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7 HIPAA Tips All of Your Business Associates Could Utilize

  
  
  
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When the HIPAA Final Omnibus went into effect in 2013, business associates of covered entities like yourself were suddenly left with a great burden of responsibility. As of last year, BAs are now held directly liable to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for complying with stringent HIPAA regulations. But even though your BAs are legally responsible for adhering to HIPAA standards, as a covered entity, you are still required to exercise control over those beneath you, and take all reasonable measures to ensure that your BAs are maintaining compliance. One of the best ways to do this is by offering up useful advice and tips to your business associates. These 7 tips can help your BAs to step up their game and improve patient privacy.

HIPAA: 2013 Brought Some Significant Changes to Protected Health Information

  
  
  
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The security of protected health information (PHI) has always been a top priority for healthcare professionals. After all, individuals like yourself got into the the medical sector because you care deeply for other people, and want to do whatever you can to protect their well-being and confidentiality. But while your security measures may have formerly been up to par, the changes made to HIPAA and the use of PHI in 2013 may have rendered your policies and procedures as dated or obsolete.  

The HIPAA Final Omnibus Rule was first enforced in September of 2013, and since then, covered entities and their business associates have been scrambling to ensure that they are keeping patient PHI as safe and secure as possible.

HIPAA's Enforcement Rule Changed Last Year, Are You Still in Compliance?

  
  
  
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Throughout 2013, it seemed as though the HIPAA Final Omnibus Rule and the HITECH Act were all that healthcare professionals were talking about. Now that the date of its implementation has passed, some of the initial buzz has died down, but that doesn't make the changes less important - especially when you consider how the Enforcement Rule and Penalty Structure have been affected.

The prospect of being investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) and being fined or penalized has always been scary. The updates made to HIPAA and the Enforcement Rule make the matter even more serious. Because of this, total compliance is more important now than ever before. Still not convinced? This post will explore the current Enforcement Rule and what it means for violators.

These 4 Tips Will Change the Way You Approach the HIPAA Enforcement Rule

  
  
  
hipaa enforcement rule

The HIPAA Enforcement Rule. If you're employed in the healthcare sector, just reading those words probably sends chills down your spine. It's no wonder, really. The implementation of the Final HITECH Omnibus Rule brought about some significant changes to HIPAA, and the Enforcement Rule was affected in a big way. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) has drawn up more than 40 pages of commentary on this one rule alone. That's some pretty heavy reading. But if you think you don't have time to familiarize yourself with the updates, you couldn't be more wrong.

HIPAA Underpinnings That Your Business Associates Should Know

  
  
  
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2013 was a stressful year for healthcare professionals. As though HIPAA legislation wasn't already complicated enough, the HITECH Final Omnibus Rule was implemented. But while you were scrambling to decipher the HIPAA changes and make necessary updates to your policies and procedures, you may not have been giving a lot of thought to what your business associates were doing. 

Sure, you may have taken the time to familiarize yourself with the new definition of a "HIPAA business associate" and establish acceptable business associate agreements, but beyond that, how much did your BAs really cross your mind last year? The problem with not considering these entities is that you and they are interlinked.

5 HIPAA Compliance Lessons All Business Associates Need to Learn

  
  
  
hipaa business associate

Think that the HIPAA HITECH Omnibus Rule doesn't affect you? Guess again. Even if you're not actually a healthcare provider or considered to be a "covered entity" (CE), if you perform work functions on behalf of a CE, you could be impacted by the changes that were made in 2013. Last year's HIPAA updates brought about some pretty significant changes for anyone considered to be a business associate. As a result, it's important that you are aware of your current status, and what is legally required of you. This guide will help you to determine whether you are considered to be a HIPAA business associate, and to educate you on everything that you should know about the Final Omnibus Rule.

5 HIPAA Compliance Lessons for Business Associates

How Has HIPAA Enforcement Changed With The HITECH Omnibus Rule In Effect?

  
  
  
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Let's face it: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has always created challenges for healthcare professionals. With the changes made to HIPAA as a result of the Health Information Technology for Economical and Clinical Health (HITECH) Omnibus Rule, the landscape of patient confidentiality regulations has altered completely. This means that facilities like your own must take steps to understand what is expected of you in order to avoid steep penalties.

You may have heard that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is cracking down more on HIPAA compliance, but what does that mean, exactly?

Big Changes Occurred with HIPAA Privacy And Security Rule in 2013. Are You Up To Speed?

  
  
  
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It was all over the news in the healthcare sector last year: "The most sweeping changes to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules since they were first implemented." But while you may have heard the buzz about the HITECH Omnibus Rule, you may still find yourself unclear on its implications and how they specifically relate to you and your facility. What changes were made to the Privacy and Security Rules, anyway? And how should you review or alter your practices in order to comply with the HIPAA updates of 2013?

Despite the fact that the HITECH Omnibus Rule was enforced in September of of last year, many medical professionals are still asking these questions. If you're feeling overwhelmed or confused, it's very important that you get up to speed - fast.

How Should I Respond to the Changes Made to the HITECH Omnibus Rule?

  
  
  
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The deadline for compliance with the changes made to HIPAA through the HITECH Omnibus has come and gone, but there are still numerous healthcare facilities that are not up-to-date with their policies and practices. Although you may have read up on the adjustments that were made, you may be feeling overwhelmed or confused by the new rules and regulations. Where should you even begin in adopting these updates and changing the way that your facility operates? 

If you're feeling lost, you're not alone. The HITECH Omnibus Rule is lengthy and densely populated with information, making it challenging for medical professionals to make the necessary changes.

HIPAA Changed In 2013: Should You Review Associated Terms, Regulations, and Rules?

  
  
  
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On January 1st of any given year, most people take on the mentality of "out with the old and in with the new". This sentiment should ring just as true with your healthcare facility and its practices. Although your policies and procedures may have been up-to-date at the beginning of the last year, you may be surprised to discover that you've now fallen out of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Many changes were made to HIPAA regulations in 2013, and in order to avoid violations, it's important that you review these updates agains your own practices.

Old habits may die hard, but this doesn't come without consequence. After the enforcement of the Final HITECH Omnibus Rule in September of 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is  cracking down on violators harder than ever.

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