Posts Tagged: ‘information technology’

Should Your Business be Worried About HIPPA Regulations?

Posting Date: 06/18/2014  |   Filed Under: Security, Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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The response is most likely yes! In fact many businesses and industries have to comply with HIPPA standards and regulations.

Unsure what HIPPA is and why it’s important?  Here is a quick review:

HIPPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.  HIPPA was sanctioned by Congress in 1996 with the objective of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of our health care system.  It also determined the guidelines for the security of vital and sensitive patient information known as protected health information (PHI).

PHI makes each of us rapidly identifiable based on our name; social security number; address; birth date; payment information; and our past, present, and future physical and mental conditions and treatment procedures. Shielding this kind of extremely sensitive information is of the utmost importance for any business that handles PHI including healthcare providers, insurers, financial services, and other health related service.

HIPPA built strict guidelines with the HIPPA Privacy Rule and the HIPPA Security Rules characterizing how this delicate information must be protected. Most healthcare providers and organizations work with a HIPPA compliant hosting provider and data center to safeguard information that is online or transmitted over the Internet. The HIPPA Security Principles fall into three classifications:

•Administrative Safeguards requires the assignment of a privacy offer; an annual risk assessment; employee preparation; workforce security and observance to information access standards for all involved with PHI.

•Physical Safeguards oversee four areas of compliance regulations that include facility access controls; workstation use; workstation security; and device and media controls.

•Technical Safeguards outlines the five areas of technology that defend PHI.  Technology must comply for access control; audit controls; integrity; authentication; and transmission security.

The punishment and penalties for HIPPA non-compliance can be extreme.  The financial ramifications can be as high as $50,000 per violation or more!   If you are concerned about your business meeting HIPPA’s strict standards for technology, please give your local Geeks On Call office a call for a consultation.  We have many owners that specialize in HIPPA compliance and regulations.  While we are not giving legal advice, we can certainly help with your technology.