HIPAA Tips: How to Create an
Effective Compliance Program
When it comes to HIPAA compliance, it can be hard to know where to begin. That’s why the HIPAA experts here at Compliancy Group have put together this list of simple HIPAA tips! These are some basic standards you can start implementing within your business today to start addressing some of your mandatory HIPAA requirements!
Follow these quick and easy HIPAA tips to get a start on your HIPAA compliance program to protect your business from data breaches and government fines.
HIPAA 101: The Basics
We’ll get into the real HIPAA tips below, but first, understanding HIPAA regulation can help you get a sense for how to best apply these HIPAA tips in your business.
HIPAA sets national privacy and security standards for safeguarding protected health information (PHI). PHI is any demographic information that can be used to identify a patient. Common examples of PHI include a patient’s name, email address, phone number, home address, financial information, insurance ID number, Social Security number, and any part of a medical record, to name a few. PHI stored in an electronic format is known as ePHI, and must be protected in the same manner.
So when you’re implementing these HIPAA tips, keep in mind that the goal is ALWAYS to keep PHI safe and secure!
Get Started With These HIPAA Tips!
Below, we’ve listed the six things that you can implement to start creating an effective HIPAA compliance program in your business. These are just a loose set of criteria, but they make up the bulk of what HIPAA regulation requires for your business to become compliant.
Check out these HIPAA tips from the HIPAA experts at Compliancy Group!
- Self-Audits – An effective HIPAA compliance program requires that your business can audit the current processes you have in place against the requirements of the HIPAA Rules. This will give you a good understanding of the deficiencies that you must address to safeguard ePHI. This is the first step in creating an effective compliance program.
- Remediation Plans – In order to help prevent HIPAA violations, your HIPAA compliance program must allow you the ability to build remediation plans to fix any areas of the law that you aren’t currently addressing in your business.
- Policies, Procedures, Employee Training – HIPAA policies and procedures are the backbone of your HIPAA compliance program. These must be updated annually to account for changes to your business. Your HIPAA compliance program should allow you to craft and review them as needed. Additionally, all staff members must receive HIPAA training each year on these policies and procedures, in addition to HIPAA 101 training.
- Documentation – Documenting the progress of your compliance program is one of the most important elements of your HIPAA compliance. Documentation of all your compliance efforts must be retained for 6 years from the date it was created or last effective, as per federal regulation.
- Business Associate Management – HIPAA compliance requires that you manage vendors with whom you share ePHI. These are called business associates under HIPAA. Common examples of business associates include: practice management firms, IT providers, printing companies, EHR platforms, shredding services, physical or cloud storage providers, and accountants, to name a few. Your HIPAA compliance program must include Business Associate Agreements that are executed before any PHI is shared with business associates.
- Incident Management – Even if your business has an effective HIPAA compliance program, you can still experience a data breach. However, being HIPAA compliant can potentially protect your business from liability in the event of a data breach. If your business does experience a data breach, you must be able to track and report data breaches to HHS when they occur.
Work with the HIPAA experts at Compliancy Group to get your questions answered
by our team of dedicated coaches. We take the time to walk you through
the HIPAA compliance process to give you and your business peace of mind.
Find out more about Compliancy Group today!