Choosing the Right HIPAA Solution

There are plenty of HIPAA solutions to choose from, however, many of them address bits and pieces of the HIPAA regulations, ignoring some of the most critical aspects of compliance. Choosing the right HIPAA solution can mean all the difference in the effectiveness of your HIPAA compliance program. To provide healthcare organizations with guidance on how to choose the right HIPAA solution, what you should look for when choosing a HIPAA provider is discussed.

What is an Effective Compliance Program?

In 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance on the components of an effective compliance program, known as the “Seven Elements of an Effective Compliance Program.”

These elements are as follows:

  1. Implementing written policies, procedures, and standards of conduct.
  2. Designating a compliance officer and compliance committee.
  3. Conducting effective training and education.
  4. Developing effective lines of communication.
  5. Conducting internal monitoring and auditing.
  6. Enforcing standards through well-publicized disciplinary guidelines.
  7. Responding promptly to detected offenses and undertaking corrective action.

What Does a Total HIPAA Solution Consist Of?

The HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) looks for certain things when assessing an organization’s compliance with HIPAA. This can be done in randomized audits, or as the result of a patient or employee complaint issued against an organization.

So that your organization is protected against HIPAA fines and sanctions, you will need to be able to demonstrate your “good faith” effort to comply with the law. This is why using a total HIPAA solution, such as a software that documents and stores your HIPAA compliance materials in one place, is so important. 

No one wants to have to scramble to pull together documents last minute when a HIPAA audit comes their way; they want to be prepared so that in the case of an audit, they can simply pull up their records from an easy to access software.

When looking for a total HIPAA solution, you should look for the following features:

Total HIPAA Solution

  1. Self-audits

  2. Gap identification and remediation

  3. HIPAA policies and procedures

  4. Employee training

  5. Business associate management

  6. Incident response

1. Self-audits

As one of the elements of an effective compliance program lists “conducting internal monitoring and auditing,” it is important to make sure that the HIPAA solution that you choose includes the required self-audits. This is NOT just a security risk analysis, although that is a very important audit, you are required to conduct:

  • six self-audits annually, as a covered entity (Security Risk Analysis, Security Standards, HITECH Subtitle D, Asset and Device, Physical Site, and Privacy Assessment), or;
  • five self-audits, as a business associate (privacy assessment not required).

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