In November of this year, two printing companies in NJ received massive fines for HIPAA violations. These fines amounted to a settlement of $130,000.00. The imposition of these fines was the result of the careless management of patient data. This data was allegedly exposed to dangerous data breaches as a result.
HIPAA compliance in NJ can be a daunting task to tackle. HIPAA compliance services involve an intense combination of monitoring and storing data securely. How do you know if you are HIPAA compliant? How can you become HIPAA compliant? Continue reading our article and find out how!
What Is HIPAA?
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act was first passed back in 1996 and serves to both share and protect patient data.
The Act provides authority to the patient regarding the use of their health information. This is commonly known as protected health information (PHI) and is paramount.
But, since the Act protects the information it also ensures the data is accessible for research. With the advent of the internet, the health care industry discovered medical research could be readily shared. But, they also acknowledge that the research is tied closely to the privacy of patients. This is why HIPAA exists today. To adhere to this regulation, qualified individuals must comply with specific data-sharing rules.
HIPAA and Privacy Protection
HIPAA privacy indicates a secure and encrypted data source and storage of data. HIPAA compliance management systems include databases where patient information is shared and stored.
To keep data in such a database, you must follow specific rules and regulations. The rules specify that privacy, notice, and security specifications. When sharing patient data it is presumed that the patients will receive a notice and comply.
This requires a secure transmission and use of data. Public access or more open access is only permissible under specific legal requirements. This may be the disclosure of domestic violence abuse and public health issues. But, ultimately, the data of patients must be securely safeguarded by proper encryption.
HIPAA privacy requires that data storage be resistant to data breaches and shared data. These specifications will be discussed in more detail below.
What Is HIPAA Compliant Hosting?
HIPAA compliant hosting entails several specific security measures. These include physical safeguards, technical safeguards, and administrative security.
HIPAA compliance services are database services that guarantee security:
- Authentification services
- Tracking activities
- Safeguarding access
- Proper disposal
- Restrictions on mobile access
- Evaluating risks
- Employee training programs
- Notice of data leaks
Each of these data security standards exists to protect data and share it in a secure way. Encryption and decryption ensure that the patient’s data is not leaked on insecure websites. When and if data is leaked the decryption and encryption serve to mask the information.
Authentification services provide a security guarantee that only qualified eyes see data. Additionally, employee training serves to protect the use and access of patient data. If a data leak occurs, patients are entitled to know of this. But, consistent and continual evaluation of security measures serves to prevent such things.
HIPAA Compliance In NJ
Every state has its own application of how they apply HIPAA security. In NJ, HIPAA security involves the use of the data cloud. One of the first forms on the NJ state websites specifies the consent of the patient. Their written consent is necessary for the use of their information.
The other form you will find on this website is the “Notice of Privacy Practices“. Here is the information on the use of patient data and how they want to receive communication. It also reviews several NJ-specific applications. Data disclosure of information and the rights to know when data breaches occur. But, the NJ statute specifies the explicit rights to know. They have the right to receive a list of all their data disclosures and who receives them. The ultimate purpose of the NJ regulations is to guarantee the patient’s security of their data.
HIPAA Compliance and HIPAA violations
HIPAA violations and compliance refer to the use of data and breaching of security. To avoid violations proper HIPAA training is necessary. The importance of such training is to clarify when a breach of security and privacy occurs.
It is not always forthcoming about what is and is not a data breach or privacy violation. Disclosing private patient data in a conversation with someone who is not qualified to know about it is a violation. But, it can also include accessing data in an insecure manner. This is why it is so important that staff and employees understand how and where to access data.
But, aside from an untrained staff, there are many other ways HIPAA can be violated. Having a system that performs regular data inspections. Tracks who accesses the data and when. A failure to perform risk analysis in a timely manner is a violation of HIPAA privacy. If you do not access and monitor the PHI log on a regular basis, this can qualify as a violation. It requires a lot of work and effort. The ramifications for failing to adhere are rather large. In NJ, the fines can account for hundreds of thousands in fines.
How to Achieve HIPAA Compliance
HIPAA compliance can be an immense task to tackle as a healthcare administrator. Achieving HIPAA compliance in NJ involves an intense capacity to regulate data and monitor access. But, the good news is, you do not need to regulate this data yourself. Investing in a secure data network that monitors this system is an ideal solution.