One of the most important things your business can do is to ensure that you stay in HIPAA compliance. The HIPAA Act is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which was instigated in 1996. It protects consumers from having their health or health insurance information accessed by third parties, protects them from such information being used against them, and ensures the privacy of their medical information.
As a business owner, your responsibility is to protect this information from others, keep your customers' best interests at heart, and have systems in place which limit your liability on the HIPAA Act.
What can you do to protect yourself from problems regarding the HIPAA Act? Here are a few suggestions:
- First, make sure you have an efficient system in place which protects customers' data from third-party intrusion. This includes staying within HIPAA regulations as well as other acts, such as the FACTA law on consumer protections, and others.
- Be able to provide proof and documentation of your compliance if you are ever challenged on it. With all of the security concerns of companies today online, you will need to take extra steps to show what you are doing, so that you will not be liable in the event of a security issue. The myCompliance Portal offers one way to help achieve this goal.
- Be careful who you give access to the information regarding your customers' sensitive information. Don't let just anyone from within your organization have access, as this increases your liability. You will be seen as ultimately responsible if records are compromised so designate perhaps only those who must have access to these highly sensitive files. Be sure to password protect the access page as well and change the password often.
- Be sure your server are workstations are reliable and secure. Computer hacking is one of the primary ways that hackers are able to get into your files and your database. Make sure you have a firewall and all your workstations and servers are protected with anti-malware software. Of course, you should also ensure that other methods of accessing your network, such as wireless guest networks, are secure.
- Keep up with the changes in the law. In order to be HIPAA compliant, you have to know how the law changes and if it applies to you. Do your research and keep up on the latest amendments to the law or utilize a HIPAA consultant to help you stay on top of updates on how the law applies to your business.
These are some good tips that should help you stay on top of HIPAA compliance and help you to protect yourself from legal concerns. However, sometimes it is hard to do all of this and run your business too. If you need guidance with compliance issues, need to check the security of your system, or need any additional help, contact us. We can help you bring this all together so you don't have to worry about these issues.