Achieve HIPAA compliance with Strike Graph

Strike Graph’s risk-based methodology sets you up for a successful HIPAA compliance program.

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HIPAA Compliance Basics

What is HIPAA Compliance?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 is a collection of medical privacy regulations for healthcare organizations handling sensitive personal health information (PHI). HIPAA sets the standard for security, privacy, and integrity of patient data. 

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Who Needs to Be HIPAA Compliant?

Entities required to comply with HIPAA are called covered entities and include hospitals, academic medical centers, physicians, and other healthcare providers. HIPAA defines covered entities as any organizations that collect, process, store, or share protected health information. Any business that enters into a business associate contract with a covered entity must also adhere to HIPAA.

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Benefits of HIPAA Compliance

Patient Trust

Patient Trust

Patient trust is a core component in the healthcare industry, where data breaches destroy relationships and threaten an organization's future. Meeting HIPAA compliance requirements strengthens patient trust by enhancing transparency, privacy, and security of healthcare information systems.  

Mitigate Breaches

Data Handling Best Practices

Implementing and maintaining HIPAA security and privacy practices will not only pave the way for becoming HIPAA compliant, but will also ensure that your organization is handling sensitive data appropriately.

Identify risks

Risk Identification

A core component of HIPAA compliance is a Risk Assessment or Risk Analysis. For many small- and medium-sized organizations, the risk assessment exercise is an eye-opener, one that can lead to the implementation of necessary security measures and operational practices.

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Culture of Security & Privacy

Becoming HIPAA compliant is not just a checklist activity. Rather, the entire organization is called upon to embrace security and privacy best practices. This is accomplished through ongoing training, periodic HIPAA self-audits, clear policies and procedures, and collaboration.

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Avoidance of Fines, Corrective Actions & Non-Compliance

Failing to comply with HIPAA requirements can result in violations and considerable fines.  A proactive approach to HIPAA compliance can minimize potential findings as well as reduce unanticipated costs.

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Reputation Management

Healthcare organizations that fall victim to data breaches generally suffer irreparable harm to their reputation. Understanding the unique security threats and vulnerabilities present in an organization encourages the application of the HIPAA Security Rule to protect PHI and maintain a stellar reputation.

How Strike Graph Helps You Become HIPAA Compliant

Risk-Driven Automation to Select the Right Controls

Implement necessary security controls—including administrative, physical, and technical safeguards—as recommended by the HIPAA Security Rule.
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A Library of HIPAA-Ready Policy Templates 

Our library of privacy and security policies allows your organization to develop and implement the ones you need to meet security requirements.

Audit Proven Policy Templates

Expert Guidance to Ensure Your Readiness

Our Audit Success Managers will ensure you're equipped with a compliance roadmap designed specifically for your organization.

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Independent HIPAA Compliance Evaluation

Our independent HIPAA compliance evaluation will ensure your organization is meeting various privacy, integrity, and security standards in relation to sensitive personal health information (PHI).

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Additional HIPAA Resources

Access our 'Guide to Unlocking Revenue with HIPAA Compliance,' why tackling HIPAA and SOC 2 in unison makes sense, and more.

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HIPAA: The Essentials

Is your organization a HIPAA-covered entity?

HIPAA covered entities include organizations that collect, process, store, or share protected health information. HIPAA rules define covered entities as health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and healthcare providers who electronically transmit any healthcare information connected to transactions that The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has adopted standards for. Entities required to comply with HIPAA include hospitals, academic medical centers, physicians, and other healthcare providers. Even if your business is not specifically a covered entity, you are subject to HIPAA rules if you enter into a business associate contract with a covered entity.

HIPAA Privacy Rule

The Privacy Rule sets national standards to protect patients' medical records and other personal health information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule applies to healthcare clearinghouses, health plans, and other healthcare providers that conduct transactions electronically. The rule requires reliable measures to protect the privacy of PHI.  The rule establishes authorized actions and the required disclosures that apply to such data. In addition, the HIPAA Privacy Rule gives individuals rights over their health information, including rights to access and review a copy of their records and request modifications.

HIPAA Security Rule

The Security Standards for protecting ePHI are a national set of standards establishing the protective protocols for health information that covered entities hold or transfer. HHS states that "the Security Rule operationalizes the protections contained in the Privacy Rule by addressing the technical and non-technical safeguards" that covered entities must implement to secure ePHI. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) mandates the enforcement of both the Privacy and Security Rules with voluntary compliance activities and civil money penalties.

 

Becoming HIPAA Compliant

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services explains  that no "standard or implementation specification requires a covered entity to 'certify' compliance in HIPAA." However, covered entities are required to perform a periodic technical and non-technical evaluation that establishes the extent to which an entity's security policies and procedures meet the security requirements. Covered entities can perform the assessment internally or contract with an external organization that provides certification services. It is essential to point out that HHS does not endorse or recognize private organizations' 'certifications' regarding HIPAA Security Rule.  

After establishing that the organization is a covered entity or a business associate to a covered entity, organizations can follow these steps to comply with HIPAA requirements:

  • Develop privacy and security policies for a covered entity
  • Develop an inhouse team of HIPAA experts with a designated Privacy Compliance Office as required by the HIPAA Security Rule  
  • Implement necessary security controls, including administrative, physical, and technical safeguards as recommended by the HIPAA Security Rule
  • Conduct regular risk assessment and self-audits to identify HIPAA compliance gaps
  • Obtain satisfactory assurances that business associates meet HIPAA requirements and can safeguard shared PHI
  • Develop a breach notification protocol
  • Document the process for future HIPAA audits and incident investigations

 

Staying HIPAA Compliant

Organizations can follow these steps to stay HIPAA compliant and avoid HIPAA violations or penalties:

  • Partnering with an expert who understands HIPAA requirements
  • Conducting an annual risk assessment
  • Performing frequent vulnerability assessments and penetration testing
  • Enhancing security posture by implementing assessment recommendations  
  • Continuous employee awareness on HIPAA compliance requirements
  • Regular reviews of business associate contracts for compliance