The Well being Insurance coverage Portability and Accountability Act of 1966 (HIPAA) was enacted to guard affected person’s information privateness. With this regulation, healthcare organizations similar to well being suppliers and enterprise associates aren’t allowed to share or disclose a affected person’s info with out the particular person’s information and consent. This can be a requirement for organizations to fulfill the nationwide normal safety rule.
As healthcare organizations attempt to meet the requirements outlined within the HIPAA coverage, the principle factor being requested is the way you change into HIPAA compliant. One complicated side about compliance is whether or not getting a HIPAA certification makes you compliant. Does this imply you’re compliant with the insurance policies acknowledged within the safety rule?
The Distinction Between HIPAA Certification and Compliance
HIPAA certification and HIPAA compliance are completely different in some ways. Getting certification means you’ve undergone the mandatory coaching and programs to can help you implement the required information safety normal in your group. A personal group all the time affords the certification after the completion of the HIPAA programs. You may also get a certification when a 3rd celebration assesses your compliance system towards the nationwide required normal.
In distinction, HIPAA compliance means you adhere to the safety requirements outlined within the act to guard the sufferers’ information. From the definition, you may get the HIPAA certification and nonetheless not be compliant. After finishing the coaching, chances are you’ll fail to implement it in your group.
One other distinction is that the Division of Well being and Human Companies (HHS) requires healthcare organizations to be HIPAA compliant all the time whether or not they have a certification or not. Nevertheless, there’s no clear rule compelling a company to get licensed. Certification isn’t a requirement by the regulation, however compliance is.
After getting a certification, the HHS can nonetheless probe your group for non-compliance circumstances because the division doesn’t acknowledge any non-public certification. For those who’re discovered to be non-compliant with the HIPAA rules, you’ll face authorized costs.
Furthermore, HIPAA certification will be given to an worker or a company. For those who practice some or your whole staff and get certifications, they may help your group be compliant. Nevertheless, staff can’t be thought to be HIPAA compliant as a result of they don’t have a safety system that may be assessed, however an organization does.
So, the underside line is, HIPAA compliance isn’t an possibility for any healthcare supplier. It’s worthwhile to be compliant all the time. In response to the HHS division, HIPAA certification isn’t obligatory, and your group can do with out it.
Which Is Vital?
After seeing the distinction between HIPAA certification and compliance, chances are you’ll marvel which among the many two is essential for your enterprise. First, being compliant is essential for your enterprise.
HIPAA compliance isn’t simply important in defending healthcare information but additionally to your enterprise. In case your group is assessed and located for non-compliance, chances are you’ll face authorized costs similar to fines and revoking licenses. Additionally, being HIPAA compliant may help clients belief your group extra and be prepared to have interaction with it. If clients lose their belief in your group, then you definitely lose your enterprise.
What about HIPAA certification? Of what advantages can the certification be to your group if HHS doesn’t acknowledge it? Despite the fact that certification isn’t obligatory or recognizable, it has a number of advantages like those listed under:
- Coaching your staff makes it simple to implement the insurance policies and procedures to make your group HIPAA compliant. It turns into simple to your group to show it’s compliant throughout an HHS evaluation with extra skilled personnel.
- Getting a third-party certification means your group has been assessed towards a normal set of insurance policies outlined by the act and corrections made on areas under the required normal. Despite the fact that the HHS received’t acknowledge the seal or the certification, it reduces the danger of non-compliance circumstances.
- One other benefit of HIPAA certification and coaching is that your staff perceive the practices that make the group non-compliant. A few of the circumstances come up from staff’ lack of coaching and understanding of the problematic areas. Nevertheless, completion of the certification may help doc insurance policies and procedures staff can seek advice from at any time relating to information privateness.
So, each HIPAA compliance and HIPAA certification are important to your group. You have to be compliant always, and the certification may help you obtain that.
Whereas compliance and certification could also be used interchangeably by many individuals, they aren’t the identical factor. As mentioned, compliance is obligatory and will all the time be noticed whereas certification isn’t. Certifications are awarded by quite a few establishments that supply HIPAA coaching or third-party evaluation whereas compliance adheres to the nationwide safety requirements on information privateness.
Even with the distinction, certification may help you be compliant, so you must take into account pursuing it.