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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA: What is important to know?

The most fundamental thing to keep in mind regarding HIPAA is that negligence of the guidelines is not a justification for not complying with them. As a result, whether you are a HIPAA Covered Entity or a Business Associate with access to PHI (Protected Health Information), you must know the guidelines, how they affect you, and what you must do to comply with HIPAA.

What are the Implications of HIPAA Violations?

The severity of the penalties for violating HIPAA depends on the nature of the infraction, the extent of guilt, and the amount of help provided to HHS throughout the probe. The fines were first put into effect in 2009 as part of the HITECH Act, and they are adjusted annually to account for inflation. Here are the most recent fines for HIPAA violations.

What HIPAA Compliance Measures Should You Take?

The HIPAA compliance measures you should take are determined by the type of your organization and your access to PHI (Protected Health Information). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides numerous resources to assist Covered Entities in determining what measures to take for HIPAA compliance; nevertheless, if you are still confused about the regulations, you should procure expert guidance.

What does the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Security Rule entail?

The HIPAA Security Rule was passed in 2004 to provide national benchmarks for the safeguarding of PHI (Protected Health Information) generated, received, utilized, or retained electronically by a Covered Organization. The Act was implemented in response to an increase in the number of Covered Organizations embracing technology and replacing paper systems.

What does the HIPAA Privacy Rule entail?

What is the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Privacy Rule?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule – also known as the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information,” – was created to harmonize a patchwork of state laws governing how healthcare providers and insurers can use, share, and disclose PHI. It’s worth noting that state rules that give more robust safeguards, continue to apply.

What exactly does the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule entail?

According to the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule, Covered Entities and Business Associations must inform the Secretary of Health and Human Services of any unauthorized use or leak of vulnerable PHI (Protected Health Information). Depending on the type of the breach and the volume of documents disclosed without consent, varied processes apply.

What does the HIPAA Omnibus Rule entail?

In 2013, the HIPAA Omnibus Rule was implemented to update and activate components of the Privacy, Safety, Accountability, and Breach Notification Standards, as well as the HITECH Act. It provides the Department of Health and Human Services the power to investigate violations and levy fines for non-compliance, which is important for Covered Entities and Business Associates.

What is the HIPAA Enforcement Rule?

The HIPAA Enforcement Rule specifies how the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will investigate, administer hearings, and apply fines for HIPAA violations. Other organizations (for example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) can initiate HIPAA enforcement actions, and they may have their own procedures in place.

What is the Minimum Necessary Rule?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule includes the Minimum Necessary Rule, often known as the “Minimum Necessary Standard” or “Minimum Necessary Requirement.” According to the Rule, HIPAA-covered firms must make reasonable steps to ensure that access to PHI is restricted to the bare minimum required to achieve the primary aim of a given use, revelation, or petition – and nothing more.

What are the HIPAA Retention Requirements?

The HIPAA retention standards specify how long Covered Entities must keep HIPAA-related processes, guidelines, and other records. In areas where lengthier retention periods are not required, HIPAA-related paperwork must be kept for at least six years. 

What are the Rules about Sharing PHI on Social Media?

There are no explicit HIPAA social media guidelines because the HIPAA Privacy Rule was written several years before most social media sites existed. The disclosure of personal identifiable information without a patient’s approval, with the exception of approved reasons, is a violation of HIPAA, and posting PHI on social media would fall under this category.

In HIPAA, what is the difference between patient approval and authorization?

Even though HIPAA Privacy Rule does not mandate it, Covered Entities may prefer to get a patient’s consent before doing something like delivering treatment. A Covered Entity, on the other hand, must get a patient’s permission via a HIPAA Release Form prior to sharing private information for any reason other than an authorized purpose.

Pagers: Are They HIPAA-Approved Communication Tools?

This is dependent on how pagers are utilized and what features they provide. HIPAA compliance is not a problem if a pager is not utilized to convey ePHI. If a pager is used to convey ePHI, it must have an authentication process, remote erase, and automatic log-off.

What Does the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation Mean for HIPAA Compliance?

While the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has no bearing on HIPAA compliance, it does add a new set of rules for Covered Entities and Business Associates who gather, process, share, or organize data on EU citizens – for example, if an EU citizen seeks medical treatment in the United States.