In this session we will review the enforcement actions taken by HHS and state Attorneys General to illustrate the issues concerned and explain how to avoid them, and the penalties that can result when they are not avoided.
Issues will be explored in depth in several areas in order to explain the regulatory requirements and the means for meeting them.
We will also discuss the HIPAA audit program and how it works, and discuss the areas that caused the most issues in the 2012 audits and the areas that were targeted in the 2016 audits. We will explore what kind of issues were most prevalent and what kind of entities had the most problems, and show where entities need to improve their compliance the most.
We will also explore the typical risk issues that lead to breaches of health information and see how those issues may be targets for auditors and enforcement action in the future.
We will examine the updated 2018 HIPAA Audit Protocol as well as other questionnaires that have been used in the past and may be used to help prepare an organization for a future review.
We will present methods for using the contents of the HIPAA Audit Protocol to build your own compliance plan by extracting the contents and relating your compliance activities and documentation directly to the questions that might be asked, thereby creating a compliance management tool to ensure continued compliance improvement.
The results of prior HHS audits and enforcement actions (and their penalties) will be discussed, including recent actions involving multi-million-dollar fines and settlements. A plan for attaining compliance will be presented.
The steps to follow to prepare for an audit and respond to an audit request will be outlined. In addition, upcoming trends in information security risks will be discussed so you can start to plan for the work you'll need to do to stay in compliance and keep patient information private and secure.
Why should you Attend: When considering what to focus on for compliance and internal audits, there is no better source of information about issues to avoid than the list of enforcement actions taken in HIPAA compliance that have resulted in penalties for the violators. The details of the enforcement actions, including the reasons, penalties, and corrective action plans involved with each, tell you what to be on the lookout for, that can cause significant pain if left unaddressed. New guidance now provides better clarity about how compliance requirements apply to HIPAA Business Associates, including the limits of Business Associate obligations in the area of providing individual access to PHI. The topic of individual access has also been the focus of two recent enforcement actions, indicating that individual access of PHI will remain a key priority for HHS enforcers, who are using the HIPAA Individual Access rights to begin implementation of rules for the limitation of data blocking practices. In addition, the maximum penalties for HIPAA violations have been revised, so that the maximums for each tier of a violation more closely reflect the maximums identified in the HITECH Act, and are now related to the culpability of the organization. Organizations that try to meet requirements will receive lower maximum fines than those that are negligent. But the penalty amounts have also been revised to reflect a cost-of-living increase, by approximately 11 percent. The random HIPAA Compliance Audit program had a year of trial audits in 2012 and a second round of audits concluded in 2017. The HIPAA audit program will be on hold for at least the time being, but that doesn’t mean there will be no enforcement of the HIPAA rules. In fact, preparing for a HIPAA Audit is one of the best ways to be ready to respond to any enforcement action, and going through an internal HIPAA Audit will help you find issues before they become problems that can lead to penalties.
Areas Covered in the Session: