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HIPAA Compliance Checklist – Everything You Need To Know

Home » Blogs » HIPAA Compliance Checklist – Everything You Need To Know

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the process that is used to regulate the handling of protected health information. This act is created for the industry standards for cybersecurity, insider, access, data handling, and electronic billing. It’s the most important rule that regulation is to ensure that the medical data that should remain confidential. If the patient’s private data and medical record privacy is not secured then the HIPAA violations can come with stiff penalties.

What is the HIPAA compliance checklist?

HIPAA compliance checklist ensures that your organization complies with HIPAA requirements for the safety and security of Protected Health Information (PHI). If your organization fails to comply with HIPAA regulations and if no breach it can result in criminal charges and civil action lawsuits being filed. The HIPAA compliance covers all of the bases of privacy and security to avoid any penalties. The HIPAA privacy and security rules are dissected and compiled to provide the HIPAA compliance checklists. To avoid the penalties the entities should seek to cover HIPAA compliance solutions as soon as possible.

The HIPAA compliance terms you need to know:

1. Protected health information (PHI)
2. A covered entity (CE)
3. Business Associate (BA)

Protected health information

Protected Health Info

Protected Health Information is the data of the patients that HIPAA tries to protect and keep your data private. PHI is any patient data used to identify an individual that the law is meant to safeguard.

Covered Entity

Covered Entity

A covered entity is able to access PHI; it is an individual in a healthcare field. The covered entities are normal activities, create, maintain, or transmit PHI which commonly includes doctors, clinics, pharmacies, etc. For example, A covered entity is the hospital that is responsible to implement and enforce HIPAA complaint policies.

Business Associate

Business Associate

Business associates are responsible for maintaining HIPAA compliance as covered entities; they are individuals who work with a covered entity. It is any 3rd party organization that handles individually identifiable health data on behalf of a covered entity. They work in the healthcare industry and have access to PHI where the business associates are lawyers, accountants, administrators, and IT personnel.

What is the HIPAA privacy rule?

The HIPAA privacy and security rules both form the foundation of the HIPAA regulations. The privacy rules explain how the healthcare professionals, lawyers, or anyone who accesses your PHI.

What information does the privacy rule protect?

The HIPAA privacy rule is designed to protect patients stored or transmitted data by a covered entity or their business associates in any form or media.
The individual ‘identifiable health information’ stores the past, present, and future health conditions. It ensures that all the data are secured.

The HIPAA secures the patient’s data, including:

Hipaa secures patents data

  • Names
  • Birth, death or treatment dates, and any other data relating to a patient’s illness or care
  • Contact information: telephone numbers, addresses, and more.
  • Social security numbers
  • Medical record numbers
  • Photographs
  • Finger and voiceprints
  • It secures the account number and any other unique identifying number.

What does the HIPAA privacy rule apply?

  • Health care providers
  • Doctors
  • Psychologists
  • Clinics
  • Dentists
  • Chiropractors
  • Nursing homes
  • Pharmacies
  • Health plan
  • Health insurance companies
  • HMO’s
  • Company health plans
  • The government provides health care plans
  • Health care clearinghouse
  • It processes healthcare data from another entity into a standard form.

What private rights exist for health data?

hipaa data privacy

The privacy rule gives the right to patients to receive a notice of privacy practices (NPP). The document defines how healthcare providers protect patient privacy. It focuses on individual privacy issues and concerns, prompting users to open discussions with health plans and health care providers to use their privacy rights.

The privacy rules responsive when the patients ask for the following:

  • Access to their health records
  • Changes to be made to their PHI
  • Records of disclosure
  • Doctor-patient communications

What is the HIPAA Omnibus Rule?

Hipaa Omnibus Rules

The HIPAA Omnibus Rule clarifies and updates several of the previous definitions and covers many more organizations and individuals. This rule updates the breach notification rules and prohibits the use of genetic information for purposes of underwriting insurance policies.

The Omnibus Rule amends HIPAA regulations:

  • Introduction of the final amendments as required under the HIPAA Act.
  • Incorporation of the increased, tiered civil money penalty structures as required by the HIPAA act.
  • The Omnibus Rule Introduce changes to the final rule on Breach Notification and for Unsecured ePHI under the HIPAA Act.

