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What Is The Significance Of HIPAA Compliance

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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that was passed in 1996 to protect sensitive patient health information. HIPAA sets national standards for healthcare providers, health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and their business associates for the secure handling of Protected Health Information (PHI).

INTERCERT plays a vital role in helping healthcare organizations achieve HIPAA compliance. HIPAA Compliance demonstrates to patients that an organization is committed to properly safeguarding their medical records and other PHI. There are several key reasons why pursuing HIPAA compliance is significant for healthcare entities.

  • Ensures Security of Patient Information

One of the main goals of HIPAA is to ensure the privacy and security of patient health records and information. By obtaining HIPAA compliance, healthcare organizations showcase that they have implemented safeguards for patient data as required by the law. Some of these safeguards include risk analysis, employee training, access controls, encryption of data, accountability procedures and more. HIPAA compliance gives patients confidence that their most sensitive medical information will be properly protected.

  • Builds Patient Trust

In today’s digital age, patients are understandably concerned about the privacy of their health data. Data breaches at healthcare organizations continue to make headlines. HIPAA compliance indicates to patients that a healthcare provider or hospital is committed to the responsible management of PHI. Compliance helps build patient trust and shows that safeguarding their information is a top priority. This is key for organizations that want to attract and retain patients.

  • Demonstrates Security Posture

Obtaining HIPAA compliance involves a thorough evaluation of an organization’s systems, controls and processes for managing PHI. Gaps in compliance must be remediated. INTERCERT conducts this independent assessment to determine if certification can be issued. Successfully attaining HIPAA Compliance demonstrates to patients, partners, regulators and the healthcare community that an organization has a strong security posture for protecting sensitive patient data.

  • Provides Competitive Advantage

In a healthcare landscape focused on privacy, achieving HIPAA Compliance can give organizations a competitive edge. It shows customers that they are leaders when it comes to data security and compliance. Healthcare providers and business associates that promote their HIPAA compliant status can differentiate their services in the marketplace. They demonstrate that security and compliance are ingrained in their operations.

  • Meets Business Associate Requirements

Under HIPAA, covered entities must ensure their business associates comply with HIPAA requirements for handling PHI. Business associates provide services that involve accessing or transmitting Protected Health Information. With HIPAA Compliance, business associates can readily prove to covered entity clients that they meet compliance standards. This facilitates the business associate agreement process.

  • Supports Federal & State Regulations

In addition to federal HIPAA rules, organizations must comply with any state laws that provide additional protection for healthcare information. These may include breach notification timelines, patient right to access records, consent requirements and disposal methods for records. HIPAA Compliance shows auditors and regulators that healthcare organizations have the proper controls in place for state and federal requirements.

  • Promotes Continuous Compliance

HIPAA regulations evolve, and technology changes. Getting HIPAA compliant is not a one-time activity. Ongoing vigilance is required. INTERCERT conducts robust audits to ensure all compliance areas are appropriately addressed for compliance. This process identifies potential gaps so corrective actions can be implemented. Periodic re-assessments help to promote continuous compliance over time.

  • Reduces Risk of Data Breaches

A key reason to obtain HIPAA compliance is to reduce the risk of patient data breaches, which can result in substantial costs and reputational damage. The rigorous auditing and testing conducted during the compliance process identifies security gaps and vulnerabilities that could lead to breaches. By remediating these issues, organizations significantly improve their HIPAA security posture and lower their risk. Compliance  demonstrates the organization has taken proactive steps to find and fix compliance gaps before they are exploited by threat actors.

  • Provides Staff HIPAA Training

A core element of HIPAA is training employees to properly handle PHI in their daily workflows. INTERCERT has deep expertise that is leveraged to provide customized on-site and remote staff training programs. This training facilitates HIPAA compliance while ingraining a culture focused on the protection of patient privacy.

In summary, HIPAA compliance has become an essential milestone for healthcare entities serious about data security. Leveraging INTERCERT for HIPAA compliance assessment demonstrates an organization’s commitment to responsible stewardship of sensitive patient information. Compliance provides a competitive edge by building patient trust and confidence. With rigorous audits and ongoing compliance support, INTERCERT enables healthcare providers, health plans and business associates to meet evolving HIPAA requirements.

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