Understand HIPAA Compliance with Your IT Services Provider in Houston

The Government Holds You Responsible

IT services HoustonIT services providers in Houston have made it their business to follow legal guidelines pertaining to the tech industry completely. They know the law and they’re going to go above and beyond in order to ensure complete compliance. Here’s the thing: HIPAA is complicated, and it’s confusingly worded in some places to seem optional, while in others to seem ironclad. Usually, what seems optional has to do with means of implementation, but realistically, there isn’t anything that can be negotiated. If you’re found in violation of anything HIPAA-related, an audit could cost you quite a bit.

The government should be your friend, but reality isn’t fantasy land. The reality is there’s a cash-cow here, and bureaucrats with pens to push (or laptops to type on) are fully aware of this. Check this out: not only do hackers target healthcare practices for information specifically, but 9 out of 10 were subject to hacks in only a two-year period. Certainly, it’s bad enough having your information compromised, but do you want to have government fines thrown atop that as well? Because the nature of private information in healthcare providers’ servers is protected under HIPAA regulations, and the act’s confusing wording has in some part been responsible for these breaches.

The specific area where many healthcare providers trip up is entitled “Required and Addressable Specifications.” Why do healthcare providers trip over this? Well, it’s redundant. Why would something be addressable and required? The secondary word in the title implies compliance isn’t necessary, but that’s not how the section reads. So, many healthcare providers don’t implement that aspect of HIPAA, then get financially backhanded when the audit comes.

Office Compliance

Another area where businesses get undercut by HIPAA is office compliance measures. Sometimes, your information has to go out of state to a conference, and sometimes you’ve got to take it home with you. Oftentimes when this happens, you may end up neglecting to follow compliance protocols as you would in-house. If this is uncovered during an audit, expect it to be costly.

IT services companies in Houston understand HIPAA backwards and forwards, and can help you save time, money, and perhaps even your practice. Make no mistake, though ostensibly for the protection of information among patients, HIPAA also represents an opportunity for the government to milk you till you’re almost dry, and in complete legality. When 9 out of 10 practices are subject to data breaches in a two-year span, the pencil-pusher in Washington who needs to come up with some funds basically has only to draw a name out of a hat.

HIPAA Differs by State

Another thing to keep in mind: HIPAA stipulations differ state by state. So, if your organization has a home office that seems to have its little ducks in a row when it comes to this bureaucratic detail, it turns out you can’t trust them implicitly— there’s likely some change between states. As a general rule, the more populous the state, the more stringent and complicated the legal measures surrounding HIPAA will be.

Finding an IT services provider in Houston that’s experienced in these matters is fundamentally necessary. At ICS, we specialize in ensuring all practices are in full compliance, and even “go the extra mile.” Want to learn more? Contact us today!