A Helping Hand with HIPAA

As someone committed to empowering businesses to succeed, I am delighted to announce my partnership with Doug Bouvier of Foresight Information Systems. Our collaboration centers on Doug’s expertise when it comes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and ensuring that businesses are compliant with its requirements.

Of course, it’s tough to be compliant if you don’t understand what HIPAA requires or why it matters to your business. Here, we offer HIPAA 101, along with a few highlights about Doug and his expertise.

What is HIPAA?

For a quick history lesson, the HIPAA Act was passed in 1996.

As explained by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this act resulted in a “federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.”

What does this have to do with businesses, especially those that are not part of the healthcare sector?

HIPAA concerns all businesses, including small businesses, simply because, “The rule also allows pertinent medical information to move through a health system to provide top quality health care while promoting the overall health and well-being of the public. As an employer, if you pay for any portion of employee health care plans, the privacy rule applies.”

In other words, no matter what industry your business falls under and regardless of the specific product or service you sell, if you offer health care plans for your employees, HIPAA compliance is your responsibility, specifically when it comes to privacy concerns and protected health information.

Did you know, protected health information includes even the most basic information like the full name of a patient (your employee) and their date of birth? As a small business owner, it’s your responsibility to understand what counts as protected health information and impart that knowledge on your employees and any staff who also have access to this data, which can be found in employee records like Workers’ Compensation claims.

Is Your Business HIPAA Compliant?

In order to know with complete confidence whether your business is HIPAA compliant, you could consult the HIPAA Compliance Checklist 2020. However, checklists of this nature, especially in light of how important HIPAA compliance is, can leave business owners feeling overwhelmed. After all, HIPAA compliance is more complicated than just protecting sensitive information, which is kind of a vague directive.

Data security is a hot topic and one that can put business owners on edge. Unfortunately, data breaches and hacks are all too common, even when a business owner has done what they think is an acceptable job of protecting their company’s critical data.

This is one reason why ongoing employee training on HIPAA compliance is critical and shouldn’t be left to a one-off onboarding experience. Protecting sensitive information at your company requires consistency.

Fortunately, data security is where Doug and his company, ForeSight Information Systems Consulting comes in.

The 411 on ForeSight Information Systems

Whether it’s updating clients on new product releases for more efficient transactions or recruiting and training in-house IT staff, ForeSight offers all levels of support from comprehensive IT outsourcing to essential reactive maintenance.

Not surprisingly, all ForeSight technical employees are HIPAA certified, able to provide businesses with Risk Assessments and the required annual Risk Analysis. Additionally, Doug and his team educate a business’ employees and staff on standard compliance procedures and offer a HIPAA compliant cloud-based email system, featuring policy-based encryption.

Now with Doug’s expertise, I look forward to helping my clients go even further!  

Have questions about your business?  Call 603-219-3642 or drop a line at [email protected]

We look forward to helping you!