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According to the HIPAA requirements, business associates and covered entities (healthcare providers, healthcare clearinghouses, and health plans) must implement required security measures. These security measures must safeguard the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of ePHI (e-protected health information). The ePHI is the protected health data providers create, store, transmit, or receive in electronic format. The primary step to recognizing and applying these safety measures is to perform a HIPAA security risk analysis.

Security risk analysis involves conducting a thorough and accurate analysis of vulnerabilities and possible risks to the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of ePHI.

HIPAA Security Risk Analysis Scope

The HHS (Department of Health & Human Services) has some clear guidelines about HIPAA security risk analysis scope. It includes involves vulnerabilities and potential risks to the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of all e-protected health information that organizations create, receive, maintain, and transmit. It involves e-protected health information in all electronic media forms.

Different type of e-media includes DVDs and CDs, hard drives, personal digital (PD) assistants, portable e-storage devices, and smart cards. The term “e-media” has a broad definition, from including single workstations to large complicated networks linked with various locations.

It is essential to consider all ePHI during risk analysis, irrespective of what medium was used to create, receive, maintain, or transmit, and irrespective of its location or source. There are 6 elements of security risk analysis that are as follows:

  • Data collection
  • Identifying & documenting possible vulnerabilities and threats
  • Assessing current measures of security
  • Determining the probability of threat existence
  • Defining the potential threat occurrence impact
  • Determining the risk level

Covered business associates and entities can address risk analysis by hiring a reliable medical billing company to address HIPAA security risk standards. Without completing risk analysis, healthcare providers cannot become HIPAA-compliant.

You May Also Read: Relaxation in HIPAA Security and Privacy Guidelines for Providers

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