Who is Required to be HIPAA Compliant and Why?
Do you know if you are HIPAA compliant or who in fact needs to be? Many people don't understand what the answers are to either of these questions. But you do need to know the answers so you can decide...
Do you know if you are HIPAA compliant or who in fact needs to be? Many people don't understand what the answers are to either of these questions. But you do need to know the answers so you can decide if it applies to your company or not.
Let's start with what exactly HIPAA is. It is basically the protection of electronic health information or ePHI. This security protects this information in three different ways.
Here what it protects:
1. Confidentiality - This rule means that the ePHI should only be accessed by people that are authorized to view it.
3. Availability - This gives only authorized people access as they need it.
Now that you understand a little about what HIPAA is intended for, you need to understand who this law affects.
The people who must be compliant are:
1. Health plans - This is the individual or group insurance plans that are providing or paying for the cost of healthcare.
2. Health care clearinghouses - These are entities that are responsible for processing health care transactions for other entities.
3. Covered health care providers - These are the providers of medical or other services and supplies for healthcare that transmit the health information electronically.
4. Business associates - On February 17, 2010, business associates were added to this health care protection rule. They must comply with this rule as if they are a covered entity also.
To help you understand more about what business associates are according to this rule; they are a person or organization other than a member of the covered entities workforce that provide services; or who assist covered entities and who also have access to protected health information.
In order to fully understand HIPAA, you must take time to do your homework on it. If you are someone that falls under this security protection rule, then you don't want to delay because this security plan has already been put into effect and you want to be sure you are being compliant with it so you don't end up with legal troubles.
Now that you understand what being HIPAA compliant means and who is affected by it, you can easily see why it is so important. Be sure that you understand everything about this security rule if it affects you so you can be sure you or your company are being compliant with it at all times.
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Cathy Taylor is a marketing consultant and freelance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org