Rethinking the Role of Compliance

HIPAA Compliance Shouldn’t Require a Doctorate

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) went into effect as part of the Social Security Act of 1996. HIPAA was originally designed to protect health care coverage for individuals who lost or changed their jobs. But, growing with the times, it has expanded to ensure secure transfers of electronic protected health information (ePHI). As such, hospitals, private practices, dental offices, clinics, pharmacies, health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and any other covered entity or person handling ePHI, have all had to work earnestly to achieve and maintain compliance with the extensive set of strict requirements associated with HIPAA. Now more than ever, there are increasingly more costly and frequent data breaches. It is more important than ever to provide assurances when it comes to protecting vendor data and patient ePHI.

The 5 Main HIPAA Rules to Understand

1. Privacy Rule

The privacy rule protects the ePHI and medical records of individuals. It requires limits and conditions on the various uses and disclosures that can and cannot be made without patient authorization.

2. Security Rule

The security rule defines and regulates the standards, methods, and procedures related to the protection of ePHI. This covers storage, accessibility, and transmission of the relevant data. Furthermore, the security rule can be broken into 3 safeguard levels: administrative, technical, and physical.

3. Transaction Rule

HIPAA does not require physicians to conduct transactions electronically. However, if a physician practice does conduct any the transactions named under HIPAA, the organization must submit the transactions according to the HIPAA standards. The transaction codes ensure safety, accuracy, and security of medical records or ePHI.

4. Identifiers Rule

HIPAA uses three unique identifiers for covered entities conducting HIPAA-regulated administrative and financial transactions. These identifiers are the National Provider Identifier (NPI), National Health Plan Identifier (NHI), and the Standard Unique Employer Identifier Number (EIN).

5. Enforcement Rule

The Enforcement Rule expands the rules and establishes criminal and civil penalties for any violations of privacy and security required by HIPAA. So, covered entities and their business associates must enforce rules for the application of security and privacy requirements, accounting disclosure requirements, sales and marketing restrictions, accounting disclosure requirements, and the enforcement of all security requirements across business associates’ contracts as well.

We know, these rules are a lot to digest. But, HIPAA compliance is important and required for any covered organization. With all the hustle and bustle of a modern health care organization, meeting these requirements frequently becomes a check-box exercise, leaving your organization and patient data vulnerable to breaches. Consequently, not complying will result in fines and legal consequences and lasting reputational damage if and when a vulnerability is exposed. In other words, making HIPAA compliance a priority is essential, but it doesn’t need to be a challenge.

At Qmulos we pride ourselves on solving your HIPAA needs.

As a native Splunk powered solution, Q-Compliance solves the hassle of complying with HIPAA by applying a compliance lens to near real-time data being ingested across your enterprise and assessing it against the HIPAA security controls. Moreover, Q-Compliance contextualizes the log data ingested through Splunk into a HIPAA compliance lens, making compliance easy for anyone to prove. No longer do teams need to manually collect technical evidence, spend fortunes on audits, or spend hours scouring static spreadsheets.

Q-Compliance is purpose-built to help you streamline and automate complex cybersecurity auditing and compliance requirements like HIPAA, NIST 800-53, SOX, PCI DSS, and many others. Qmulos’ HIPAA dashboards provide insight to how well the organization or systems score against control categories, and where to improve. Furthermore, the dashboards are broken into Administrative, Physical, Technical, or Policies and Procedures and Documentation Requirements. They provide an ability to quickly drill into specific domains to view compliance against the capabilities, practices and processes set forth, and also drill into individual controls to see the specific systems, events, and assets that are non-compliant.

Q-Compliance gives the user the ability to upload policies, procedures and file evidence, as well as automatically log human activity. The software keeps evidence needed for audits all in one place, making things more organized and efficient. Also, Q-Compliance aligns specific security controls with the HIPAA policies and procedures. We do this by using real-time log and event data to score your organization’s practices against HIPAA. In conclusion, Qmulos codified industry best practices into the application workflows, enabling your organization to institutionalize and optimize the processes that improve your cyber posture and protect you and your client’s ePHI. As such, Qmulos is ready to serve you and make your life as a security and compliance professional easier.

HIPAA Dashboard on Q-Compliance

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