If you have a business in which you provide healthcare or healthcare data, you have surely heard, or have been familiar, with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. In case you want to be part of their services, this article we will offer you some basic guidelines to start immediately.

It is important that you know precisely the responsibilities and aspects of HIPPA, based on the responsible use of technology and progress in your favor. There are constant controls, promoting such use of technology as an unquestionable value. In addition, The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for HIPAA administration, and they publish a great resource called “HIPAA for Professionals”.

It is extremely important, knowing how to identify your position, before applying. It could be a Health Insurance, a Health Plan, or a business association. For each case, we bring specific examples with which you can guide.

The Covered entities:  Health Care Providers that can include such as a dentist, pharmacy, or other medical practice. Health Plans and Health Care Clearinghouses, this is an entity that processes health information from one format to another, such as a transcriptionist who performs data entry of a doctor’s notes or a company processing paper records into an electronic format. In case you are a Business Associate, they have as a requirement that you sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA). These type of agreements are legally binding and should be considered a serious contract, it obligates you to meet some or all of the mandates of HIPAA as a business partner. As a Business Associate, you’ll be required to engage in a risk assessment and implement the needed access control as specified by the covered entity you’re doing business with.

HIPPA has very precise safety rules. It is necessary to know these regulations in detail to be part of the system. Below, we will cite these Rules:

  • HIPAA Security Rule, which provides requirements for security, confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (EPHI). Under the HIPAA security rule, security measures include technical safeguards and physical safeguards. 
  • HIPAA Privacy Rule, which provides requirements for preventing unauthorized disclosure of electronic health information.
  • HIPAA Breach Notification Rule, which requires that you provide notification in the event of a data breach. You’ll most likely need a process and capability to notify the subjects in the event of any security incidents (the individuals whose data was subject of theft), as well as HHS. 

Realted topic: Find more information about these Rules and HIPAA compliance 

As technology continues to become a part of health care, there are always going to be new potential places for a breach to occur. But by keeping in mind HIPAA rules, all organizations can be sure: they are doing their best in protecting PHI.

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