Why HIPAA Compliance?
Is your organization prepared for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance? Do you have a HIPAA compliance plan with policies and procedures? If you do, have you recently reviewed your compliance plan, policies and procedures? We can help you with your HIPAA program and compliance plans.
When we are engaged to consult on HIPAA we will review and revise your plan to assure compliance with the HIPAA Rule and best practices. Moreover, if you don’t have a compliance plan we will draft a plan with policies and procedures that offers complete coverage of the privacy, security and HITECH requirements. We have helped many organizations with their plans and now how to assist you through this process.
Do you have questions or wonder whether your training program is sufficient? Have you considered training or retraining your employees on the HIPAA Rules? Are you faced with an Office for Civil Rights investigation or a breach of protected health information? We consult on these and all matters related to HIPAA. Above all, we will bring your organization into compliance as expected by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the division of the federal Department of Health and Human Services with authority over the HIPAA Rules.
Significantly, all covered entity organizations that handle protected health information (PHI) must follow the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Under HIPAA, PHI is individually identifiable health information that is used, maintained, stored or transmitted by a HIPAA covered entity. It is the responsibility of these organizations to safeguard all protected health information and demonstrate this through a carefully crafted HIPAA compliance plan. The covered entity could be a healthcare provider, health plan, health insurer or healthcare clearinghouse.
In addition, the privacy laws vary from state by state and must be considered every time a plan is created or modified. For example, in the State of Ohio there are certain regulations that are more stringent than the Privacy Rule. An organization must be prepared for these state to state variations in the HIPAA rules.
How We Can Help
Creating a Plan
To begin with, covered entities must create plans that include policies and guidelines that help safeguard the Protected Health Information (PHI) which the organization handles. This includes all forms of PHI such as that which is written, verbal and electronic. As a result, they will have to protect the conﬁdentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI and electronic (e-PHI). To be fully prepared an entity must also perform a full Security Risk Analysis to assess the health and security of their HIPAA program.
Moreover, a HIPAA compliance plan holds providers and workforce members accountable for protecting PHI. Naturally this occurs through its policies, procedures and guidelines. In addition, the plan also outlines the consequences of a PHI breach or any violation of the policies in the compliance plan. By having a plan in place, it will help mitigate any breaches of PHI that might occur in the future. Finally, HIPAA compliance plans also ensure that all workforce members, which includes employees, physicians, volunteers and trainees are properly trained on how to handle PHI in all of its forms.
HIPAA Compliance Policies and Procedures
HIPAA Compliance policies and procedures must be implemented to ensure compliance with the HIPAA Rules. Accordingly, these give individuals rights over their PHI and responsibilities to covered entities. The policies implement appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the privacy and security of PHI.
Implement a Training Plan
The program must implement a training plan that trains workforce members on the requirements and policies that apply to them in their individual roles. The training program must train all workforce members upon employment on HIPAA and policies and procedures and on a regular basis thereafter. It is important to recognize the OCR does not accept the term “Certification,” but rather wants organizations to confirm all personnel have received appropriate training.
Appoint a Privacy Officer
Privacy and Security Ofﬁcers must be appointed to oversee the HIPAA program. They are responsible for oversight of the program and for tracking, investigating, resolving and documenting all privacy and security complaints and investigative steps taken. They ensure there is no retaliation against any workforce member or other individual for reporting a PHI breach or filing a HIPAA complaint.
Business Associate Agreements
A covered entity must enter into a Business Associate Agreement with each organization or vendor that accesses, uses or discloses PHI to on behalf of the organization to ensure the Business Associate uses appropriate safeguards to protect the PHI in the same manner that the covered entity must.
HIPAA Associates Will Help
Most importantly, our professionals are prepared to assist you with all of these important policies and procedures. HIPAA Associates develops and consults on HIPAA compliance plans that include HIPAA privacy and HIPAA security. This includes all security policies and procedures and breach reporting requirements in compliance with the HIPAA Rules. Of great importance, HIPAA Associates is always available to assist you when questions arise regarding the HIPAA Rule. HIPAA consulting is the main focus of our organization. We would be happy to discuss with you how we can help with your program.
