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Over the past few years, HIPAA and other state and federal laws that govern the security and safety of client health data are being updated more frequently. As technology progresses, the requirements to protect client data are becoming more strict and penalties more severe.
This is why it’s imperative that rehabilitation agencies continually keep abreast of the latest changes in the laws as well as working to ensure they remain in compliance. A single HIPAA violation can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars – and that’s just for the first violation.
The HHS.gov website has kept records of the top 5 HIPAA violations across the industry from 2013 to 2016:
These violations are not willful most of the time. They’re due to misguided, bad, and negligent patient data storage, security, and handling procedures. Rehab agencies that wish to proactively remain in compliance with the changing rules and laws that concern client data safety have two options:
1. Hire a compliance officer (or train an existing employee) whose job it is to continually stay abreast of the law and maintain updated compliance procedures and audits
2. Integrate software such as Intuition by Vertex – which was specifically designed to help rehab agencies not only stay compliant – but reduce the amount of human errors that can lead to huge fines if audited.
The two biggest HIPAA security risks that most rehabilitation agencies face are:
Information stored on multiple unsecured computers – Intuition ensures that data is centrally stored and located on a state-of-the-art secure cloud server that is in compliance with HIPAA security standards.
Multiple employees using the same computer with the same login information – Intuition by Vertex enforces a strict security culture – each user is given a unique login ID and account and permission levels are set appropriately so each person will only have access to the information they need to perform their job.
Is You Rehabilitation Agency Compliant?
Staying in complete and total compliance with the various state and federal laws can be a daunting task for agencies not running computer software like Vertex. If you haven’t taken a look at your systems and processes in a while, or have questions about how Vertex reduces risk, give me a call (614) 318-7100. Intuition by Vertex will help streamline processes, increase efficiency, and ultimately lower the risk of an audit finding anything wrong.