By now, most people in the U.S. have heard of HIPAA, yet many are still unaware of what this law is and what it does. The Health…
Why is HIPAA Compliance So Important?
In the healthcare industry, acronyms abound. While it can be difficult to keep track of all the letters, it’s important to understand them thoroughly.
From medical terminology to regulatory procedures, each serves an important purpose. They help keep patients — and the providers who treat them — safe and secure.
One such example? HIPAA.
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. It ensures patients’ protected health information (PHI) remains confidential.
Today, we’re discussing the importance of HIPAA compliance. We’ll also talk about why it makes all the difference for healthcare providers.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
1. HIPAA Compliance Drives Patient Transparency
If patients understand that their data is secure, they’re more likely to disclose pertinent medical details.
Yet, there are myriad topics that can elicit sensitivity or timidity in patients. These could include reproductive concerns, mental health issues, substance abuse, and more.
As such, they could cause patients to withhold information that could make all the difference in an accurate diagnosis.
Industry research reveals that when patients trust their healthcare providers, they are more willing to seek care. They’re also more likely to comply with recommendations and return for follow-up support.
To this end, a healthcare provider that’s transparent about its HIPAA compliance will encourage that same level of transparency in its patients.
2. Non-Compliance is Costly
A HIPAA violation could be intentional or unknowing. Either way, if your healthcare organization fails to meet regulations, it could be looking at a fine of up to $1.5 million.
The steps to take to ensure compliance are much easier and less expensive in comparison.
Setting up secure processes, training employees, and keeping systems up-to-date can help you avoid a security breach. You’ll also avoid the hefty fees that go along with it.
Not sure where your organization stands in terms of compliance?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a Security Risk Assessment tool to get you started. This can help you determine if you’re covered (or not) when it comes to following regulations.
3. Your Reputation Hinges On It
Apart from the expense, it’s also important to consider the non-monetary ways that failing to act can cost you.
From hours spent contacting patients in the event of a security breach, to the loss of patient trust and a stain on your brand identity, there are many ways you could be forced to pay.
To this end, it’s critical to set standards for HIPAA compliance. Then, you should ensure that all medical providers, and the patients they serve, are aware of them.
Doing so sends the message that you value and respect human privacy, dignity, and individual decision-making. It also shows that you’ll go to great lengths to protect these traits as well.
Healthcare IT: Solutions You Can Trust
Are you interested in learning more about how managed IT services can contribute to your HIPAA compliance? If so, we’d love to help.
Our next-generation solutions integrate robust technology into your everyday operations. They take the guesswork out of managing regulatory obligations.
Contact us today to learn more and let’s connect!