HIPAA Compliance Plans
Our HIPAA Compliance Plans consist of Privacy Policies, Security Policies and HIPAA Training for your staff. We will help you be fully prepared for the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
HIPAA Privacy Policies
Our standard compliance plans are ready for purchase by the organization. These are easily modifiable for immediate use. They cover all the privacy policies to be compliant with the Privacy Rule & HITECH Regulations.
Ready Made Privacy Policies – $500
HIPAA Security Policies
We offer Security Policies that will help you prepare for Security Rule compliance. These are ready for you to implement with your organization.
Ready Made Security Policies – $500
Customized Compliance Plans
We specialize in fully customized plans created specifically for your organization. We consider all the key features of your covered entity and its specific requirements and create your HIPAA compliance plan in close consultation with your Privacy and Security Officer.
Fully Customized Plans – $500 and up
Contact us for your HIPAA Compliance Plan
Business Associate Agreements
HIPAA requires that you have Business Associate Agreements with business partners that you contract with to provide non-treatment services if they access, use or disclose protected health information (PHI) on your behalf. Prime examples would include accounting, billing, legal, risk management and IT services. Accordingly, we will help you identify business associates and provide business associate agreements.
We consult and advise on individual issues related to HIPAA privacy, security and breach notification. Above all, HIPAA Associates has the knowledge and breadth of experience to assess your unique situation and needs to craft the plan that you need for ultimate protection for PHI and the organization. Consequently, we can help protect your organization from issues that may otherwise bring involvement by the Office for Civil Rights. Most important of all, HIPAA consulting is the key focus of our company.
Privacy Complaint Response
We will assist with response to HIPAA complaints and investigate any privacy or security matter on your behalf whether from a patient, another individual or the Office for Civil Rights. Most importantly, we are experienced in responding to Office for Civil Rights investigative letters and working with them to resolve complaints.
HIPAA Associates works with clients on the breach analysis to determine if they are dealing with a breach of unsecured PHI. For incidents that are reportable breaches there are steps and deadlines that one must follow for compliant reporting to the individual and to the Office for Civil Rights. Furthermore, we will assist you throughout the process from start to finish on all aspects including mitigation of damages, creating a corrective action plan, drafting notice letters and reporting to the OCR.
Breach Analysis and Notification begins at $200
First of all it is important to follow all necessary steps to report a breach successfully to the OCR. Breaches vary depending on the facts and circumstances. We have the experience to know what information to include in a breach notification letter and in the report to the OCR. Additionally, we will guide you through the additional steps that must take place for large breaches that affect 500 or more individuals. HIPAA Associates manages breach analysis, notification to the individual(s) affected, mitigation of damages, retraining and reporting to the Office for Civil Rights.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Any covered entity that handles protected health information (PHI) must be prepared to protect that information. This is done by creating and implementing a HIPAA compliance plan with policies and procedures to safeguard PHI. The plan will outline the steps you will have to take in the event of a breach. This will ensure that all workforce members are properly trained on how to handle PHI in all its forms.
HIPAA Associates is prepared to create the perfect compliance plan for your organization that has all the necessary policies, procedures and training you will need to keep your PHI safe.
It is important to follow all the steps to report a breach to the OCR. Every breach is different and must be handled on a case by case basis. A full breach analysis must be performed to determine if there was an impermissible use or disclosure that compromises the security of protected health information. Factors to be resolved are:
1. The nature and extent of the breach including identifiers
2. The unauthorized person to whom disclosure is made
3. Whether the PHI was acquired or viewed
4. The extent to which the risk to PHI has been mitigated.
HIPAA Associates can help your organization through this process to ensure you follow all the important steps.
Time needed: 7 days.
How to create a Compliance Plan
- Implement Policies & Standards
Policies and procedures help establish the rules your organization will need to carry out the requirements of federal health care program guidelines.
- Designate a Compliance Officer
The compliance officer will be responsible for operating and monitoring the compliance program.
- Conduct an effective training program
All personnel should receive training on fraud & abuse laws as well as the compliance program.
- Develop effective lines of communication
Employees must have avenues available for reporting concerns internally. Anonymous reporting must be available.
- Conduct internal monitoring and auditing
A good program will have an ongoing process to evaluate and assess the organization for inappropriate behavior.
- Enforce standards of conduct with guidelines
An organization must have well published standards of conduct. The plan should clearly state the implications and penalties of violating the standards.
- Respond promptly to violations and take corrective action
An organization must ensure timely and effective remedial action for offenses.