HIPAA training helps learners understand HIPAA privacy and security laws. HIPAA training requirements consist of essential lessons around those privacy and security laws. HIPAA training standards mostly apply to the healthcare industry. HIPAA training certification enables trainers to teach hospital staff proper recording and securing of patient information and data.
HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, was put in place in 1996 to protect employees in between jobs. Like most regulatory standards in the healthcare industry, HIPAA requires training for your company to be considered compliant. Understanding this important set of laws allows your company to avoid unfortunate legal situations, saving you time and money. HIPAA training can take many different forms. Some organizations use older methods like creating a HIPAA training powerpoint, while others will create a HIPAA training video for employees. Either way, you need to make sure your HIPAA training course will cover all of the HIPAA training requirements that you need for HIPAA training certification. By the way, the correct spelling is HIPAA, not HIPPA. Training on HIPAA laws is critical, no matter how you deliver it, or spell it.
We view HIPAA training like we do every type of training: important. By training your staff on HIPAA rules, you’re not just meeting a requirement, you’re also expanding your team’s knowledge. You’re enabling them to perform their job in the right way, while also furthering the rights of your customers and patients. A typical outline of HIPAA training will include topics like the core privacy and security rules within HIPAA, what protected health information covers, practical ways to keep PHI secure and private, and what employees need to do if they don’t comply with the rules. As with all training, be sure to add a quiz or two to make sure your team is understanding what they need to at the level they need to.
Simply showing a HIPAA training video isn’t going to help employees retain information. With that said, attaching a HIPAA training powerpoint through an email is almost equivalent; either no one will pay attention to it, or the information remembered from it won’t line-up with HIPAA training requirements. How often should you use rich media? It’s not that using a video or powerpoint for HIPAA learning is wrong, but solely showing a HIPAA training video for employees is not the best method. Using a combination of media in a HIPAA training course is the way to go.
HIPAA laws for employers
As a covered entity under HIPAA (health care providers, clearinghouses, or plans), can only disclose health information if permitted, generally for treatment purposes. In 2009, HIPAA rules expanded to businesses that use health information to perform services on behalf of covered entities, like data analysis companies. After that, limitations to disclosure become much more complex.
Because covered entities need to ensure the knowledge and following of HIPAA laws, ongoing training for HIPAA compliance is beneficial for employers and existing employees. HIPAA requirements for employers depend on which rule is being applied, the HIPAA Privacy Rule or the HIPAA Security Rule. But all topics for training on HIPAA requirements will include subjects like HIPAA laws for minors and HIPAA laws for employees.
HIPAA privacy rules
The HIPAA privacy rule is established for covered entities and their associates to protect personal health information and medical records. The privacy laws give patients rights over their health information and provide standards for HIPAA privacy rule employers to disclose or restrict disclosure of health information.
A HIPAA privacy rule summary can be found here, but for employers, we give these important take-aways:
- You must provide training on what information can and cannot be disclosed
- Have a process to ensure the security of health information
- Information can be used in cases of treatment, payment, and to protect the general public’s health in case of spreading
HIPAA security rules
The HIPAA security rule is geared toward medical employers who must have training, processes, and procedures in place to adhere to the HIPAA security requirements. These things focus on the electronic handling of information from an organization.
The HIPAA security rules are split up into five different subjects, all which require extensive informational training to those assigned as directors within an organization:
Administrative safeguarding is the training and implementation of practices and procedures to properly handle health documentation. This includes assigning roles of those responsible for managing and monitoring HIPAA standards as well as recognizing violations and having an emergency plan in place in case a security incident arises.
HIPAA security physical safeguard standards precisely have to do with the kind of hardware and electronic equipment housing secure information. Physical safeguards designate who can use and access information in a workstation.
These standards define the less tangible aspects of the security rule. They cover things like audit and access controls, integrity, identity authentication, and the proper transmission of information.
This requirement revolves around the necessary documentation of BAs and group health plans.
Policies procedures, and documentation requirements
This is an overarching rule which describes the policies and procedures within an organization to comply with the security rule. Additionally, proper digital or documentation of these processes must be available for reference. These documents must be maintained upon six years from creation or last effect.
Violating HIPAA standards can result in costly fees for an organization. Not to mention the possibility of lawsuits. Generally, there are no civil penalties if the violation is corrected within 30 days. Fees are determined by the HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) but usually have a gauged amount. Here are some violations with penalties:
- An employee did not know she was in violation of HIPAA – without proper training, this can become frequent. The penalty for an individual can range anywhere between $100 and $50,000. Repeat violations under this circumstance can range between $50,000 and $1.5 million.
- Violations due to a reasonable cause – this violation can cause upwards of $10,000 for the violation and $100,000 to $1.5 million for repeat offenses.
- Violation with willful neglect, but corrected within the assigned time period – $10,000 per violation. The annual maximum can reach $1.5 million.
- Violation due to willful neglect and left ignored – $50,00 per violation with an annual cap at $1.5 million
Though these often apply to individuals within an organization, companies themselves can be held accountable for violations of HIPAA principles of corporate criminal liability or regarding an individual guilty of conspiracy.
Becoming HIPAA certified acts as a sense of safety for an organization. Whether it’s training a few, key employees in regards to directing HIPAA compliance or briefing your entire team, knowing the ins and outs of HIPAA is going to save an organization a lot of money, but more importantly, it will equip teams with the right processes and procedures to assure staff and clients that there is no potential breach of medical information.
HIPAA certification programs are available online and in-person. There are programs designed to teach and award HIPAA accreditation to directors within an organization and/or general staff on HIPAA security and privacy rules. This is not to be confused with HIPAA certification requirements for business or HIPAA certificate of creditable coverage. HIPAA certifications for businesses are the submission of documentation of a business’s HIPAA compliance program.
The HIPAA form
HIPAA forms are usually provided to individuals upon requests from their doctors. They are also downloadable on some websites. These forms act as release forms for an individual’s information. Upon signing, an individual gives permission to share certain health information that would otherwise be undisclosable to health-related companies.
HIPAA Training and Lessonly by Seismic
Lessonly by Seismic is learning software that helps teams get informed with HIPAA laws. If you send your lead team in for HIPAA certification, it would be beneficial to teach and explain HIPAA standards to your entire staff. We take the traditional online learning system and condense it from clunky to seamless. This gets teams up to speed faster and keeps them there.
Our software makes learning easy to build, track, and learn. From the administrative end, we provide administrators with the tools to assign, build, and track learning throughout an entire organization. Once learners are added, lessons can be assigned with the check of a box. If there’s a group in your company that’s always learning something new, you can designate those learners to a group and send them that way. Have a one-off lesson you need to send to someone that missed it? Lessonly by Seismic also provides links you can simply copy, paste, and send through email.
With the tracking feature, you can see the progress of each learner, review their quiz questions and answers, and receive a detailed report of progress as frequently as each day. Tracking is especially valuable to those going through HIPAA training. Because adhering to HIPAA standards is so important to the security and reputation of an organization, keeping all learners informed, aware, and on the same page, is simply taking the necessary steps to avoid HIPAA violation. With that said, because Lessonly by Seismic has tracking, admins can see who is excelling in learning and who is falling behind. Those who fall behind can retake lessons until they pass.
Lessonly by Seismic helps learners learn in their best environment too. Lessons are accessible on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. This way, admins can give a hard deadline for finishing a lesson, and until then, the learners can take the lesson at their convenience.
If you’re interested in Lessonly by Seismic, schedule a demo to chat with a teammate.