Has COVID-19 Affected HIPAA Compliance?

The COVID-19 epidemic has made it necessary for the healthcare industry to embrace the digital revolution of numerous medical and business processes. Healthcare providers are now required to conduct appointments using video or telephone conferences, which increase the chance of ePHI being compromised.

Companies that are covered under health insurance plans (health insurance firms, for instance) are particularly affected by the massive amount of cases of Covid-19 has resulted in a massive amount of health claims. 

As more people become sicker there are more insurance claims submitted, which means health insurance companies need to keep significant amounts of protected health information. Many companies have also opted for HIPAA Compliance Services.

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These issues mean the covered organizations as well as their business partners must stay updated with any changes in HIPAA regulations, and also ensure that they adhere to HIPAA compliance by implementing the internal and external set of guidelines and procedures.

Then, in the month of January in 2021 The OCR issued its decision to not sanction HIPAA violations that are specifically linked to the use in good faith of scheduled apps that are accessible online to make appointments for vaccinations.

The process of achieving HIPAA compliance isn't easy; it's a 115 page document with detailed rules and requirements that your company must be able to comply with. 

While healthcare providers who are directly involved are well-versed in the complexities of HIPAA regulations, this might differ for companies which fall under the umbrella of health plans or for business partners that do not directly belong to the healthcare industry however, they may be able to access PHI due to conducting business with organizations that are covered by HIPAA.