Health care providers must put HIPAA rules into practice, but the law doesn’t say how. Since the HIPAA privacy rule and security rule came into effect in April 2003 and 2005 respectively, health care providers have searched for HIPAA compliance implementation solutions.
Many vendors claim to offer a one-and-done solution. For example, a cloud-based service provider might lead you to believe that because their service is secure you don’t need to conduct a security risk analysis. But you do. Therefore, knowing fact from fiction can help you avoid the pitfall of relying on vendors to make you HIPAA compliant.
Myth: HIPAA compliance implementation is a one-time deal. Once you get your ducks in a row, you don’t need to revisit it.
Fact: HIPAA compliance is a process, not a product. It has many moving parts requiring periodic review, testing, evaluation, and updates. Ideally, your organization will have a compliance team led by a HIPAA privacy officer to manage your compliance program. Compliance is ongoing; it doesn’t end.
Myth: The best way to implement HIPAA is to pay an external consultant who has all the necessary resources.
Fact: As a covered entity (CE), you must have a privacy official who develops and implements HIPAA policies and procedures. Additionally, you must have a contact person or office to receive complaints and provide information about matters covered by the Notice of Privacy Practices. If you rely on an outside source, you won’t meet these requirements. Furthermore, vendors sometimes overcomplicate compliance to make you dependent on their “expertise.” However, it’s much better to rely on the expertise of the HIPAA privacy officer and compliance team.
A Final Word on HIPAA Compliance Implementation
When it comes to HIPAA compliance implementation, you must be at the steering wheel. Don’t opt for the “easy” way out by hiring a vendor to manage your organization’s compliance. Instead, when creating an implementation plan, read the HIPAA rule for yourself. Also, you can learn from trustworthy sources, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, to help steer your HIPAA compliance program.
The HIPAAtrek platform is a guide to help you in your compliance journey. From policies and procedures to security reminders to breach notification, HIPAAtrek helps you manage the many moving parts of HIPAA compliance implementation. To learn more, request a demo or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.