HIPAA final omnibus rule:

The HIPAA omnibus rule makes an additional requirement for covered entities and business associates affected by HIPAA.

Refresh your BAA – Omnibus rule updates your Business Associate Agreements

Send new BAA copies – To stay compliant, get signed copies of the new BAA.

Refresh your privacy policy– Omnibus changes reflect the Privacy policies.

Update the notice of privacy practices – To cover the type of information the NPP must be updated, it opt-out of correspondence for fundraising purposes and must factor in the new breach notification requirements.

Finalize – Conduct regular training for the staff and make sure that every staff is aware of all Omnibus Rules.

What is the HIPAA Security Rule?

The HIPAA Security rule ensures that it sets the minimum standards required for covered entities to manage electronic PHI. To ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and security of electronically protected health information the security rules require appropriate administrative, physical, and technical safeguards.

How is your data protected by the HIPAA security rule?

HIPAA security rules adhere to certain administrative process controls to ensure and verify their compliance.

Security management process: Covered entities should prevent the data and correct security violations by their established policies and procedures. The security management process accesses the overall risk in your current processes or when you implement new policies.

Assigned security responsibility: Responsible for the development and implementation of the HIPAA security rule.

HIPAA determines the level of safeguards:

1. Administrative safeguards
2. Technical safeguards
3. Physical safeguards.

1. Administrative safeguards

Admin Safeguards

The HIPAA security rules manage the policies and procedures of the administrative safeguards which bring the privacy rule and the security rule together. To protect ePHI the HIPAA compliance checklist assigns a security officer and a privacy officer.

Risk analysis – It analyzes the data to see where PHI is used and determines all the ways to follow the HIPAA Act.

Risk management – It reduces risk by implementing sufficient measures at an appropriate level.

Security policy – In emergency access, disaster recovery, and vendor management, the administrative safeguards create a security plan that covers PHI continuity.

HIPAA compliance ensures that you are not missing anything with regards to the security rule.

2. Physical safeguard

Physical safeguards

The HIPAA security rules pertain to physical access to PHI. The computer hard drives, hard-copy files, and other hardware that contains PHI are to be a safeguard. The following are the physical safeguard risk assessment.

Facility access – Reasonable measures have been taken to secure the medical facility from unauthorized parties. In the event of a data breach or emergency have a policy that allows third parties access.

Workstation access – The authorized persons only can access the workstations they need. Each workstation should implement physical safeguards to protect data.

Device control – Make sure to remove the appropriate PHI, if the hardware is being reused for another purpose or workstation.

3. Technical safeguards

Tech Safeguards

It focuses on the technology to protect PHI, as well as who controls and has access to those systems. The security rule does not require the use of any specific technology and the areas in your technical safeguard risk assessment that need to be covered for compliance.

Access controls – It access controls to PHI a unique identifier for login and tracking purposes.

Audit controls – It examines records and all activity within systems that contain or use PHI.

Authentication – If the person accesses PHI via technology systems it implements procedures. This includes secure logins, passwords, and the like.

Data integrity – It verifies and collaborates that PHI has not been altered or destroyed in an unauthorized manner.

Transmission security – It ensures that the PHI data is encrypted and electronically transmitted for security reasons.

HIPAA standard transactions

HIPAA adopts the standards for transactions, that any covered entity exchanges information with another covered entity or business associate using a standard protocol.

Standard transactions include:

  • Claims and encounter information
  • Payment and remittance advice
  • Claims status
  • Eligibility
  • Enrollment and disenrollment
  • Referrals and authorization
  • Coordination of benefits
  • Premium payment

Final thoughts:

HIPAA compliance checklist strategies will provide you complete risk management. Ensure your entity Privacy Rule compliance by appointing a privacy officer. Don’t take chances with serious penalties and make sure you’re to follow HIPAA Compliance Checklist that helps you to protect patient data and protect against a HIPAA violation.

Kush P

Kush Patel is the Chief Technical Officer and Managing Director of Echo Innovate IT – a software development company. He is responsible for the overall operations of the company and has played a major role in making Echo innovate IT the top-notch IT services provider and transforming it into a globally trusted web and app development company.