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What Are HIPAA Compliance And How Can I Ensure Compliance?

Before discussing the technical elements of a hippa compliant website design, it’s best to first answer the original question: What is HIPAA? HIPAA is an acronym for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of HIPAA. It was formally introduced by U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, and was designed to protect patient’s privacy and provide employers with legal authority to discriminate when it comes to their employees’ health. Proponents argue that the Act aims to prevent unnecessary identity theft by ensuring quality patient care, while critics decry the Act as an invasion of privacy by those who wish to medically disadvantaged clients. Proponents also claim that the Act aims to promote affordable health care by requiring most insurance companies to offer at least some coverage for elective medical procedures.

HIPAA regulations and guidelines

When it comes to HIPAA regulations and guidelines, they can appear overwhelming. The Guidelines, of course, are the ones that detail what employers and healthcare organizations must do to be HIPAA compliant, but they can still be quite confusing. For example, the state, “A covered entity must take measures to ensure that the personal information of its employees is protected against unauthorized use.” The word “unauthorized” links to one of the most controversial aspects of HIPAA regulations and guidelines: HIPAA fines. If an employer does not comply with the guidelines, it may be subject to fines, which increase with each new violation.

Information Technology Management

For small business owners and self-employed professionals, one of the essential pieces of information is the Information Technology Management Improvement Program or ITIMP. The ITIMP explains the various components of HIPAA, the system that the Guidelines were developed to help enforce throughout the U.S medical industry. For businesses that do not yet have a HIPAA plan in place, they are required to begin one as soon as possible. Failure to comply with the guidelines could result in fines but failing to comply with the regulations themselves could lead to a penalty. Fines are generally not incurred for each violation of HIPAA’s minimum payment requirements, but only when an organization fails to create a formal plan in response to the regulations.

The importance of creating plans and then follow the guidelines

Most businesses will first learn about the importance of creating their plans and then follow the guidelines. Unfortunately, many small business owners and self-employed professionals do not know enough about HIPAA to know what level of protection they need. If this happens, the organization could find itself subject to fines and penalties, which could spiral out of control. If the organization does not take action to remedy its HIPAA issues before they become serious problems, they will find themselves in a worse situation than when they started.

HIPAA fines and penalties

HIPAA fines and penalties do not come into place because of negligence. If an employee breaks the law and therefore faces jail time, there may also be penalties. These fines and penalties can be high, so it is always essential to act promptly to avoid further HIPAA violations. Even if someone breaks HIPAA rules once, violating them multiple times is illegal. To avoid jail time, HIPAA training is essential so employees understand how to handle different situations that might arise in the workplace.

Learn how to manage your budget appropriately

Organizations that want to stay compliant should also learn how to manage their budget appropriately. HIPAA regulations do not allow organizations to spend more than the allowed amount for their budgets. If an organization spends too much money on its health insurance plan without ensuring that it meets all of the guidelines, it could be held in violation of regulations. It is essential to know how much one can spend on a health plan so that one does not fall into this trap. By taking steps to ensure that everyone who uses their insurance plan has HIPAA-compliant healthcare and records, they can avoid fines and other penalties.