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Technology is making a huge impact on our lives. All industrial sectors are adopting methods for making business more efficient and faster. The healthcare industry is one of those sectors that are experiencing exceptional growth with modern advancements. Hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, and doctors are making their jobs faster and easier by adopting paperless solutions. Questionnaires, payment systems, and many other clinical and administrative systems have moved to digital devices. It helps healthcare professionals pay more attention to their patients. Before the OCR and HHS instituted the HIPAA, there were no universally accepted security and privacy standards set to protect patient information. In this guide, we will help you understand what HIPAA compliance is and who needs it.

What is HIPAA Compliance?

HIPAA is the initiative that designs protocols and standards that govern the storage and handling of patient data. Every organization managing PHI (protected-health-information) must put up with a strict set of security measures and rules to make sure that they stay HIPAA compliant. If they are not HIPAA compliant, they will have to pay penalties.

Covered entities and associates must follow the HIPAA compliance process for protecting and securing PHI according to the Health-Insurance-Portability-and-Accountability Act.

PHI (Protected-Health-Information): The PHI is my/your/everyone’s healthcare data. HIPAA is there to make sure that the PHI content stays protected and private.

Covered Entities: Individuals in the healthcare field who have access to and are using PHI are known as covered entities. They are insurance companies, nurses, and doctors.

Business Associates: They are individuals working with covered entities in non-healthcare capacities. Moreover, they are also liable to maintain HIPAA compliance. Business associates can be administrators, IT personnel, accountants, and lawyers who are working in a healthcare organization and have PHI access.

Who Requires HIPAA Compliance?

According to HIPAA regulation, the following organization types need to be HIPAA compliant.

Covered Entities

According to the HIPAA regulation, covered entities are organizations that create, collect, and transmit Protected-Health-Information electronically. Covered entities, such as healthcare providers, health insurance companies, and healthcare clearinghouses must be HIPAA compliant.

Business Associates

We already discussed in this article who are business associates. They are organizations encountering Protected-Health-Information for covered entities as per their agreement. Billing companies, HER platforms, third-party consultants, faxing companies, IT providers, attorneys, MSPs, etc. must be HIPAA compliant.

Requirements to Be HIPAA Compliant

HIPAA regulation defines some national standards. All business associates and covered entities must address those standards. These national standards include self-audits, remediation plans, documentation, incident management, business associates management, procedures, employee, policies management.

Final Words

Healthcare providers and entities that deal with Protected-Health-Information have moved to electronic operations. Such operations include CPOE, HER, laboratory systems, pharmacy, and radiology systems. Such electronic methods boost mobility and efficiency, but they also increase security risks when it comes to healthcare data. Because of that, HIPAA compliance has become more critical than ever before. Therefore, all healthcare entities and also business associates that work with PHI must be compliant with HIPAA regulations.

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