You can take this bet: Try finding out from any healthcare industry professional what she considers the biggest professional challenge of hers, and HIPAA survival would surely not miss out from any healthcare professional’s list. Why? Simply because HIPAA audits are complex. Period.
So, is the toughness and complexity of HIPAA audits such that one should run away from it? Healthcare professionals are not given this option. They have to mandatorily carry out HIPAA audits in such a way that it satisfies the regulatory authorities. This needs a thorough understanding of the exact meaning and import of words contained in HIPAA. In addition, carrying out successful HIPAA audits, which is what HIPAA survival essentially is all about, requires the healthcare professional in the organization in which HIPAA audits take place, to get a grasp of the purpose and intent conveyed in HIPAA’s language.
This thorough understanding of the meaning and intent of what is contained in HIPAA is absolutely essential for both the Covered Entity and the Business Associate to ensure HIPAA survival.
One challenge upon another
And, in addition to the already existing complexity in HIPAA, which many healthcare professionals consider as an obstacle to HIPAA survival; an additional step has been hemmed into HIPAA audits. It is this: For 2017, the federal government is set to increase the Office of Civil Rights (OCR)’s budget by a good 10 percent. This is being done with one simple intention: To increase the OCR’s resources for carrying out HIPAA audits and to also reinforce the OCR’s efforts towards HIPAA audits.
This is not all. HIPAA survival has been made even more difficult, as the OCR now requires Business Associates and Covered Entities to show compliance with around 180 areas as part of Phase 2 of HIPAA. The time given for response: A mere 10 days.
Any Business Associate or Covered Entity which thinks that these are all to the additional aspects of HIPAA survival are mistaken. Yet another issue compounds the misery of the whole task of HIPAA survival: The OCR’s audit protocol is no longer going to be satisfied with general and vague references to policy documents when they are required to furnish documents to corroborate their work. They have to furnish the specific and exact documents that the OCR asks for during a HIPAA audit. Isn’t HIPAA survival a really tough ask for Covered Entity or a Business Associate?
No room for relaxation
The OCR expects complete and total adherence to its requirements, no matter how tough they may seem. Just a little slackening of effort anywhere down the line can severely impede the preparation for Phase 2 HIPAA audits. This is bound to result in serious issues for the Covered Entity and Business Associate, who simply cannot drop guard even for a second.
If there was any feeling that anyone who is subject to a HIPAA audit can relax a trice, all that has been destroyed by the OCR’s decisions on HIPAA audits for 2017. Its additional measures mean that HIPAA survival is real and serious. To ensure HIPAA survival, Covered Entities and Business Associates need to put a process in place and make sure they control and implement it with the maximum assiduousness and thoroughness. This is to be ensured all the time, every time.
An opportunity to learn what it takes for HIPAA survival
Given the severity of HIPAA survival, it is necessary for those who are subject to HIPAA audits, especially Covered Entities and Business Associates, at whom the new regulations are primarily aimed, to understand the art of HIPAA survival.
This expert guidance is what a two-day seminar from GlobalCompliancePanel, a highly popular provider of professional trainings for the areas of regulatory compliance, will be offering. Please visit http://www.globalcompliancepanel.com/control/globalseminars/~product_id=900786SEMINAR to register for this seminar.
The Director of this two-day seminar is Brian L Tuttle, a senior Compliance Consultant & IT Manager at InGauge Healthcare Solutions. The aim of this seminar is to arm regulatory compliance professionals with total guidance to about how practice managers need to prepare for HIPAA audits. Since many changes have been suggested for 2017 for HIPAA; Brian will throw light on what changes can be expected under the Omnibus Rule and any other applicable updates for 2017.
The Director will explode the various misconceptions and myths about HIPAA, which are a major obstacle to ensuring HIPAA survival. He will explain real life audits conducted by the Federal government to explain HIPAA survival. He will also illustrate which the highest risk factors for being sued for wrongful disclosures of PHI are, and the manner in which patients are now using state laws to sue for wrongful disclosures.
During the course of this seminar, Brian will cover the following areas:
- History of HIPAA
- HIPAA Omnibus Rule
- How to perform a HIPAA Security Risk Assessment
- What is involved in a Federal audit and how is it conducted
- Risk factors for a federal audit
- EHR and HIPAA
- Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning
- Business Associates and HIPAA
- In depth discussions on IT down to the nuts and bolts
- Risk factors that can cause an audit (low hanging fruit)
- New rules which grant states ability to sue citing HIPAA on behalf of a patient
- New funding measures