man points at a button that says Compliance  

Compliance with HIPAA regulations is a legal requirement for all companies, clinics, and offices operating within the healthcare sector. It’s no wonder that HIPAA compliance is a priority for healthcare firms in Los Angeles, as failing to comply could cause data breaches, loss of customer trust, and expensive fines.

HIPAA compliance may seem complex, but this guide will give you the basics of what you need to know and do to make sure your LA medical company is fully compliant.

Understanding HIPAA

CHIPAA refers to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The main aim of HIPAA is to protect patient data and privacy. As the threat of cybercrime has risen in recent years, companies’ adherence to HIPAA requirements have been under more scrutiny. With sensitive records at risk, and client trust being an essential requirement for healthcare companies, it’s more important than ever before to be fully compliant.

HIPAA Security Rule

CThe HIPAA Security Rule provides detailed information about the steps organizations under HIPAA requirements must take to shield sensitive data and secure systems and networks. The rules are applicable to organizations that treat patients directly as well as companies that have access to protected health information—for example, insurance providers and healthcare clearinghouses.

CThe regulations also provide clarification on what constitutes protected health information. Examples include name, address, phone numbers, social security number, email address, and biometric identifiers such as fingerprints.

How to Comply with HIPAA

CIf you run a medical practice or have access to sensitive data related to healthcare, it’s vital to ensure that you know how to comply with HIPAA standards. There are two main options when it comes to making sure you are fully compliant: the do-it-yourself approach and working with a Managed IT Service Provider.

Do It Yourself

If you plan to achieve HIPAA compliance yourself, it’s wise to equip yourself with the following checklists and tools to ensure you meet all requirements:

  • HIPAA self-assessment checklist: This is a useful resource which contains a comprehensive list of requirements and enables you to check items off the list as you’ve met them. You should continue to use this checklist as a guide each time you evaluate or update your compliance.
  • Risk assessment tools: Risk assessment tools enable you to spot potential weaknesses or vulnerabilities in your company’s security that could make you noncompliant. The National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s risk assessment tool can help you identify where threats might affect your company.
  • HIPAA Security Rule Toolkit: This NIST toolkit helps you comply with the Security Rule overtime, and it’s especially helpful for companies that have recently restructured their IT systems.

If you’re taking a do-it-yourself approach, make sure you have the necessary resources to fully comply with HIPAA regulations. Even if you have a few IT support members on your staff, keeping all your company up to code can prove difficult, so this approach will not work for all businesses.

Work with a Managed IT Service Provider

For most Los Angeles healthcare and insurance companies, the best option is to outsource HIPAA compliance to a reputable Managed Service Provider. By working with a firm that specializes in managed IT service in Los Angeles, businesses can benefit from access to expertise and the latest technology while also reducing the risk of cyberattacks, protecting and securing systems, and saving time and energy.

An IT provider that is experienced in working with healthcare clients will understand the challenges faced by these organizations and the requirements outlined in the HIPAA. By hiring a Managed Service Provider (MSP) in Los Angeles, local companies can ensure they are up to date with changes in policy and legislation and free up time to focus on running their businesses.

Benefits of Working with an Experienced Los Angeles Managed Service Provider

Los Angeles businesses can take advantage of a host of benefits by choosing to work with an MSP with expertise in HIPAA compliance. The process will be much smoother than doing it yourself, the risk of errors will be much lower, and your business will have access to experts who are trained specifically in meeting compliance requirements.

A Los Angeles MSP can help you to ensure compliance and identify any potential weaknesses that could jeopardize your HIPAA compliant status by doing the following:

  • Ensuring systems and software already in use are HIPAA compliant
  • Providing a Systems Security Plan (SSP) to demonstrate and maintain HIPAA compliance
  • Optimizing approaches to HIPAA compliance to boost productivity, enhance your reputation, and ensure your business is up to date with regulations to reduce the risk of fines and penalties
  • Providing continual cybersecurity monitoring and access to remote and in-house support and maintenance
  • Assisting you with migration to Windows 10. At the start of 2020, Windows 7 lost HIPAA-approved status because it will no longer receive security updates. An MSP can help healthcare companies upgrade to Windows 10 to ensure they are HIPAA compliant.

Many healthcare firms find that working with a reputable IT service provider is the best and easiest way of ensuring HIPAA compliance. If your business needs to be HIPAA compliant, LYFE Networks can provide you with tailored IT solutions to ensure your security and legal compliance. If you’re searching for managed IT service in Los Angeles, contact LYFE Networks today.