By September 22, practices will need to comply with the HIPAA Final Rule decreed last January. Medical professionals already have many concerns when it comes to staying within prescribed government deadlines, so HIPAA compliance services are necessary to avoid violations.
Even practices that believe themselves to have been compliant in the past need to consult the most recent changes in order to see if they still qualify. Writing for the National Law Review, Sara Shanti and Katherine Miller list some of the updates that have been added this year.
These include mental health guidelines and changes to previous rules regarding laboratory use, both of which were published this February. Earlier than that, the Department of Health and Human Services suggested a change to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System that would apply to "persons prohibited by federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm for reasons related to mental health."
Another reason to stay current is the changing definition of what constitutes HIPAA violations. Transgressors could be fined for as much as $1.5 million within a single year, and the framework is there for further changes to be made in the coming years.
Writing for HealthITSecurity, Michael Fimin discussed the implications of the Final Rule, particularly when it comes to Business Associates (BAs) and Protected Health Information (PHI).
"BAs are now directly liable for violating the HIPAA Security Rule as well as certain provisions of the Privacy and Breach Notification Rules, and should be establishing policies and procedures, implementing various safeguards, and performing risk assessments in order to ensure their HIPAA compliance," Fimin said.
Avoid the latest violations with consultants that are skilled at educating and transforming your facility staff.