To secure the integrity of Protected Health Information, covered entities and business partners are required to comply with the physical, administrative, and technical measures stipulated in HIPAA (PHI).

Obtain HIPAA compliance:

Two categories of enterprises must adhere to HIPAA regulations.

Covered Entities: 

According to HIPAA regulations, a covered entity is any business that acquires, produces, or transmits PHI electronically. Health care providers, clearinghouses, and insurance companies are examples of healthcare organizations that fall within the definition of covered entities.

Business Associates:  

According to HIPAA regulations, a business associate is any company that comes into contact with PHI while working for a covered entity under a contract. Because there are so many different service providers that can handle, transmit, or process PHI, there is a tonne of instances of business partners. Billing companies, practice management companies, third-party consultants, EHR platforms, MSPs, IT providers, faxing companies, shredding companies, physical storage providers, cloud storage providers, email hosting services, attorneys, accountants, and many more are typical examples of business associates impacted by HIPAA rules.

These are some of the HIPAA Rules that you should be aware of:

Privacy Rule:  

Patients' rights to PHI are governed by national standards outlined by the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Business associates have not covered entities and are not subject to the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The HIPAA Privacy Rule includes several requirements, such as those relating to patients' access rights to PHI, health care providers' access rights to PHI, and the information that Use and Disclosure HIPAA release forms and Notices of Privacy Practices must contain, among others. The organization's HIPAA Policies and Procedures must have documentation of the regulatory requirements. Annual training on these policies and procedures is required for all workers, with written confirmation of completion.

HIPAA Security Rule: 

National requirements for the secure processing, preservation, and transfer of ePHI are established by the HIPAA Security Rule. Due to the possible sharing of ePHI, both covered organizations and business partners are subject to the HIPAA Security Rule. The Security Rule specifies requirements for the integrity and security of ePHI, including administrative, technological, and administrative measures that must be in place in every health care institution. HIPAA Policies and Procedures for the organization must include documentation of the regulation's specifics. Annual staff training on these policies and procedures is required, with attestation in writing.

Breach Notification Rule: 

In the case of a data breach involving PHI or ePHI, covered organizations and business partners are required to comply with the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule. Depending on the scale and severity of the breach, the Rule specifies various breach reporting obligations. Regardless of their magnitude, breaches must be reported to HHS OCR by organizations, although the particular reporting procedures vary depending on the nature of the breach. The sections below go through the intricacies of the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule.

HIPAA Omnibus Rule:  

To extend the scope of the HIPAA law to business partners as well as covered businesses, the HIPAA Omnibus Rule was enacted. The HIPAA Omnibus Rule specifies the requirements for Business Associate Agreements and demands that Business Associates comply with HIPAA (BAAs). Before ANY PHI or ePHI can be transmitted or exchanged, a covered entity and a business associate—or between two business associates—must sign a business associate agreement. The sections following go into further information about BAA specifics.