HIPAA Changes Are You Compliant?

In the wake of HIPAA’s Omnibus Rule, which went into full effect on September 23, 2013, a round of audits is being prepared by its enforcement arm, the Office for Civil Rights (OCA). Have you ensured that your business is in full compliance with these new measures? Reviewing procedures now can prevent serious issues down the road.

The most fundamental difference involves what HIPAA refers to as “business partners”. The term includes vendors such as third-party contractors and insurance brokers. These entities are now required to comply with the HIPAA Security Rule among many other regulations.

Mondaq, an organization that compiles expertise and knowledge regarding legal and regulatory data from around the world, offers some helpful tips to make sure your company is meeting HIPAA standards.

  1. Make sure your security procedures and policies are up-to-date. A security breach can be a costly, devastating blow to your business. HIPAA requires “periodic” risk assessments, which makes the time frame subject to interpretation. Proactively scheduling assessments on a regular basis will keep compliance at the forefront of priorities.
  2. Establish or update your business partner agreements. Now that they’re included in the HIPAA loop, formalizing terms in writing will protect both sides. 
  3. Bring your privacy policies up to a current status. Procedures have undergone updates to address the increasing use of electronic means for storing and transmitting protected health information.
  4. Institute training sessions for your employees so they’re aware of any changes that impact their job functions.

Gain peace of mind through MedConnect USA’s call answering and secure messaging. All our services are 100 percent HIPAA-compliant and our employees receive ongoing training to stay current. Please contact us for more information.