What is HIPAA certification? This is a frequently asked question by organizations in the healthcare industry. The HIPAA does not have a standard or implementation requirements for the certification of covered entities or business associates. However, a number of third-party organizations provide HIPAA certification solutions.
The HHS does not have any official HIPAA certification procedure or accreditation. If there was, that would be helpful. A HIPAA compliance certification can tell if a Covered Entity or Business Associate is aware of and compliant with HIPPA rules. That would help lessen the amount of time spent doing research on potential vendors.
Nevertheless, even without the requirement for HIPAA certification, certain companies assert they are a certified HIPAA compliant provider. What this suggests is they have been approved by a third-party organization for passing its HIPAA compliance program and implementing systems to remain compliant. Without a recommended program by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), this is a workable option.
Why the HHS Does Not Endorse HIPAA Certification
The Department of Health and Human Services doesn’t recommend any HIPAA certification mainly because HIPAA compliance is a continuing development. A HIPAA certified organization might have been approved by a third-party group´s HIPAA compliance program after implementing required steps to retain compliance, however that does not guarantee the company’s continuing HIPAA compliance down the road.
There are several reasons why a company’s HIPAA compliance may change in the future. The technologies or how they are used may change. Company goals, operational processes, or personnel management policies may change. A change in these things or perhaps a change in HIPAA regulations could nullify a HIPAA certification.
HIPAA Training and Certification
Employees are not required to finish a particular training program to get HIPAA certification. Nonetheless, it is important to provide HIPAA training as necessary and ideal so that members of the labor force could perform their functions. It is additionally important to document the training and keep the documentation for a minimum of six years.
Because of the complicated and far-reaching HIPAA Rules, HIPAA training organizations often serve as an option to in-house training. They hire HIPAA compliance specialists to train people with regards to the relevance of HIPAA to their roles – for example, the proper ways of dealing with protected health information (PHI), and permitted uses and disclosures of sensitive information.
One benefit of working with a third-party HIPAA training company is the issuance of a HIPAA certification to employees who joined the training program after successful completion. Though the HHS may not endorse the certification, it is going to be valuable to the Covered Entity in case of a HIPAA audit.
Third-Party Audits Validating HIPAA Compliance
In relation to HIPAA audits, it is important to take note of the HHS statement on its website that certifications do not dismiss Covered Entities of their legal duties according to the Security Rule. At the same time, a certification done by an external company won’t prevent HHS from eventually discovering a security violation.
Even so, it is a standard procedure for Business Associates of HIPAA Covered Entities to be audited by third-party HIPAA compliance specialists so as to verify that their policies, and procedures, products, and services are compliant to HIPAA standards. The audits are beneficial for Covered Entities´ assurance as they validate HIPAA compliance when the audit was performed.
But for Business Associates that do not know the far-reaching difficulties of HIPAA, it is possible they will call for guidance to become HIPAA compliant. Therefore, it might be essential to choose a third-party group that not merely gives HIPAA certification services, but also helps in the implementation of effective HIPAA compliance programs.