal information from getting leaked. This can be achieved by make your security stronger and doing regular inspections. Even if there is a data breach, you should be well prepared to tackle it properly. We hope you find our tips helpful. Do you have some other tips that you want to share with us? Let us know if you have any questions in your mind.