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HIPAA Survey Shows Compliance Assessments Can Increase Business

A recent series of customer polls conducted by RapidFire Tools Inc., a leading provider of HIPAA-compliance assessment tools, showed that Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are using compliance assessments to engage prospects and increase business. Furthermore, those assessments are now proving more effective at increasing business and winning new contracts than in previous years.

The polls were conducted on MSP customers using RapidFire’s Network Detective HIPAA Compliance Module. The results clearly show that compliance assessments are allowing MSPs to capture new clients and create new projects, as well as being instrumental in obtaining extended service agreements.

MSPs were asked about instances where they have been able to use the compliance assessment tools to justify the services being provided to clients. Respondents explained that the compliance assessments enabled them to show that the protections currently in place to safeguard Protected Health Information were far inferior to those being offered.

The recent spate of successful hacks on healthcare providers’ servers and databases has shown that a failure to address all security vulnerabilities is likely to lead to a data breach being suffered. With the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights enforcing HIPAA Rules with more vigor, and the next round of compliance audits just around the corner, holders of Protected Health Information are taking no chances.

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HIPAA requires all covered entities to conduct regular risk assessments to identify security vulnerabilities that could be used by external parties – or malicious insiders – to gain access to computers, networks and electronic health records.

A failure to identify risks – and deal with them – is a violation of HIPAA Rules, and can result in substantial financial penalties being issued, which for some healthcare providers could prove to be devastating. Fines of up to 1.5 million can be issued for each violation discovered, and that figure is then multiplied by the number of years that a vulnerability was allowed to exist.

If compliance assessment tools show security vulnerabilities exist, it stands to reason that covered entities will pay to have those risks mitigated. One MSP indicated that the use of the compliance assessments resulted in increased revenue in excess of $12,000 per month.

According to Mike MIttel, CEO and President of RapidFire Tools, the company offers “step-by-step instructions on the use of the network assessment to pinpoint areas in which their current IT consultants are lacking” He went on to say, “We are delighted that our MSPs have been able to rely on our HIPAA Compliance tool in the field, turning those compliance review sessions into concrete revenue-building opportunities.”

Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.