A Guide To Secure With HIPAA.

Published On 28th May 2019

What Is HIPAA(Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was developed in 1996 and became part of the Social Security Act. The primary purpose of the HIPAA rules is to protect health care coverage for individuals who lose or change their jobs. However, HIPAA also includes Title II, better known as the Administrative Simplification Act. Title II requires the health care industry to become more efficient by encouraging the use of electronic media for transmission of certain patient administrative data. To make the public feel more secure with electronic transmission of data, the government developed privacy and security rules to complement the transaction rules.

HIPAA rules on electronic transactions, code sets, and privacy have been finalized; dates of finalization vary depending on the individual rules. While details of the rules may be modified, their essence and breadth will live indefinitely. It took Congress numerous attempts over a decade to get these regulations in place. Congress is not going to back down now. The country is still waiting on the final HIPAA rules related to national identifiers and security. One would think that the enactment of the HIPAA, with its mandates on data security and privacy, would have brought a major shift in the security management practices within the US healthcare. Unfortunately, recent industry reports indicate low levels of regulatory compliance, thus raising security concerns for the US health IT infrastructure. This research develops a regulatory compliance model by drawing insights from the institutional theory literature to identify the key drivers influencing HIPAA compliance, both institutional and market forces (eg, variability in state-level privacy laws comprehensiveness, interdependency between privacy and security rules, pressure from compliance leaders in the region, compliance officer‟ s functional background, and the consumer concern for privacy). We validate the model using a national sample of acute-care hospitals and find partial support. The primary contribution of this research lies in the novel application of institutional theory to explain the variability in regulatory compliance prevalent in the US healthcare sector.

HIPAA is very complex. So are the privacy and security initiatives that must occur to reach and maintain HIPAA compliance. Organizations need a quick, concise reference in order to meet HIPAA requirements and maintain ongoing compliance. The Practical Guide to HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance is a one-stop resource for real-world HIPAA.

Significance Of HIPAA

HIPAA Penetration Testing NIST has issued a special recommendation for HIPAA that says, “Conduct trusted penetration testing of the effectiveness of security controls in place, if reasonable and appropriate. This validates your exposure to actual vulnerabilities.”
It also says to document any deficiencies that are identified in a technically detailed report and include effective, efficient, and clear methods for remediation. That is a NIST recommendation specifically for HIPAA. All information that is created and/or stored on the tested systems will be removed from these systems. If this is for some reason not possible from a remote system, all these files (with their location) will be detailed in the technical report so that your technical staff will be able to remove these after the report has been received.

Reasons For The Concerns Over HIPAA

The real thorn in the side of the health care industry is not the regulations themselves but the timing of the regulations. They are coming at a time when health care providers and organizations are experiencing deep reductions in reimbursement due to the Balanced Budget Act. To add insult to injury, the health care industry was hit with yet another federal mandate-the Outpatient Payment System-causing even more reductions in revenue and reimbursement. Survival was top priority.
Just as health care providers and organizations began to breathe easier and realize that they would be able to survive financially if they looked for ways to reduce expenses, the HIPAA rules were introduced. All anyone could see were the costs associated with developing, implementing, and monitoring compliance associated with these new rules. More money would be needed, and it wouldn't be going to direct patient care. The health care industry has started wondering when patient care can become the primary focus rather than all the bureaucracy that goes with providing health care.

One component of the HIPAA regulations in particular promotes contention in the health care industry: the rule addressing privacy. There aren't too many negative feelings about standardization of data or security. People may feel more comfortable with the latter 2 components because they are related to technology, and the “technical” professionals will handle compliance. In some simple way, this may be correct. However, in the long run, these 2 rules will have an impact on several groups of people and applications within organizations. The privacy component, on the other hand, impacts everyone in the health care industry at all levels. Health care providers believe that the privacy rules will impede their ability to treat patients. Health care organizations are worried about their ability to comply since the rules are quite complicated.

Most organizations will experience some change in operations when they comply with the HIPAA privacy regulations. However, if protected health information is needed for treatment, a physician's ability to obtain the data shouldn't be hampered too much. What does go away with the HIPAA rules is open access to protected health information. This is a good change. Over the years, the health care industry has become very willing to share protected health information. In addition, state laws were either silent regarding this area or were overly broad and gave too many people the right to access protected health information. HIPAA reins in the boundaries and finally gives our patients assurance that their private health information will be provided only when there is a legitimate clinical or business need to know. Our patients will also have a better understanding of the various uses of their health data. So, are the worries legitimate? It depends on the organization and its previous stance on patient confidentiality. If an organization allowed open access, it will feel the impact of the rules more.

Healthcare Cyber Security And HIPAA Assurance With Business Associates

This is to summerize how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations have evolved over the past twenty years and the multitude of cyber security threats faced by the healthcare industry. Secondly, it reviews the HIPAA responsibilities, liabilities and lack of clarity for covered entities and their business associates in providing one another assurance of compliance. Thirdly, it seeks to illuminate the state of HIPAA compliance in today’s healthcare landscape and finally explains the current industry approaches to HIPAA assurance and their perceived value
The Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Protected Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Security Rule, establishes national standards for securing patient data that is stored or transferred electronically. It draws from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Cybersecurity Framework.


The HIPAA rules are here to stay. The health care industry should be working towards compliance. Rather than focusing on the negative issues related to the HIPAA rules, everyone is encouraged to consider the benefits. Furthermore, our patients can receive care and know that their protected health information will be used for the purpose for which it was intended.


Rakesh chandanala