While organizations should focus on performing regular risk assessments and analyses, there are also other ways in which they must review their systems for compliance. Often, these other evaluations are overlooked despite their value, says Kevin Beaver, CISSP, an information security consultant in Atlanta. In particular, organizations should be careful not to forget about performing vulnerability assessments and penetration tests, which are components of an overall risk assessment or analysis, says Beaver, who is an editorial advisory board member for SHCC's sister publication Briefings on HIPAA.
Mobile devices have changed the way people share and access information in their personal and professional lives. Smartphones and tablets may make it easier and faster for people to communicate, store, and access information, but they present risks if lost, stolen, or hacked. This can be especially challenging in the healthcare industry as it has become common for providers to use various mobile tools, including smartphones, laptops, notebooks, tablets, phablets, personal digital assistants, USB devices, digital cameras, and radiofrequency identification devices, to communicate with colleagues and access applications.
The HIPAA Security Rule requires implementing risk management tools and techniques to adequately and effectively safeguard ePHI. Risk analysis and management provides the foundation for an organization's Security Rule compliance efforts, and reinforces its strategy to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of vital information.
The hospital/health system revenue cycle has a significant role in hospital billing compliance. The billing department is the final gatekeeper for compliance, as it is the final area to touch a bill before it is sent to Medicare. Therefore, it is essential that billing staff understand key compliance risk areas.