Complying with all aspects of HIPAA can be a major challenge, especially for small to medium sized healthcare organizations. This is why most businesses turn to a HIPAA expert for guidance. Compliancy Group’s initial aim was to create a superior total compliance solution that would ensure HIPAA covered entities and their business associates fulfilled their compliance obligations, protected patient privacy, and ensured the PHI of patients was secured at all times.
With the stakes high and the complicated nature of compliance, Compliancy Group simplifies HIPAA by providing clients with a guided software solution. Each client is assigned a Compliance Coach™ to guide them through Compliancy Group’s proprietary implementation process Achieve, Illustrate, Maintain™, and use of the software.
Compliancy Group developed The Guard™, a user-friendly total HIPAA compliance software solution, to help clients achieve HIPAA compliance efficiently and effectively. The Guard™ serves as an easy-to-access repository for all compliance documentation, management, and tracking. By logging into the software, users have quick access to assessments, open incidents, remediation plans, tasks, and employee attestation, all from the Compliance Dashboard.
All materials are organized efficiently to suit the needs of each business, with documentation readily available should the Office for Civil Rights, state attorney generals, or other regulators require access to HIPAA documentation.
To ensure proper use of the software, and implementation of an effective HIPAA compliance program, clients are guided virtually through each step of the implementation process by their dedicated Compliance Coach. Coaches are always on hand to answer questions about specific aspects of the software, or HIPAA Rules.
Once a Compliance Coach verifies a client’s HIPAA compliance program, they grant the client the HIPAA Seal of Compliance™. The Seal, displayed on an organization’s website, email signature, or office front, is a visual representation of dedication to HIPAA, and keeping patient information private and secure. The Seal increases patient loyalty, client retention, and serves as a great differentiator for attracting new business.
Risk Assessments and Internal Audits
Compliancy Group provides guided risk analyses and assessments covering privacy, security, device management and technical, physical, and administrative controls. Internal audits assess all controls against HIPAA privacy, security, and breach notification standards and identify compliance gaps.
When compliance gaps are identified, Compliancy Group helps organizations develop and implement remediation plans to correct HIPAA violations.
Development of Policies and Procedures
Compliancy Group helps organizations develop and implement policies and procedures that meet HIPAA standards and match the unique needs of each practice.
Staff Compliance Training
The Guard™ includes staff training modules to ensure adherence to HIPAA standards. Training includes HIPAA 101, cybersecurity best practices, and policies and procedures. Employee training is fully trackable by administrators, and employees’ attestations, that they understand the material and agree to abide by the training, are stored in the software.
Documentation and Version Control
HIPAA requires organizations to document their compliance efforts, with documentation stored in an easy-to-access, secure repository, accessible via an easy-to-use GUI. Compliancy Group’s HIPAA software stores all of the documentation necessary to prove an organization’s “good faith” effort towards compliance in the event of an audit. All documentation can be easily accessed by logging into the Guard interface.
Management of Business Associates
Keeping track of business associates and ensuring HIPAA-compliant documentation exists for all vendors is made easy. Assistance is provided to ensure business associate agreements are obtained, with The Guard™ keeping track of all organizations that have been provided with access to PHI.
Data Breach Management
Data breaches are now a fact of life. When a breach occurs, it is essential that covered entities respond in a compliant manner. The Guard™ details the steps that must be followed, including providing the documentation for issuing notifications to patients and reporting incidents to appropriate authorities within the time frames demanded by HIPAA.
Compliancy Group’s HIPAA compliance software allows healthcare professionals to concentrate on running their practices, safe in the knowledge that protected health information is secured, HIPAA Rules are being followed, and information is available to external auditors.
Many Compliancy Group clients have been audited by industry regulators, but no clients have failed a compliance audit.
Non-Compliance Increasingly Attracts Financial Penalties
The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) prefers to resolve compliance issues with non-punitive measures; however, over the past several years there has been a significant rise in financial penalties for non-compliance with HIPAA Rules.
Each year, the number of settlements reached to resolve HIPAA violations and average fine amounts increases rapidly. Although many fines are issued for failing to meet HIPAA Security Rule requirements, OCR often fines organizations for other violations.
With widespread noncompliance with the HIPAA Right of Access standard, OCR has been largely focused on issuing right of access fines that stem from patient complaints. However, there has also been a rise in fines for failing to have business associate agreements in place, as there has been a rise in hacking incidents targeting business associates for patient information.
Hackers are increasingly targeting healthcare organizations directly or through their business associates. Since HIPAA compliance and cybersecurity go hand-in-hand, it has never been more important to have an effective HIPAA compliance program in place!