The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides federal protections for personal health information held by covered entities and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule is balanced so that it permits the disclosure of personal health information needed for patient care and other important purposes.
The Security Rule specifies a series of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards for covered entities to use to assure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information.
All individuals involved in the health care delivery system must start now to prepare for HIPAA. Actually, HIPAA does not apply to all health care providers. Rather, it only applies to those who engage in “standardized electronic transactions,” as defined by the federal government. For example, if you submit claims or perform eligibility checks electronically, either directly or through a third party, e.g., a billing service, then you are subject to the HIPAA privacy and security requirements. In addition, if you perform any transactions electronically, the information in both your electronic and paper records are covered by HIPAA.
This audit is intended to be a starting point for solo and small practice professionals. This includes physicians, dentists, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, and all other health care professionals. This audit provides professionals with a list of 20 Considerations. Each of these considerations is presented in the form of a statement. Depending on how you respond to these considerations, you can determine how much you will have to do to prepare for HIPAA. To assist you in thinking about the changes you may have to make in your office, a series of suggestions are presented under each consideration regarding how to ensure your practice meets the HIPA A privacy and security requirements.
Valency Networks can work with your firm to establish standards set forth by HIPAA, and achieve certification.