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HIPAA: Failure to Comply Could Mean Goodbye

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Your plan should begin with a Security Risk Analysis. It should also continue with the construction of a long-term compliance framework, one that offers visibility into current risks and reinforces firm security-related policies and procedures. 

When it comes to your healthcare organization and HIPAA, failure (to comply) is not an option.

The monetary penalties associated with HIPAA violations, coupled with the potential costs of a data breach itself, leave covered entities that deal with Patient Health Information (PHI) and ePHI little choice but to develop a multi-layered, long-term Compliance and Security plan. The penalties, based on the level of negligence, could be detrimental. They could put your facility out of operation and you out of a job.

According to HealthIT security, “78 percent of healthcare providers reported that they experienced a healthcare ransomware or malware attack in 2017." The well-being and safety of sensitive patient health information depends predominantly on your organization’s defense against ongoing threats like Ransomware and Malware, Phishing attacks, employee negligence and many other emerging risks.

Your plan should begin with a Security Risk Analysis. It should also continue with the construction of a long-term compliance framework, one that offers visibility into current risks and reinforces firm security-related policies and procedures. With long-term plans in place, your healthcare organization can confidently move forward in treating patients… not worrying about their confidential information.

First, assess. Then, assure.

Assess Your Compliance

The Security Risk Analysis

The HIPAA-mandated Security Risk Analysis serves as the foundation of any effective Compliance and Security Plan.

This process helps you identify, document, and analyze threats and related vulnerabilities that may be exploited and impact the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of electronic protected health information (ePHI). Compliance mandates & information security standards always require that this analysis be performed regularly. You’ll learn what the scope and schedule should be for such an exercise.

HIPAA, HITECH Breach Notification and Merit-based Incentive Payment Systems (MIPS) require health organizations to conduct or review their security risk analysis, implement security updates as necessary and identify security deficiencies.

A thorough risk analysis, from a reputable IT partner, includes:

  • Data collection on document workflow
  • Identification of potential risks and threats
  • Assessment of current security measures
  • Determination of the likelihood of security threats
  • Determination of the level of risk
  • Final documentation of risk assessment

In addition, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) requires that covered entities and business associates identify vulnerabilities to electronic Patient Health Information that is collected, stored, processed or transmitted.

The Technical Vulnerability Assessment

By performing a Technical Vulnerability Assessment, a component of the Risk Analysis, your IT partner can analyze your document workflow to pinpoint possible internal and external security weaknesses. This Technical Vulnerability Assessment addresses both HIPAA and HITECH mandates for establishing and prioritizing compliance efforts and identifying security gaps. A Technical Vulnerability Assessment supports several distinct components, including: 

  • External assessment 
  • Internal assessment 
  • Firewall assessment 
  • Wireless assessment 
  • Social engineering assessment 
  • Penetration testing

Assessment methodology from your IT partner should ensure an efficient, effective security audit based on current HIPAA regulations and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) current year work plan.

Assure Your Compliance

Under a Managed Compliance Services Program, a reputable IT partner will fully arm your healthcare organization for your compliance and security journey ahead, beginning with the HIPAA-mandated Risk Analysis. Such a program can help identify an array of potential risks, build a stable compliance framework that offers visibility into specific risks, as well as enable your organization with robust workforce training to shore up internal security liabilities.

With Managed Compliance Services, your blanket of support extends beyond your crucial Security Risk Analysis. Access to a Compliance Portal enables your organization to maintain policies and procedures with an audit log, as well as track potential threats with an ongoing vulnerability scan and compliance dashboard. Your IT partner should also conduct a yearly HIPAA Risk Assessment & review of policies and procedures.

As attacks get harder and harder to decipher, a Ponemon Institute survey reports that the majority (65%) of CISOs thought a careless employee would be the cause of a breach. Establishing clear, universal internal communication standards across your organization, as well as extensive employee training both onsite and online, are major components to a solid Managed Compliance Services Program.

Activate Your Compliance...Today!

Datamax and All Covered provide a Managed Compliance Services program that provides several key advantages:

  • Meet all security, compliance challenges
  • Avoid heavy costs of data breach
  • Maintain active view of vulnerabilities
  • Train staff on best practices
  • Generate robust compliance reporting
  • Protect data without straining staff

Ready to complete your Compliance journey? Let’s visit!

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Datamax Solutions Consultant Sherry Lee is a Certified HIPAA Professional. To learn more about partnering with Datamax and All Covered for your Compliance services, Sherry can be reached at (501) 603-3000 or at slee@datamax-lr.com.

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Topics: Network Security HIPAA Healthcare Solutions Network Management Managed Compliance Services