What is a security risk assessment and why do I need one?


As a small business, it's important to understand the HIPAA Security Rule and how to conduct a HIPAA risk assessment. A HIPAA security risk assessment will help you identify and mitigate potential risks when working with or around protected health information (PHI).


The HIPAA Security Rule requires Covered Entities and Business Associates to conduct a risk assessment to determine if there is a significant risk of harm to individuals due to the impermissible use or disclosure of PHI. This requirement was first introduced in 2003, and has been extended in the HITECH Act 2009 to include procedures following a breach of unsecured PHI.


A HIPAA security risk assessment will help identify and mitigate potential risks to PHI. The assessment will consider physical, technical, and administrative security measures that are in place or need to be put into place.


The Three Types of Security Measures

1. Physical security measures include things like secure locked rooms and cabinets, alarm systems,

and restricted access to areas where PHI is stored.

2. Technical security measures include things like firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection

systems.

3. Administrative security measures include things like employee training and policies and

procedures.


HIPAA is a series of provisions designed to protect the privacy and security of patients' health information. The HIPAA security rule is one of these provisions, and it outlines a number of specific requirements for organizations that handle patients' health information. These requirements are important for protecting the privacy and security of patients' data.


Organizations that fail to comply with the HIPAA security rule can face significant fines. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has the authority to levy civil penalties against violators, and these penalties can be quite steep. In recent years, HHS has fined organizations for violations ranging from $100 to $1.5 million, for example;


1. A nursing home in Illinois was fined $100,000 for HIPAA violations.

2. A dental practice in Oregon was fined $500,000 for HIPAA violations.

3. A healthcare provider in Texas was fined $3.2 million for HIPAA violations.

4. A hospital in California was fined $2.5 million for HIPAA violations.


HHS has the authority to levy civil penalties against violators, and these penalties can be quite steep.

Some of the most common penalties include:

- Fines for not complying with HIPAA security rule requirements

- Fines for not having a written HIPAA security policy

- Fines for not conducting risk assessments

- Fines for not implementing security measures


Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to data breaches, as they often don't have the same resources as larger organizations. A data breach can seriously damage a small business' reputation and put them at a competitive disadvantage.

It is therefore important for small businesses to understand the HIPAA Security Rule and conduct a risk assessment to identify and mitigate potential risks to PHI. This will help protect the privacy and security of patients' data and avoid costly fines.


So why is the HIPAA security rule mandatory? Simply put, because it protects patients' privacy and security. By complying with the rule, organizations can help ensure that patients' health information is kept safe and confidential.

Risk assessments identify vulnerabilities in order to make your data as secure and protected against cybercriminals like hackers who want access for malicious purposes. Sometimes, the most seemingly harmless spots can seem impossible but with these simple steps taken it’ll become clear just what needs fixing - after all no two companies have exactly alike risks!

1. Review your physical, technical, and administrative security measures.

2. Evaluate the risks associated with each measure.

3. Mitigate any high-risk risks.

4. Repeat regularly to ensure continued compliance.


Live Compliance offers a HIPAA security risk assessment service that can help you understand and comply with the HIPAA Security Rule. Our service includes:


-A comprehensive risk assessment report

-Recommendations for mitigating identified risks

-Ongoing support to ensure continued compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule

-Compliance management portal, and more.


CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE!