HIPAA Certification? No Such Thing

When looking for a HIPAA compliance program many healthcare organizations look for HIPAA certification. There are companies claiming that they offer a HIPAA certification, however, there is no such thing. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) does not provide or recognize HIPAA certification, they do however look at whether or not an organization has made a “good faith effort” towards HIPAA compliance. 

Although there is no HIPAA certification, there are widely recognized HIPAA verification tools that validate that an organizations has all of the necessary documentation in place to prove that they have made every effort to be HIPAA compliant. Compliancy Group’s Seal of ComplianceTM does just that!

The best HIPAA certification an organization can have is an effective compliance program. Compliancy Group is the leading HIPAA compliance program, endorsed by more than 40 medical associations. Although an effective compliance program isn’t necessarily a HIPAA certification, when an organization has everything required by HIPAA law in place, it is the next best thing. 

HIPAA Compliance Program 

An effective HIPAA compliance program, although not a HIPAA certification, limits the liability for organizations in the event of a healthcare breach, and subsequent HIPAA audit. Healthcare breaches are inevitable, however the HHS expects organizations handling protected health information (PHI) to have safeguards in place to limit the risk of PHI exposure. Organizations that fail to have adequate safeguards protecting PHI are subject to fines and remediation efforts. 

An effective compliance program includes:

  • Six mandatory self-audits (5 for business associates)
  • Gap identification and remediation plans
  • Policies, procedures, and employee training
  • Employee attestation and tracking
  • Business associate management
  • Incident management and breach notification

It is easy to implement a HIPAA compliance program with Compliancy Group’s cloud-based HIPAA compliance software The GuardTM. The Guard’s HIPAA compliance software platform stores all of the documents an organization needs to prove their “good faith effort” towards HIPAA compliance. Compliance CoachesTM meet with clients virtually to walk them through their personalized HIPAA compliance program. 

Compliance Coaches guide clients through the mandatory self-audits, once the audits are completed, The Guard identifies gaps in safeguards. With the identified gaps, custom remediation plans are developed, closing the gaps identified by the audits. The next step is to create policies and procedures specific to each organization. Policies and procedures must directly relate to current business practices to be considered HIPAA compliant. 

When policies and procedures have been created, Compliance Coaches instruct clients on how to add users to the platform. All employees of an organization will be added to The Guard with unique login credentials. This allows employees to complete their training on HIPAA requirements and an organization’s policies and procedures. Throughout the training, employees legally attest that they have read and understood all of the training material. Organizations can track an employee’s individual progress, ensuring that all employees are properly trained and understand how to handle PHI. 

Compliancy Group facilitates business associate management as it allows organizations to vet their vendors and has business associate agreements (BAAs) built in to The Guard. Clients are able to send all of their business associates vendor questionnaires and BAAs from The Guard, enabling them to conduct their technical due diligence, a requirement under HIPAA. 

Lastly, The Guard also enables incident management and breach notification. HIPAA law mandates that employees have a way to anonymously report breaches, a feature of the Guard. In the event of a healthcare breach, The Guard has all of the documentation required to prove an organization’s “good faith effort” towards HIPAA compliance stored in the cloud-based platform.

HIPAA Audit Support

Organizations that have an effective HIPAA compliance program will have limited remediation efforts to implement when a healthcare breach occurs. This will reduce the costs associated with a healthcare breach. As part of its HIPAA compliance program, clients are provided with full audit support. Clients audited by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will be provided with full supporting documentation that proves that they have implemented a HIPAA compliance program and have made their “good faith effort” to follow all that is required by law.

Compliancy Group has an excellent track record when it comes to HIPAA audits. Compliancy Group has never failed a HIPAA audit on behalf of their clients. Working with Compliancy Group allows clients to confidently focus on their business while their HIPAA compliance is handled by Compliancy Group’s team of HIPAA experts. The next best thing to a HIPAA certification is peace of mind that Compliancy Group has its’ clients covered if they are audited. 

HIPAA Verification NOT HIPAA Certification

HIPAA Certification

Compliancy Group’s Seal of Compliance is available to clients that have completed the six stage implementation process successfully. The Seal of Compliance is a great differentiator as it verifies that the organization has made every effort to implement all that is required by HIPAA standards to protect PHI. The Seal is available in three forms, a clickable Seal for a client’s website, a clickable Seal for their email signature line, and a physical sticker to put in their window. 

The clickable Seal redirects to the Compliancy Group website, where an organization’s “good faith effort” towards HIPAA compliance is verified and validated, again this is NOT a HIPAA certification. 

Similarly, many companies offer HIPAA insurance which is supposed to cover organization’s that are victims of a healthcare breach. However this is misleading, insurance only covers a fraction of the costs associated with a breach, and they are contingent on organizations being HIPAA compliant. Implementing a complete HIPAA compliance program is the only way to effectively manage HIPAA compliance. HIPAA compliance is an ongoing process that must be reviewed and continually updated to ensure that PHI is protected. The Guard tracks an organization’s progress in their compliance program, and Compliance Coaches remind users when it is time to review their HIPAA compliance program. With Compliancy Group, clients can leave their HIPAA compliance to the experts and get back to what they do best.