What Is HIPAA Compliance and How to Get Started

What Is HIPAA Compliance and How to Get Started
September 18, 2019 Kristen Smith
In Lifestyle

HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a special law in the United States of America that offers protection and security provision for medical data. This law was not that much prominent in the last few decades but with the increasing involvement of technology in medical science.

The medical data is not like regular data. It is a sensitive issue and it constantly changes with time. Earlier the data were stored in physical form and hence the data theft was minimal or none in percentage. But, now the medical insurance companies and the health officials often store these data in the cloud or another software format. That means that data is vulnerable against cyber attacks, data thefts or ransom attacks. Hence, any company, related to the health sector, must know the process of HIPAA compliance to ensure the data is protected.

Sections of Law

  1. Section one is for providing protection to the health insurance data of people who have to change their profession or those who are terminally ill or have a pre-existing disease.
  2. Section two directs the government and the health department to design a national policy to make sure the electronic transactions are safe. It also directs the health care organizations the insurance providers to make the necessary arrangement to keep the data secure.
  3. Section three is all about the tax provisions and other rules related to the health care sector
  4. Section four is all about insurance reform, the implementation for those patients who want continuous coverage due to some pre-existing disease.
  5. The last section is all about the company provided treatments to those who have income tax issues.

The Government of the United States of America has decided to respond strictly to the breach of the HIPAA act. That means a single breach can cause a large amount of fine. Hence, every company and organization related to the health industry need to become HIPAA compliant to remain in business.

HIPAA is all about giving the patients protection. Hence, here the patients are the first priority.

HIPAA compliance

The base or foundation of HIPAA compliance is the intake of forms. For the health care industry, medical information is crucial in case of treating any patient. The medical data about the patient is helpful in better diagnosis of any patient. The HIPAA compliant communicationstarts with the complaint form. There are different forms to do this. Usually, paper forms are avoided. That is because these paper forms can be the factor behind the increased risk of a data breach and it also makes the risk of data exposure easier.

Since medical data is being stored, HIPAA has made rules for documentation. Health care professionals and insurance professionals need to be acquainted with HIPAA complaint forms so that they can assist the patients in need. Some common types of the forms are-

  •  Privacy agreement receipt form

The form is an acknowledgment copy of the patient for the privacy agreement between the patients and healthcare or insurance professionals. This form ensures that your company or organization protects the medical information according to HIPAA. It also provides the patients to request and receives their medical records whenever they want.

  •  HIPAA medical release form

This form is for the information of someone who has a connection with any individual. The person can be the patient or his or her representative or that of any insurance or medical company.

  •  Patient intake form

This form is all about the patients if he or she is new in the health care department. You can easily fill this form with someone’s help.

  • Medication and prescription refill forms

Now, often online pharmacies ask for online prescription for the patients. These prescription refill forms are a great convenience for patients since it is easy to understand and is available in any area. This also helps the patients to find the exact medicines easily.

  •  Business associate agreement

It is a mode of agreement between a business representative of the cloud service and a doctor or an insurance provider. BAA forms are proof that the company is pledging to protect the data securely.

HIPAA compliant communication provides forms usually in electronic and paperless forms. This means your information will be guarded by experts during any process. Since paper forms are prone to many problematic situations, electronic forms are the best choice. That means you can get access to the forms whenever you want. Patients must be able to get these forms easily. If someone does not know about the process of how to obtain the forms he or she must be offered assistance.  

If someone has an emergency situation, then the person will be able to use the intake form easily. In the case of infants, the forms are the same but contain some suggestion questions because the kids need best the treatment.

Besides that, each company related to any health care sector must have a training program to make the employee acquainted with these forms.

HIPAA is a law that protects the medical data of the patients from breaching. Any healthcare-related company must offer HIPAA compliant services to operate legally.

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