One of the most important pieces of guidance that HHS has put out in regards to HIPAA compliance is The Seven Fundamental Elements of an Effective Compliance Program.
Since this guidance was first released, OCR enforcement for HIPAA violations has increased significantly. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, there was a four-fold increase in total fines levied (from $6.2 million to $23.5 million).
The 7 Elements represent the minimum necessary requirements that HIPAA covered entities such as ODs, MDs, and all health care providers must have in place to address HIPAA privacy and security standards.
The 7 Elements are as follows:
- Implementing written policies, procedures, and standards of conduct.
- Designating a compliance officer and compliance committee.
- Conducting effective training and education.
- Developing effective lines of communication.
- Conducting internal monitoring and auditing.
- Enforcing standards through well-publicized disciplinary guidelines.
- Responding promptly to detected offenses and undertaking corrective action.
Each of the Seven Elements requires robust, organization-wide enforcement and documentation. Many HIPAA standards require annual review, as well.
HIPAA compliance programs are most successful when they’re integrated into the management of your practice–creating a culture of compliance within your practice is your best bet to avoid HIPAA breaches and fines!
About Compliancy Group
Compliancy Group gives behavioral health professionals confidence in their HIPAA compliance with The Guard™. The Guard is a web-based HIPAA compliance solution, built by former auditors to help simplify compliance.
Compliancy Group’s team of expert Compliance Coaches™ field questions and guide users through the implementation process, taking the stress out of managing compliance. The Guard is built to address the full extent of HIPAA regulation, including Business Associate management and Business Associate Agreements.
With The Guard, behavioral health professionals can focus on running their practice while keeping their patients’ data protected and secure.
Find out more about how Compliancy Group and the HIPAA Seal of Compliance can help simplify your HIPAA compliance today!