The US healthcare industry is one of the most attractive targets for cybercrime worldwide. Any attack, like the recent ransomware strike on Universal Health Services, can freeze hundreds of providers and impact millions of patients. Complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the first step you can take to avoid potentially crippling attacks, and understanding the HIPAA security rule is a key part of achieving compliance.
HIPAA / Healthcare Industry
These are trying times for the healthcare industry. Resources across various facilities are being exhausted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and previously unforeseen levels of traffic. But that’s not all: cyberattacks on the healthcare sector rose 150 percent in just the early stages of the pandemic, according to one report. The need for cyberdefense is clear. Now, more than ever before, penalties for HIPAA violations pale in comparison to other threats compliance can assuage.
HIPAA and PIPEDA represent two initiatives wherein lawmakers require organizations to exercise greater stewardship of consumer medical information. In fact, inexperienced IT managers occasionally confuse the contents of these two pieces of North American legislation.
The healthcare industry has come a long way in improving patient care. Lifesaving instruments such as pacemakers and insulin pumps are now combined with connectivity. Remote monitoring by a health professional can track dramatic spikes in a patient’s heart rhythms. An alert is then sent to a physician for preventative measures. It’s a lot better than repairing damage after the fact.
“PCI” stands for “payment card industry,” commonly associated with the longer-named Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This is a set of rules that outlines the accepted security standards for credit and debit cards, whether they’re used online or in person.
When it was first created, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability [HIPAA] Act was enacted in order to safeguard a patient’s protected health information [PHI]. Over the years, the policy has evolved so that both covered entities and business associates are beholden to the rules and regulations mandated via HIPAA. However, even the businesses outside of that specific purview should be aware of HIPAA’s rules and act in accordance, particularly since all employers will possess at least some employee PHI.
Violations of HIPAA can result in serious legal ramifications to both your business and any employees who are found guilty of such breaches. Therefore, it’s essential that your HR team is trained in HIPAA compliance procedures and protocols, especially if you’re a covered entity or business associate. Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about HIPAA and HIPAA training for HR professionals.
In 2009, the Obama administration announced the release of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The stimulus bill covered a broad swath of policy meant to jumpstart American industry in the wake of the Great Recession. In addition, President Obama saw this as a mechanism for revising Clinton’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) Act of 1996. To that end, he introduced the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.
The fundamental purpose of HITECH was to push the American healthcare industry into the digital age and to better protect patient’s privacy and security with regards to their confidential patient information. But that’s not all this bill sought to bring to pass. Below, discover the main objectives and goals of HITECH.
Read on to find out.
What Is Considered PHI (Protected Health Information)?
When you walk into any hospital or private doctor’s office, you’re immediately bombarded by a list of questions. These range from personal questions about your lifestyle and medical history to private questions about your address, insurance, and other information you don’t want to be disclosed. You’d hope, being that there’s a notion of doctor-patient confidentiality, that all this information is handed over in confidence.
And it is. According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), all this information constitutes protected health information (PHI). The release of vital patient details breaks HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules — thus inciting fees and penalties for the healthcare entity.
Some questions to consider when reading ahead: How was this system set up? What is protected health information? And how can healthcare organizations and their business associates offer their patients security and avoid penalties under HIPAA?
When ensuring HIPAA compliance, it is vital to understand what is considered PHI, or Protected Health Information under HIPAA. Where HIPAA is concerned, it is essential that your patient private information, or PPI, is safe and secure. Read on to find out what counts as PHI under HIPAA so you can remain compliant and protect your patients.
In recent decades, public health agencies and public schools have worked hand in glove, sharing health information about students in order to better understand the broader picture of teens’ overall health. In addition, schools have increasingly sought to give their students more and better health services. Seeing as schools may keep or request sensitive health information from the students or parents, it’s natural to wonder what laws cover the security and privacy of these documents.
These days, there are two major privacy laws – HIPAA and FERPA – that may or may not cover a student’s health records. Naturally, whether they do or don’t depends on your particular situation. That said, this article will attempt to wade the convoluted mire, illuminating you as to the differences between FERPA vs. HIPAA. Keep reading to discover more!