What’s New in HIPAA 2020?

HIPAA has been significant for the entities, professionals, and the patients for years. As the time goes by, there have been things that change. In 2020, there are also trends and changes. Here are what to expect on HIPAA regulations in 2020.

2020 will be the year for patients

We especially talk about the Patient Right of Access. HIPAA representatives clearly stated that patients have the right to attain their own medical information without interruption from other parties.

In some states, the application of the software apps can give tons of perks for the patients. These software apps give the patients leverages to manage their information. OCR has high hopes for this movement because they are rooting for the patient’s rights.

Back then in April 2019, the OCR emerged the FAQs information to guide HIPAA to apply to the apps. Dash could help you to summarize what it stated.

It says that the covered entities are not liable when there is an unauthorized access which happens in PHI. Since the patients are the direct involved party, they have the right to assemble and manage the information by themselves. the software apps are mostly easy to learn. It takes a few minutes until the patients are familiar with the software apps.

There are many covered entities and business associates who do not respect the HIPAA privacy rules. Although there are still many parties who are not compliant, the OCR will be watching them over. It won’t be easy for serious businesses to violate the rules nowadays. Ones must be careful when practicing their business.

The Risk assessments will be nature for health entities and organizations

As we know, the risk assessments have been very prevalent existences for the professionals and organizations to balance their policies. More and more organizations are aware of the importance of risk assessments. In order to have the insurance, they will need to perform the risk assessments.

There’s a good thing in it. The risk assessments are an integral part of the HIPAA audits. So, it is safe to assume that if one has performed the risk assessments, then these will be great for the HIPAA audits. If you are running your company, you are eligible to conduct the risk assessments by yourself. However, HIPAA possibly see this as a subjective term. To keep everything more objective, you could use the third-party expert services to conduct the assessment instead.

When it comes to HIPAA compliance, it is not enough to only check the boxes. Ones should adopt the HIPAA policies and conduct the risk analysis. it is important to conduct thorough risk analysis, document all of it with transparency, and follow the appropriate risk management plan.

The arguments over National Patient identifier disclosure

Back then in June 2019, the House voted to lift the ban. The importance of National Patient identifier has been proposed by many parties. Many parties from IT institutions have the same sounds about the patient matching benefits. With the help of the identifier, the health entities and the authorized parties can minimize the mis-identification, errors, or mismatching.  Meanwhile, AHIMA – the American Health Information Management Association support the development of the National Patient identifier. also proposed the ban lifting. Despites many parties have been rooting for the identifier development, there are also objections from politicians. Rand Paul argued that the identifier could threat patient’s privacy in bad terms.

The healthcare identifier will go active from January 1, 2020. This national patient identifier will be one of the hottest topics related to HIPAA in the first quarter of the 2020 year.

HIPAA changes in Social Media environment

If by any reason, you use the social media, it is important to maintain the communication based on the HIPAA compliance. Under HIPAA, there are possibilities that one might violate the rules on social media networks.

Some of the solid examples of HIPAA violations in the social media are: 

  • Gossiping to other individuals although they don’t disclose the real name of the objects
  • Sharing any medical photos without patient’s consent
  • Post anything from the office
  • Sharing patient files through messenger, internal mailing system, or others
  • Publishing content without the respective consent

Professionals need to know about the social media risks since there is no sign of stopping the trends from happening. The challenges will lie in the employee training. It is important to create a policy on social media. If you still don’t have one, make sure to move quickly. 

The importance of Cyber security awareness

There have been many slits wherein the hackers and irresponsible people are able to steal the patient information for any purpose. However, the research has shown that most breaches of the patient medical information happens through the email. That means it is sensible to take measurements which can focus on the information transaction within the emails. There are around 17% of breaches which have been happening in the last decade. 

Few months ago, we have been surprised by the trends of Ransomware. It is not a small deal since it can threaten the health information security on both national and international basis. According to the Dash experts, health care organizations and entities must perform an investigation to find out the culprit and make the most appropriate solution.

It is undeniable that the Ransomware is more difficult to prevent than the conventional phishing. However, professionals can counter the Ransomware by conducting Risk analysis and take precautions.

All employees and responsible parties should have the set of skills and capabilities in the PHI security. Therefore, enlisting them to the security training will be sensible approaches for the sake of the patients’ interests. As long as each personnel knows what to take to prevent cyber attacks from happening, it will be great. Full training should be conducted to arm the staff and entities with the best protection.

The IT department or division in the health entities should be able to maintain backups and update the OS and antiviruses to protect themselves from ransomware attacks.

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