HIPAA Risk Management

What is Security Risk Assessment?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) security rule (SRA) conducts a thorough and accurate assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the organization’s electronic protected health information’s confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

The Security Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates businesses and assess their healthcare organization risk. The reporting can help the company adhere to HIPAA’s administrative, physical, and technical requirements; all calculations aid companies in identifying and assessing risks to electronically protected health information (ePHI), such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure as defined by the Privacy Act. We can also have a template for that which offers you a thorough and accurate audit of your ePHI security threats. To assist and preserve PHI, the HIPAA Security Rule requires Covered Entities and their Business Associates to complete an annual evaluation and adopt security measures.

Requirements of Security Risk

The confidentiality, validity, and availability of all electronically protected health information are all guaranteed by a security risk assessment (e-PHI). It creates, receives, stores, identifies, and protects the information’s security threats against improper uses or disclosures. The HIPAA risk management checklist identifies the following requirements regarding Security Risk Assessment:

  • Determine the location of PHI that stores, receives, maintains, or transmits.
  • Auditors should examine the potential risks and vulnerabilities identified and documented.
  • Examine the current security measures to keep protected health information (PHI).
  • Evaluate present security measures appropriately.
  • Determine the likelihood of a threat that was “fairly expected.”
  • Assess the probable consequences of a protected health information (PHI) breach.
  • Assign risk levels to different combinations of susceptibility and impact.
  • Take notes on the evaluation and, if necessary, take action.

The requirements mentioned above specify that an entity must “review the relevant security measures.” OCR audits and monitoring demand to show these steps reporting annually.

As mentioned earlier, pretty common threats can be natural, human, and environmental threats. Any natural calamity like earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and landslides can threaten the information system or operating environment. Similarly, human threats in the form of computer-based attacks, malicious activity in the software, or authorized access to e-PHI can hamper the data and its privacy. Lastly, liquid leakage, power failures, and chemicals contribute as environmental threats in the Security Risk Assessment.

What is HIPAA Risk Management?

A HIPAA Risk Management analysis checks for all security issues your company may have. A risk management strategy is a strategy for coping with specific threats. You should also prepare your security documentation while completing the risk evaluation. The documentation should cover incident response, breach notification, IT and firewalls, and physical security. Reports should capture and preserve in a readily accessible location, according to compliance regulations, and should apply to all elements. Documents will aid in the auditing process and provide clear guidance in the business’s operations.

Problem with Inadequate Risk Management

Costly and Time-Consuming. The cost of maintaining compliance is high, and the process is time-consuming and tedious. HIPAA and risk management are separate entities with minimal knowledge about audit readiness. If you separate HIPPA audits, they can be costly and not be enough solutions that span both on-premises and cloud infrastructure.

  1. Compliance is not Possible with External Consultant.

Compliance is a continuous process rather than a target. A compliance consultant’s job is to assist a company’s management in ensuring that all agency actions and materials are compliant with the company’s rules and procedures. External consultants work for the client for a limited time to accomplish their project or assignment, and then they go; hence this type of consultant only works for the customer for a limited time. Internal consultants work for their employer on a long-term basis, so their relationship with the customer is long-term. That is why compliance is not possible with external consultants.

Underestimating HIPAA Audit Readiness

HIPAA audits are performed to track compliance progress and highlight areas where improvements are needed. Secure, protected health information to avoid costly HIPAA violations and fines. Providers should identify hazards and prepare for HIPAA compliance audits by conducting them. 

There are six steps to be taken in HIPPA Audit readiness:

  1. Hire trained employees.
  2. Make a risk management strategy and evaluate the risk.
  3. Choose a Privacy Officer and a Security Assessment Officer. 
  4. They should take the review the implementation of policies.
  5. Conduct internal audits.
  6. Make a plan for internal remediation.

We can also have a tool, “External HIPAA Audit Readiness Toolkit,” which will help readers understand the requirements for OCR HIPAA Phase 2 audits, as well as ongoing future audits, and will provide advice on audit preparation and best practices. This toolkit can also help CEs and BAs meet standards, determine which papers contain what information (and where they are), and create documentation that does not cover the HIPAA policies and procedures. This toolkit serves information on external HIPAA audits, government resources, and other helpful tools to assist a company in preparing for any external HIPAA audit.

How does HIPAA Audit Simulator help in Audit?

  1. Risk Calculator

HIPAA Audit Simulator also identifies and closes the gaps by providing the Risk Calculator that calculates an Audit Risk Score and SRA.

  1. Agile Methodology and Dynamic Reporting

Dynamic reporting and agile methodology organizes the audit tasks, determine the priority, status, deadline, and reviewer, and makes changes as needed to provide the most current reports.

Why We Need Better tools to manage the Audit

We need better tools to manage the audits to protect and secure the data. Audit tools increase audit precision, relieve pressure on clinical audit departments’ resources, and provide an automated mechanism for processing survey forms accurately. Furthermore, our team of experts is available to those seeking advice.

The outcome of HIPAA Risk Management and its analysis is a critical factor in assessing the organization’s position concerning protected health information. This can help analyze and design appropriate personnel screening processes; identify data backup loopholes and if it’s addressable or not. HIPAA Risk analysis can also help address what data needs to be authenticated and protected for protected health information transmission. This can further act as a guide to help use data encryption for similar purposes.