Additional Information on HIPAA
HIPAA compliance is important to maintain regulatory standards, avoid financial penalties, safeguard business data, and ultimately protect the privacy of patients. There are numerous associated requirements for HIPAA, of which we’ll continue in this article.
Previously, we went over a few HIPAA standards. Now, we’ll dive into some of the rules, what they mean, and critical terms to know.
There are several rules in relation to how data is handled and how branches are defined: the Breach Notification Rule and Privacy Rule.
Breach Notification Rule
This covers the requirements that must be followed after a data breach.
- All relevant parties must be notified, primarily the health department and affected consumers (specifically about ePHI). If over 500 accounts have been affected, you must notify media outlets and create a press release.
The privacy rule is the standard for protecting private patient data and information. They entail the necessary response time to inform those of a breach, privacy training stipulations, policy recording, and more.
HIPAA’s Five Title Rules
Why should I know these?
If your data protection policy involves any of the titles, it’s important to know specifically what to further fine-tune your strategy.
Five primary rules compose HIPAA, which we’ll describe below:
HIPAA Title I
Title 1 covers insurance policies regarding HIPAA. The rules deal with the access, portability, and renewability of health insurance.
HIPAA Title II
Title 2 involves all standards related to the Privacy Rule, Enforcement Rule, and Security Rule. It’s also responsible for the national standards for how electronic transactions are handled regarding healthcare data and practices.
HIPAA Title III
Tax rules relating to medical insurance. Also includes deduction provisions for certain insurance types.
HIPAA Title IV
Maintains additional rules on insurance law, primarily about protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
HIPAA Title V
Establishes guidelines for a business owned insurance policies and how to handle tax situations in the instance a US citizen has their citizenship revoked.
Important HIPAA Terms
Protected Health Information (PHI)
Relates to any patient data that must be protected by law and information protection policies. Information involving PHI normally includes home addresses, emails, contact info, and other personal data.
A third party organization handling health data on behalf of an agency (like an MSP). Bytagig would fall under “Business Associate” per this definition.
A healthcare provider, healthcare plan, or clearinghouse. Generally involves practices, doctors, and pharmacies.
Violation of HIPAA
We’ve thus far talked about following HIPAA. We’ve also mentioned breaking HIPAA or violating its rules can result in penalties. Once a breach occurs, specific actions must be taken.
Firstly, providers are responsible for notifying any and all affected parties after a data breach. This is in line with the Breach Notification Rule. Multiple discovered violations can result in serious financial penalties and fines.
Violations can occur even without a breach, typically during an audit or upon discovering lapses in policy (or upholding policy).
Obviously, there are a lot of factors to consider and upholding HIPAA proves challenging, even for the most diligent of organizations. Follow our guides closely and you’ll stay in line with HIPAA.