Independent medical clinics working in the healthcare arena need to be HIPAA compliant. Specifically, the HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requires not only health care providers but all covered entities, business associates, managed service providers, and software companies to follow HIPAA guidelines. Guidelines include completing a security risk assessment (SRA) which identifies gaps in your organization’s HIPAA safeguards. To be HIPAA compliant, you must first identify and create a plan to address your clinic’s deficiencies. Remediation efforts must be documented with timelines for completion.
Some clinics may not prioritize HIPAA compliance over other pressing clinic matters. Unfortunately, the focus may shift to compliance due to a breach; however, it is too late at that point. Data breach incidents can also result in audits and liability. If your clinic does not have a policy or plan in place, you will be at even greater risk.
HIPAA policies and procedures are an essential part of any effective compliance program. HIPAA requires businesses to tailor their policies and procedures to apply directly to how their business operates. Understanding HIPAA law can be overwhelming and complex. Using HIPAA software not only makes it easier but may also be the only realistic way to truly remain compliant for a mid-size independent practice. HIPAA compliance products deliver a plain language process that is easily understandable with various stages to full implementation. When completed, you will be confident that you have everything in place to meet and exceed the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules.
More importantly, HIPAA software provides your new and existing clinical employees with training and accountability for HIPAA mandates. Each staff can be quickly managed and tracked in one location, and reports can be produced that show where your training gaps are. This includes training as well as employee attestations.
Business associate vendors are another area that may seem overwhelming; however, using software to produce clean and consistent documents to gather signatures on business associate agreements makes the process manageable. Moreover, if a vendor does not respond to your compliance requests, you have the response, or lack thereof, fully documented. Any vendor with access to protected health information (PHI) must sign a business associate agreement (BAA). Vendors for electronic health record platforms, email services, appointment schedulers, teleconferencing, and cloud storage are all examples of clinic technology requiring a BAA. Even your cleaning company needs to sign a BAA since they may be exposed to PHI.
Outsource Receivables uses the Compliancy Group to manage HIPAA compliance for offices, employees, clients, and vendors. ORI can work with your group to get your compliance on track and your medical billing services.
With the Seal of Compliance, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you’ve satisfied the full extent of the federal regulation. Display the Seal on your website, your email signature, and your physical location(s) to illustrate your commitment to HIPAA privacy and security.