Health care workers are getting better at protecting patient information, according to a new health care survey that shows small medical practices and medical billing companies are becoming more compliant toward the regulatory requirements established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This HIPAA compliance survey, which updates a 2014 version, questions health care workers on Omnibus privacy and security regulations, compliance measures, and communication methods.
After the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that is beginning Phase 2 Audits of HIPAA compliance, NueMD, a medical billing software company, released its 2016 HIPAA Survey Update. The survey update provides a better understanding where the healthcare industry stands with knowledge of HIPAA requirements, and compliance with those requirements.
The 2016 HIPAA received responses from more than 900 doctors, administrators, staff and billers to gauge how compliant small medical practices are two years after the initial survey. Although many companies have not accomplished complete HIPAA compliance, there have been slight improvements. Here are the major findings:
HIPAA Survey Results Overview
⦁ Knowledge that HIPAA audits were being planned rose from 32 percent in 2014 to 40 percent in 2016
⦁ Adoption of a HIPAA compliance plan rose from 58 percent to 70 percent
⦁ Annual HIPAA training actually decrease from 62 percent to 58 percent.
⦁ Appointed Security officers decreased from 56 percent to 54 percent
Electronic Device Overview
⦁ Confidence that electronic devices are HIPAA compliance rose from 31 percent in 2014 to 37 percent in 2016
⦁ Communicating between staff and patients via text is becoming more common with an increase of 6 percent in two years
⦁ Confidence that communication over mobile, email, text, and social media is HIPAA compliant has stayed stagnant across the board
Overall, 83 percent of respondents in 2016 said they were either “very” or “somewhat” confident that at least one employee is familiar with HIPAA and is taking active steps to ensure compliance.
Nickolas Thibault has been studying and practicing business since age 15. He is now focusing on online journalism after working on Wall Street as a financial analyst.