Equip your team with an easy-to-use HIPAA audit checklist to stay on top of your compliance requirements and reduce the risk of audits. It is the ideal tool to identify any risks or vulnerabilities in your healthcare organization or associated business.
Use this template as a base for your annual HIPAA audit report. Check, if all compliance requirements have been met and documents are available.Download template
Use this HIPAA risk assessment template to determine what threats and vulnerabilities currently exist in your organization that can put PHI at risk.Download template
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A HIPAA audit checklist is designed to help healthcare personnel identify potential risks to digitally-saved patient data, or formally termed as Protected Health Information (PHI). The checklist was enacted to respond to the changes in the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) that sought to address the increasing number of data breaches being reported to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
2018 saw the highest HIPAA enforcement record to date, with fines soaring up to $28.7 million for ten compliance cases. This puts even more weight on the urgency and importance of complying with HIPAA regulations. Going through an audit and possibly getting fined is the last thing any medical facility wants.
Safeguarding the patient’s protected health information has become a crucial matter, and complying with the HIPAA audit has become a primary priority in the health industry.
Essentially, HIPAA compliance is the process of meeting the requirements set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and any amendments following its passing, including related legislation like the HITECH Act.
One fascinating facet to it is that businesses looking to identify the compliance requirements would immediately see that it is not explicitly stated. In fact, the requirements of the HIPAA were intentionally written to be vague, so it would apply to any Covered Entity and Business Associate that is directly or indirectly involved with creating, accessing, processing, and storing patients’ protected health information. Through this, it can cover more ground and be implemented easily across multiple health institutions and individual practices.
To help you better understand, let’s take a look at who is considered as Covered Entity and Business Associate:
Covered Entities and Business Associates are mandated to make sure that every technical, physical, and administrative safeguard is observed to the highest standard for the protection of PHI. On top of this, practices must comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule to maintain the integrity of the PHI and, in the event of a data breach, guarantee to observe the procedure stated in the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule.
All risk-assessment procedures, HIPAA-related policies, and implementation failures of addressable safeguards must be detailed during the investigation to help determine exactly how the breach happened.
Typically, a HIPAA audit will be caused by a PHI breach. Although the list below is not exhaustive, these are the most common ways an audit could happen:
HIPAA violations that are classified under improper access include:
HIPAA violations that are considered unauthorized disclosures include:
Because of the variation in sizes, capacities, and complexities of different Covered Entities and Business Associates, the OCR deemed it impossible to provide specific guidelines on proper risk analysis methodology. But they did guide as to the objectives that a proper HIPAA risk assessment should have:
Furthermore, all relevant documents, measures, procedures, and policies pertaining to the HIPAA risk assessment are required to be kept for a minimum of six years.
Utilizing a mobile audit app to streamline your compliance practices can help keep fines at bay. With a digital checklist, your team can have valuable compliance procedures available at any time, so they are always guided on proper data protection practices, prevention of information breaches, and HIPAA regulations.
Use Lumiform and make the transition to using reliable digital checklists, which you can use to conduct audits right on your phone. You can sign up and create a free HIPAA compliance checklist to find out the benefits of going digital.
But that’s not all that you get: