What You Need to Know About HIPAA Privacy Rules - Pioneer Pacific College

What You Need to Know About HIPAA Privacy Rules

9 October 2018 By Kate

Nearly all medical records now exist in some digital format. For this reason, the federally mandated HIPAA Security Rule was imposed to protect patients medical, health, and private information across the Internet.

The HIPAA Security rule ensures confidentiality, integrity, and availability of health information. It also detects and prevents reasonably anticipated mistakes or breaches due to criminal activity, system failures, or natural disasters. These types of disasters could cause loss of information or loss of data within a system.

If you are pursuing an administrative role in a hospital or other medical facility, it is vital that you understand what the regulations are and how to apply them in your new management role.

If you have any questions about the HIPAA Privacy Rules or how to become certified in a medical administrative role, contact Pioneer Pacific College at 866-772-4636.

Below is a summary of the HIPAA Rules

HIPAA Privacy Rules and a Patient’s Rights

HIPAA plays an integral role in protecting patient information from being exposed in ways that would violate the patient’s right to privacy. The Ruling also gives patients or designated parties access to protected health information.

A patient can inspect or obtain a copy of their protected health information (PHI) from the medical facility regardless of when the information was created or in what format (hard copy or digital) it exists.

The information that the patient can view includes:

  • Medical records and billing records maintained by a healthcare provider
  • Enrollment, payment, claims, medical care, and medical and information maintained by the provider
  • Records that a covered medical entity uses to make decisions about medical treatment
  • Any associated insurance information used for medical billing purposes
  • Diagnosis, testing, and analysis information

How HIPAA Privacy Rules Apply to Your Job

Below is a summary of the HIPAA Rules and how they apply to your medical job.

Protected Information

  • Names
  • Birth, death or treatment dates
  • Telephone numbers, addresses, and additional contact information
  • Social Security numbers
  • Medical records numbers
  • Photographs
  • Finger and voice prints
  • Account number

Administrative Compliance

  • Administrative procedures, policies, and practices to regulate access
  • Physical security to protect all data and documents
  • Technical security in place to prevent links or breaches

As a medical facility administrator, you may be required to maintain all accurate records on hardware and software technology. Electronic records allow you to access information for diagnosis and medical treatment. You may designate officers over this information to ensure that all information is HIPAA compliant, accurate, and current.

Paragraph 3: Establishing a Risk Analysis

A risk analysis is an assessment of potential vulnerabilities, threats, and risks to your organization’s system. Specific areas in the analysis must be included:

  • Scope analysis
  • Data collection
  • Vulnerabilities/threat identification
  • Assessment of current security measures
  • Likelihood of threat occurrence
  • The potential impact of a threat
  • Risk level
  • Periodic review/update as needed

Technology Upgrades and Maintenance

Your facility may need to undergo a complete system implementation or upgrade to enhance security and confidentiality for all your patients. Some of the technology available includes:

  • Cloud-based software
  • Data protection
  • Managed services
  • Compliance & security analysis and maintenance

HIPAA Violations

Federal law requires you to comply with the HIPAA Security Rule. Failing to may incur fines and penalties against your medical facility. You may also risk other civil and criminal penalties such as imprisonment as outlined in the ruling.

How to Handle System Failure or Breaches

If you detect a system failure or a breach, you must notify all affected patients that your medical facility or associated entities treated if the breach involves more than 500 patients. You must also inform the Secretary of the Health and Human Services (HHS) and the media in the state or jurisdiction where the patients reside.

Classes Available for Administrative Medical Careers

At Pioneer Pacific College, we are committed to providing the highest level of education for students pursuing a medical career. We offer administrative medical programs for individuals who are interested in hospital or medical facility management.

To find out more about the classes we offer or how to sign up, call us at 866-772-4636, or you can message us on our contact page.

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