Data privacy in healthcare has been a major issue for centuries. This speaks to the very nature of physician-patient confidentiality. Of course, a doctor needs to know a lot about you to provide competent care. This includes things you don’t want to casually spread. However, in the digital age, data privacy in healthcare is an even more acute issue.
What is data privacy?
To understand today’s issues with data privacy in healthcare, we need to address data privacy issues in general. Data privacy is a principle for the proper handling of sensitive and personal data. Adequate, in this case, means ensuring that the data remains confidential and is not altered.
Data protection can be divided into three subcategories: protection, security and privacy. Traditional data protection is mostly about keeping a copy of your data safe so that it can be restored. Data security is about preventing unauthorized users from accessing, destroying, or corrupting data. Finally, data privacy concerns laws, policies and practices that prevent personal data or inappropriate disclosure of personal data by authorized users.
What is HIPAA?
HIPAA is an acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This is a U.S. federal law that created a national standard for ensuring the privacy of personal information related to medical and health insurance matters. For this discussion, the most important aspect of HIPAA is the privacy and security rules that support it.
HIPAA privacy rules Protected Health Information (PHI) and covered entities (physicians, pharmacies, health insurance companies). The Privacy Rule permits certain uses and disclosures of PHI under certain conditions and prohibits it under other circumstances.
of security rules In particular, we seek the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronically stored PHI.
HIPAA protection information
HIPAA defines PHI as personally identifiable health information held or transmitted by a covered entity or business associate. It concerns a person’s physical or mental health, provision of health care, or payment for those services.
We provide names, dates of birth, social security numbers, etc. to help identify individuals, but that’s not all. Health information is considered personally identifiable if it is reasonable to believe that it can be used to identify an individual.
Who Needs to Be HIPAA Compliant?
It’s safe to assume that any individual or organization dealing with healthcare needs to maintain HIPAA compliance. And you would be right. But they are not the only ones.
HIPAA’s privacy rules must be followed by all healthcare providers, healthcare plans, and clearinghouses that electronically submit health information in connection with a HIPAA-covered transaction. Health care plans in this context include HMOs, Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Supplements, and Medicare+Choice Insurers. This includes health care plans that cover vision, dental, or prescription drug coverage. Employer-, church-, or government-sponsored group health plans fall under this definition, as do multi-employer health plans. (Group health plans with fewer than 50 members of hers and administered solely by her employer are exempt from this rule.)
But perhaps more importantly, the privacy rules also apply to business associates of covered entities. Generally, this is a person or organization that works with a Covered Entity and to whom personally identifiable health information is disclosed.
If you perform any type of service related to PHI, you must also comply with HIPAA provisions. This includes services such as financial, legal, actuarial, accounting, accreditation, administration, management, data aggregation and consulting.
How to ensure user privacy
It should come as no surprise that one of the biggest issues related to data privacy in healthcare is how to stay HIPAA compliant.
Here’s an overview of the three main ways to ensure user privacy:
Using HIPAA accredited services ensures that providers understand the terms of HIPAA and have adequate training to know how to work in compliance with those terms. If the provider does not have her HIPAA accreditation, their ability to be fully compliant may be questioned.
One of the major enhancements to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Regulation is Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (high tech) activities. It was established in 2009 to update the data privacy provisions of HIPAA, particularly regarding the requirement to store relevant data in a well-encrypted manner.
By using a HITECH certified hosting provider such as Liquid Web, you can ensure that the solutions provided comply with HIPAA security and privacy guidelines, including administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. increase.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
PCI DSS was established to ensure that any business that accepts, processes, stores, or transmits credit card payment information does so in a suitably secure environment. Liquid Web is also fully PCI DSS compliant.
Liquid Web HIPAA Compliant Server
By now, you’re beginning to understand the importance of storing and transmitting data in a HIPAA compliant manner. Liquid Web offers fully SOC 2 and 3 certified hosting that is regularly audited for both HIPAA and HITECH compliance.