Most hospitals rely on external service providers for some of their most essential functions. Several good examples include the management of revenue cycle, collection and management of health information, IT support, storage of data, and security. Besides, many hospitals do not do their housekeeping.
The providers of these services are usually partners or business associates under HIPAA. This poses a significant security threat to the hospitals and HIPAA guidelines for your patients’ data security.
Hospitals have tried to trade only with diligent business. However, this approach has not stopped the explosion of deficiencies in data security in the past. This has brought up the question of how to comply with HIPAA while outsourcing
Maintain Operations with Diligent Associates
Before the Omnibus ruling of 2013, business associates were not held accountable for breaching security standards and patient safety or contributing to it. The Omnibus Rule turned tables and made all involved parties vulnerable to the consequences of contravening HIPAA rules and policies.
Some of the most significant breaches recorded since the establishment of the Omnibus Rule include organizations that offer a medical transcribing service.
This has made it critical for hospitals and other healthcare-related businesses only to maintain relations with the most diligent players in the market.
The Transcription Outsourcing, LLC, for example, has only managed to remain operational owing to their unwavering commitment to excellence.
Their flexible medical transcription services provide solutions to healthcare centers of different classes.
To do this, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC, has had to make changes and improvements that comply with all HIPAA requirements. These changes cut across from detailed reporting to individual user names, passwords, and pins.
Drafting and Implementing a Business Associate Risk Management Program
Dealing with tried and tested vendors alone is not a guarantee of HIPAA compliance. Your business also needs to draft and implement a risk management program with all business associates.
The ideal risk management for your operation can be categorized into thoroughness before engaging the service of a vendor and continuous monitoring and reporting. The rule of thumb is, if the best contenders among your list of possible vendors fail to comply with HIPAA requirements, you should not make a choice.
The condition is to attain satisfactory compliance assurance from all business associates. Also, a consistent and continuous monitoring process is critical for the survival of both businesses.
It would be best if you took stringent measures on the business associates that fail to comply with HIPAA regulations during the tenure of the contract. The federal government also provides the penalties associated with the breach of the set rules of engagement.
Inform your Vendors about HIPAA Coverage
The painful truth is that many vendors or business associates do not understand their involvement in these regulations or the repercussions either. This is primarily because many businesses fail to find out more about the nature of the relationships they forge during contracting.
Since many business entities fail to establish even the minimum HIPAA requirements, you must inform these business associates of your preferences upfront. To make the system proof from a breach, contracts with vendors must never proceed without certification from your HIPAA security officer.
Hospitals that are already under contract obligations with business associates should reevaluate their management programs to ensure HIPAA compliance. In this case, negligence is costly and sometimes even fatal.
Therefore, there must be no room for operation by cyber-criminals. It would help if you informed vendors that are not aware of HIPAA responsibilities to stay ahead of countless violations of human rights.
other valuable tips:
In conclusion, every business operates in conjunction with other business entities to compete favorably and realize profits. These operations need to meet every legal requirement set by standard regulatory bodies.
For healthcare services, patient data security is of great concern. Therefore, HIPAA provides requirements that need to be met by healthcare providers and their business associates, since involving external players may pose a risk to patients’ information.
To ensure that your business meets all the compliance requirements of HIPAA, you will need to trade with diligent service providers. Furthermore, it will be wise to draft and implement business.
Image Credit: comply with HIPAA by twenty20.com
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