Tips That Will Help Your Practice Become HIPAA CompliantMed Miles LLC
Every healthcare service provider and insurance company needs to ensure HIPAA compliance.
It will help them to secure the sensitive medical information of the patient. Making your practice compliant with HIPAA will save the practice from common breaches in the system and also save them from any penalties.
These complaints are based on some set rules under the health insurance portability and accountability act. In this article we will discuss some tips which will make your practice compliant with HIPAA.
What Is HIPAA Compliant?
It refers to the health insurance portability and accountability act. This act is responsible to set a standard for the protection of the sensitive data of the patients. This act is applicable to any entity which is responsible for holding the sensitive information of the patient.
The covered entities include health care service providers and insurance service providers and anyone who has access to the sensitive information. All these entities are bound to comply with HIPAA.
What Is Protected Health Information (PHI)?
It is defined as any kind of information that is used to get the identification of the patient and this is the information that is protected under HIPAA rules and regulations.
This information includes the name of the patient, his address, social security number, contact information, medical history, and financial information.
What are Covered Entities?
Under HIPAA regulations the covered entities are one which is responsible for maintaining the PHI. These entities are usually involved in collecting, creating, transmitting and accessing sensitive information. The health care service providers, insurance companies, clearinghouses are all included in this category.
What are Business Associates?
Under HIPAA the business associate is any entity that links with PHI in anyways.
When you find out the business associate you will see that there is a wide range of business associates involved in this process because this sensitive information is transferred from one entity to another and many service providers handle and process this information.
This business associate includes lawyers, Information Technology specialists, accountants, administrators, third-party consultants, cloud service providers, and email service providers.
HIPAA Rules and Regulations
These rules and regulations were first introduced way back in 1996. The essential HIPAA rules and regulations are:
HIPAA Privacy Rules
HIPAA privacy rule is exclusively for the covered entities. These privacy rules are responsible for protecting the sensitive information of the patient.
As sensitive information is under the covered entities which are responsible for handling this PHI data. They’re also responsible for reporting the violation of HIPAA rules and regulations. The HIPAA set some privacy rules which includes:
- A patient’s right to access protected health information.
- A healthcare service provider also denied Access to protected health information.
- They’ll also advise for the proper training of their staff they are pretty much aware of the handling of the sensitive information.
- They also have to ensure written permission from the patient before using his sensitive information for any kind of purpose.
HIPAA Breach Notification Rule
Under this regulation, the covered entities and business regulations are required to notify the breach in the protected health information.
All the covered entities and business associates are bound to report any kind of breach whether it is external, internal, smaller, or larger.
This breach notification includes:
- The kind of protected health information involved in the process.
- The person who accesses the PHI whether it is authorized or unauthorized.
- A Confirmation that the sensitive information is actually acquired or not.
HIPAA Omnibus Rules
These sets of rules are designed to expand the HIPAA scope towards business associates. The Omnibus rules are introduced to cover the gaps which are ignored in the previous updates.
The Omnibus rules cover these key areas of HIPAA regulation.
- This includes the introduction of the final amendments under the requirements of health information technology for the economic and clinical health act which is a part of the American recovery and reinvestment act.
- This includes the incorporation of the penalty structure, the final rule on breach notification, and some modifications that are required by the genetic information nondiscrimination act.
- Last but not least it also includes the restriction on using the PHI for marketing incentives.
Tips To Become HIPAA Compliant
Following are some tips to make your practice HIPAA compliant.
Identifying Common Breaches
One of the first steps to becoming HIPAA compliant is to identify some of the most common breaches which are happening in the system. These common breaches include:
- Theft of those machines that are required to store the protected health information.
- Any hacking attempt.
- Transferring the protected health information to any wrong entity or any wrong Business administration.
- Disclosing sensitive information on any public platform.
By avoiding all these breaches you can make your practice fully Hipaa Compliant.
Complete Awareness about Fines and Penalties
Service providers who are responsible for the patient-sensitive data should be aware of any kind of breach which can lead to heavy fines and penalties. It should be your first priority to avoid all these penalties and fines to maintain your financial cycle.
To effectively manage it, you have to be aware of all the existing violations that lead to heavy fines. These violations include Tier 1,2,3,4. Having a complete awareness of this will make your practice fully compliant with HIPAA.
Fulfill Transaction Standards
The majority of the health service providers handled the protected health information on a daily basis. The health care service provider has the intention to get the claim from the insurance providers.
To protect that sensitive data HIPAA sets some transaction standards which include the eligibility, premium claim payments claims and encounter information, claim status, and advice in maintaining the remittances and payment method, full coordination of benefits, and a secure authorization and referral process.
Keep Yourself Updated
After fulfilling all the safety rules and maintaining all the standard procedures. You must update yourself on a daily basis about the new developments of HIPAA.
In order to keep yourself fully compliant with the latest regulations, your practice needs to work with your compliance partner to ensure the fulfillment of all the requirements.
Med-Miles can help you to keep your practice updated about all the latest regulations. We are serving the healthcare industry in managing their revenue cycle management for more than 8 years. Call us at (888) 598-9181 to get more information.