For all dental practices and healthcare organizations, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability ACT) offers a framework that safeguards who has access to and can view specific health data while restricting whom that personal information can be shared with.
Regardless to say, HIPAA compliance is a vital part of the modern healthcare system, but not everyone understands the huge impact that violating HIPAA regulations can have.
There are countless reasons why HIPAA is very important, but here we have listed a few key takeaways:
- Ensures privacy and confidentiality
- Allows patients to access to their healthcare data, and reduces fraudulent activity and improves data systems.
“Safeguarding your patient’s information is our utmost priority.”
So, when it comes to HIPAA compliance and your new dental practice, you don’t really have a choice. Legally, you’re obligated to follow HIPAA guidelines with your patients’ identifying health information. This is important not only for legal reasons but because you could also be the victim of a data breach that puts you and your patients at risk.
If you are found to be violating HIPAA, willfully, or even accidentally, betraying sensitive patient information can have serious consequences. The US government can impose fines from $50,000 to over $1.5 million against those who’ve violated these HIPAA important regulations.
But how will you know if you’re on the right track without guidance?
Here we have narrowed down a few things, which can help you stay away from data breach legal issues:
- Hire a trust-worthy employee as your HIPAA Master!
It’s always better to hire an employee as HIPAA master as it will make your life easier. It will be your employee’s duty to know everything about HIPAA updates and be responsible to keep your practice compliant. You can even send them to HIPAA special training to make sure that your employees keeps their knowledge up to date. This employee should be the main person in your practice that keeps everyone else related to HIPAA compliant.
- Create and document processes
Putting all the HIPAA Compliant responsibilities on one person in your practice can have challenges. If he or she moves to a different job, ends up sick, or otherwise unavailable you may be helpless.
This is where creating good processes for your dental practice can keep everyone on the same page and compliant. And like any other practice process, it needs to be documented so it can be replicated, whether that’s by someone in your practice or by a new employee.
Thankfully, HIPAA compliance is built into our Interphase software. Learn more about our security features and how they can protect you and your patients – feel free to reach us for a free demo.
Our main intention is to promote awareness of legal HIPAA issues that may affect dental practices or providers. This write-up/article is not specifically intended to provide either professional advice or legal, and cannot address any state, federal, and local law that could affect a dentist or dental practice.