What Is HIPAA Compliance?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 was enacted by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The act was created to standardize how healthcare information is handled. The most important part regulates how personally identifiable information maintained by the healthcare and healthcare insurance industries should be protected from fraud and theft.
Why is HIPAA important?
HIPAA is important because individual health information is some of the most sensitive and personal, making it an ideal target for identity thieves. HIPAA also gives patients increased control on who can view and access their health information. By giving patients more control over their own personal privacy, it created a streamlined way for them to take their medical records to new providers, resulting in fewer repeated tests and more informed medical decisions.
What happens if a HIPAA violation occurs?
The criminal penalties for HIPAA violations can be severe. Maximum penalties can reach fines of up to $250,000 and a prison term of up to 1 year. These heavy penalties ensure that all parties in the healthcare industry take the regulations seriously. As a result, the majority of respectable healthcare professionals go to great lengths to make sure they are in compliance.
How can I make sure my documents are HIPAA compliant?
It’s extremely important to make sure sensitive medical documents are securely stored and properly disposed of to avoid heavy fines and penalties. R4 offers Healthcare Industry Document Management services designed to take the worry and liability out of storing sensitive information to make sure clients are compliant. Additionally, we offer shredding services that ensure sensitive information is properly destroyed. If you have digital sensitive information on a computer that no longer is useful, we also offer state of the art hard drive destruction services.
Remaining HIPAA compliant is extremely important not only from an ethical standpoint but also from a fiscal standpoint -- high fines and jail time. R4 services can help you remain 100% compliant and take the worry out of your medical practice.