Understanding HIPAA Compliance Requirements

Woman handling cybersecurity

If you have a small to medium-sized business, it is most likely that you do not consider cybersecurity as important. But small businesses are appealing to many online hackers, phishers, and scammers for that precise reason. Many of these cybercriminals know that most SME owners do not invest in online security, but there is substantial information that a hacker can steal from a small enterprise.

Why Have Cybersecurity?

SMEs like health facilities and clinics hold data such as electronic health and medical information that can be stolen and used, especially if they have access to electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). In such situations, hospitals, health plan providers are required to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulations. Here are three areas in which HIPAA compliance in Texas is required.

Digital Security

An organization’s servers should have a firewall and cybersecurity measures. The HIPAA compliance guidelines require that eHIP information should be severely encrypted to the highest standards. They should be unreadable by any unauthorized party to prevent hacking.

Physical Devices

Both the HITECH Act and HIPAA caution against access of the ePHI on personal devices. A proper directory of every authorized device should be kept and inventoried. Some businesses require a log of all personnel and devices with authorized access to such information.

Administration

The act suggests two points of operation: security and privacy. These areas need to ensure adherence to privacy and security rules as outlined in the act. An organization’s administration should give these operations the charge of logging incident reports.

Even SMEs must have a substantial risk management strategy and frequent risk analysis exercises. They should test out and improve their HIPAA compliance. Patients, health facilities, and health plan providers can then rest easy with the knowledge that their ePHI will remain confidential.