HIPAA Compliance: What It Is And Why You Should Care

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA for short, was created in 1996 to ensure that individuals could maintain their health insurance coverage if they changed jobs.

However, over the years, it has evolved into a set of standards that are now used by most healthcare providers to ensure secure environments for storing and transmitting health information. In this blog post, we will not only cover what HIPAA compliance means but why you should care about it too!

What Is HIPAA Compliance?

HIPAA compliance is a set of standards that many healthcare providers have to follow in order to ensure safety for patients’ data. For example, AWS, Azure and Google Cloud are HIPAA-compliant clouds that can be used to provide a secure environment to store health information.

Why Do You Need HIPAA Compliance?

While HIPAA compliance is not a requirement for all healthcare providers, it does come with many benefits. These include:

  • Better protection of the information you share with your healthcare provider.
  • Secure environment to store health information.
  • Less chance that third parties will be able to access sensitive data about you or your family.
  • Greater security when storing and transmitting electronic medical records over.
  • More opportunity to secure insurance coverage if they changed jobs. 
  • HIPAA requires that patients be notified of the privacy practices and policies for their health information.
  • HIPAA compliance is not a requirement for all healthcare providers, but it does come with many benefits, as noted above. In order to maintain HIPAA compliance, you may be required to store sensitive data on secure servers or devices in locked areas.

How Does It Make A Difference In Health Sector?

It is not always easy to stay compliant with HIPAA regulations, especially when your business operates on shared networks. But a recent survey found that 97% of the respondents who said they were in compliance with HIPAA had seen increased profitability, and 86% reported lower risks associated with data theft or loss. A secure environment to store health information is critical, but it can be time-consuming and costly to do so, especially for small businesses.

As the complexity of how data is shared throughout an organization increases, managing HIPAA compliance across that environment becomes more difficult with every new employee or partner. This makes it imperative to have a plan in place before your company begins storing health information electronically.

The Bottom Line

HIPAA compliance is a top priority for many companies. But the truth is, it should be top of mind for all businesses that operate on shared networks and work with third-party vendors. When you sign up your business to use an external service provider, their HIPAA policies may need to change in order for them to continue providing services to your company. Unexpected changes can make it challenging to stay compliant, especially for small businesses that lack the necessary resources and expertise internally.

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