HIPAA Audit: How to Prepare for a HIPAA Compliance Audit

Receiving a letter from the Office of Civil Rights can be upsetting, regardless of whether you are a covered entity or a business associate. It’s not exactly what your dreams are made of to hear from the organization responsible for implementing HIPAA, one of the strictest healthcare standards in the world.

What should you do, though, if you are chosen for a HIPAA audit? First of all, don’t freak out. This document outlines the steps you should take to get ready for a HIPAA compliance audit.

Step 1: Appoint a HIPAA Security and Privacy Officer

Organizations are required by HIPAA to designate a HIPAA security and privacy officer.

It used to be common knowledge that your company’s IT manager would be automatically in charge of security and privacy. This is no longer the case, though, as managing these regions has grown into a far bigger duty.

Who then ought to be chosen to serve as the HIPAA privacy and security officer? All HIPAA-related matters, including the safeguarding of ePHI and PHI, will be handled by the designated person or persons.

Consider the experience, technical knowledge, and interpersonal skills of a candidate before selecting them for this position. Keep in mind that during the audit, this officer or these officers will serve as the OCR liaison.

2. Employers should receive HIPAA training to help them understand the rules

Your staff must get training on HIPAA standards, its numerous complexities, and the repercussions of non-compliance. A thorough training program makes sure that every person in your company is knowledgeable about the most recent changes to the law as well as the best ways to protect PHI.

To begin attaining this goal, education and training materials on subjects like patient rights and handling sensitive information must be made available to all staff. Every employee should, ideally, receive training immediately after starting.

3. Make a plan for managing risks and perform a risk analysis.

The following action in finding any vulnerabilities is to do a security analysis. Because every organization is unique and has a varied size, risk profile, and set of business requirements, so do its risk assessment procedures. There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all template” that is easily accessible because of this.

To develop proper paperwork for your organization’s risk assessments and HIPAA risk analyses to present during the audit, take note.

4. Establish a recurring policy and procedure review.

It’s not enough to merely set policies and processes; you must also regularly examine and improve them for maximum effectiveness. This is true for any facet of a successful organization.

This can be accomplished by conducting routine reviews of policies and processes. The OCR will examine how your policies are being carried out and how a progression plan was made. In this approach, the OCR can track when the objective of new programs or regulations is being met.

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