We live in a fast-paced environment and it may be hard to keep up sometimes. Even for business owners it is hard for them to keep up with constant change. They need to make sure they are working in an efficient and safe manner to keep their customers happy.
There are rules and regulations in place to protect people’s information and give them privacy. This means that businesses need to be compliant. One of the most important areas for compliance is in the healthcare industry.
Healthcare is one of the most regulated industries, making their compliance a crucial requisite for patient safety, the privacy of patient information, and billing practices.
There are two important acts that the healthcare industry needs to follow: HIPAA and HITECH.
Key Health Care Regulations
HIPPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA compliance is the measure that healthcare organizations implement in order to maintain the privacy, security, and integrity of their patients’ protected health information.
Protected health information (PHI) consists of any demographic information that could be used to identify a patient or client. Companies need to be aware of the rules surrounding HIPAA and follow them precisely. A HIPAA violation consists of anything that compromises the integrity of PHI and in turn makes the company non-compliant.
If HIPAA auditors find anything they think is a violation, the fines can range from $100 to $50,000 per incident, depending on the perceived negligence. Then there is HITECH.
HITECH stands for Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. It works to create incentives for the adoption and meaningful use of healthcare information technology or electronic health records (EHR) among providers. The HITECH Act adds to the privacy and security protections under HIPAA. It also introduces increased legal liability for non-compliance.
If the business has an electronic health record system, HITECH allows individuals the right to obtain their PHI in an electronic form. If any PHI is ever breached, that calls for an audit on that business. There are penalties for willful neglect, fees can go up to $250,000 for first time offenders and $1.5 million for repeat offenders.
If your business finds it hard to keep track of all these rules and regulations, you may want some help. One way is to seek assistance from a managed service provider (MSP). MSPs offer IT systems and tools that can help increase the efficiency of keeping PHI secure. An MSP also offers remote monitoring and maintenance which allows them to keep an eye on your network, workstations, and servers to avoid potentially critical security issues. An MSP can also reduce your business’ risk of non-compliance by patching up systems as well as backing up your data.
Final Thoughts: Getting the Help You Need
You might not know where to look for help, but looking for a candidate who has expertise and experience in this field is a good way to start. A candidate who meets all of these qualifications and who provides enterprise-level IT solutions for your health care organization is Machado Consulting. We pride ourselves in being more than just your IT department. We see ourselves as your partner. Complying with HIPAA and HITECH is important to you, so it’s important to us.
It’s time to ask yourself, what does your MSP do to keep you compliant? Let us show you what great service is like.