What Employers Need to Know About HIPAA

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What Employers Need to Know About HIPAA
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is concerned with the privacy protection. The law has given responsibility to the health and human service department to adopt the rules and policies to help the patients to maintain the privacy of their information. The HIPAA privacy rules applies to the covered entities ( includes health plans, health care clearing house and health care providers, it applies to the employers only to the extent where they operate in any of the said capacity) but then employers are not under the covered entities category, still they are affected by the rules applying to the entities that are covered. The HIPAA privacy rules has the details regarding the responsibility and role of covered entities, employers, patients, health care consumers, health care providers, and other related parties. Can Employer be Covered Entity? HIPAA states the rules that can protect the patient’s information from any unauthorized disclosure. Employer can deal with covered entities but may not actually be one of the covered entities. In case if the employer has a health clinic where there are employees, or provides self-insured health plan for employees, or proves to be an intermediary between employees and health care providers, then it will be in a situation where it will be handling the Public Health Information (PHI) that is protected by the HIPAA privacy rule. All organizations are required to keep protected health information with utmost safety and security especially in electronic form that is in computers, networks, email, software, and electronic transmission from disasters, electronic theft, and hackers. The employers if under HIPAA compliance needs to comply with HIPAA Privacy Regulation as from the starting point those who store or transmit protected health information electronically or manually need to follow the regulations of HIPAA, and protect the electronic data. The following are the ways in which employers can comply with HIPAA: How can employers be involved in becoming HIPAA Privacy Policies compliant? There are 3 parts to HIPAA compliance for an organization:
  1. Extending HIPAA awareness training to all employees of the organization who access the PHI. Awareness training is conducted through organizational training that helps in training the employees with online HIPAA training that they can do at their pace and schedule. It is certification course that trains and tests the ability of compliance officer.
  2. Implementing formal documents and controls for the organizations to protect PHI.
  3. Extending training of a compliance officer (someone from the organization who can take the responsibility for HIPAA compliance in the organization.
The above two can be done with compliance documentation kits. The compliance officer is implementing the required document and maintains it. Cost for the employer to become HIPAA compliant. To become HIPAA compliant there are expenses involved but then going without HIPAA compliance can be more expensive. Breach of compliance can result in tangible and intangible costs. it could result in paying to the patients for the breach of compliance and other losses like loss of business and goodwill. All the employers that come under covered entity needs to follow HIPAA Privacy Rules. The employers need to train the employees who have access to Protected Health Information need to get HIPAA Awareness training. The employee has documents, controls, procedures, and policies to protect PHI in the organization. All the employers need to have a Compliance Officer who takes the responsibility for the compliance of HIPAA in the organization. It is required that all the employees are trained in HIPAA so that they are aware of their personal responsibility under HIPAA and help the organization in protection of PHI. 2. Steps for Implementing a Successful HIPAA Compliance Plan Online HIPAA Certification, HIPAA Security Policies 3. HIPAA- WHY IS COMPLIANCE SO HARD TO ACHIEVE? HIPAA Compliance Certification,HIPAA Risk Analysis 4. Benefits of HIPAA Compliance and Certification HIPAA Compliance for product, Online HIPAA employee training
Read more about common questions regarding HIPAA

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