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Healthcare providers and insurers may sigh in relief at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights’ delays in HIPAA audits, but recent data breaches and cybersecurity attacks suggest that they should not wait in performing HIPAA security risk assessments and reevaluating security reinforcements.
HIPAA establishes the standard for protecting sensitive patient data, and its flexible design enables healthcare entities to establish their own policies and procedures that work best for their own operations and the protection of their facilities’ private health information (PHI). Without completing a HIPAA risk assessment and understanding your organization’s vulnerabilities, however, it’s nearly impossible to properly create and implement HIPAA policies and procedures, much less safeguard private and personal patient information.
What steps should healthcare organizations take to undergo a HIPAA risk assessment and prepare for an audit?
Most importantly, recognize that risk analysis should be an ongoing process. As technology and healthcare regulations evolve, so do potential security risks and non-compliance issues, so it’s critical to continually evaluate and update your organization’s processes and protections to lessen the threats of security breaches and non-compliance.
Looking for more guidance on preparing for your HIPAA audit by building a stronger healthcare compliance program? Download our FREE eBook: 7 Elements of an Effective Healthcare Compliance Program.
After investing time and resources creating these policies, make sure employees read, understand and apply them to their daily job responsibilities! How? Read the Guide on How to Ensure Employee Accountability & Compliance through Effective Policy Management.
Protect intellectual property, manage grants, preserve student privacy, and outline ethical procedures.
Establish procurement policies, outline employee safety procedures, specify quality control of products, and satisfy changing regulatory guidelines.
Adhere to HIPAA, HITECH, ICD 9, ICD 10, and FDR CFR regulations, safeguard patient information, and manage healthcare compliance processes.
Comply with SEC, FDIC, FINRA, OCC, CFTC, and Federal Reserve regulations, achiever greater transparency, and manage external scrutiny.
Improve organizational transparency, underwrite policies and procedures, mitigate risk centers, and reduce volatility.
Avoid heavy penalties from local, regional, state and federal regulators, manage potential risks, and enhance employee safety and training retention.
Abide by FAA, DOT, FMCSA, FRA and FTA regulations, educate drivers and third-party vendors on guidelines, and streamline overall compliance.