With the regularly changing threat landscape and strict regulations around protected health information (PHI), healthcare organizations need to consistently work towards achieving their security and compliance goals. Luckily, strategic tools such as the MyCSF Compliance and Reporting Pack for HIPAA can streamline the path to healthcare compliance.
All covered entities (including healthcare providers and health insurance companies) are required to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the federal regulation designed to protect PHI.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for enforcing HIPAA and auditing covered entities to ensure they have controls in place to protect patient data. When initiating an audit, the OCR will notify a covered entity in writing to introduce the audit team, explain the audit process, and highlight the specific documentation they will need during the process. Covered entities need to provide only the documentation requested by the OCR rather than entire policy or procedure documents—all evidence must be directly relevant to the OCR’s requests.
To ensure this audit process goes smoothly, it’s important to use strategic compliance partners and tools. “Strategic compliance tools such as the the HITRUST CSF framework, HITRUST MyCSF platform, and HITRUST CSF Assessments are designed to be used together in one approach to support organizations in their efforts to secure their data and provide assurances around HIPAA compliance,” said Swathi West, HITRUST Manager at BARR Advisory. The Compliance and Reporting Pack for HIPAA is another tool for organizations to add to this approach.
When organizations undergo a HITRUST CSF Assessment, the Compliance and Reporting Pack for HIPAA collects all the information needed to comply with HIPAA, mapping applicable controls and generating a report specific to HIPAA requirements. In addition to saving organizations valuable time in gathering information and preparing reports, this feature is the best approach organizations can take for OCR audits.
“By using the MyCSF Compliance and Reporting Pack for HIPAA, we can easily gather and provide the documentation that the OCR is requesting and map each requirement to the corresponding policies,” West explained. “In addition to that, HITRUST also offers organizations with a HITRUST CSF certification a free regulatory assistance center that can help you through a HIPAA audit.”
According to West, the MyCSF Compliance and Reporting Pack for HIPAA is a mechanism that can improve compliance communication beyond OCR audits, too.
“This tool just makes it easier on clients. It’s a one stop shop for HIPAA where you can keep all of your HIPAA evidence in one place, easily accessible for internal use or to provide to external stakeholders or the OCR.”
Ready to get started on your HITRUST journey, or want to learn more about how to streamline healthcare compliance? Contact us.