When Is HIPAA Training Required?

When Is HIPAA Training Required?

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Education, Published On
November 24, 2022
Last modified on November 28th, 2022

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a federal law enacted in 1996 to protect patient privacy and ensure electronic health records are secure. The law applies to healthcare providers who handle protected health information (PHI), such as doctors, nurses, dentists, psychologists, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.

Do you know when HIPAA training is required?

Required HIPAA training is essential for anyone handling PHI. This includes employees, contractors, vendors, and third parties. You risk fines or criminal charges if you don’t comply with HIPAA regulations. In addition to protecting patients’ personal data, HIPAA also requires businesses to train their staff on how to handle sensitive information.

What Are These Requirements?

HIPAA Training Required

The standards of training come under the category of privacy and security rules. These further have complicated requirements, such as only covered entities can comply with the privacy standard rule. On the other hand, business associates and covered entities must comply with the security rule. The best part about this rule is that it does not matter if you have access to PH or not, and it applies to all workforce members.

  • Privacy Rule Training Standard

Before explaining this in detail, you need to know the policies and procedures of the administrative requirements.

It states that covered entities should definitely implement procedures with respect to health information that is made to comply with the standards. You must consider the account size and the type of activity related to health information under a covered entity. It is also ensured that the policies are appropriately designed.

Moreover, within this rule, it is obligatory for each employee to complete the training, and organizations are encouraged to implement extra training. With all this going on, the covered entities should declare that the training met all the requirements and has been completed.

  • Security Rule Training Standard

The security rule training standard is relatively simple compared to the privacy rule standard. It’s really not complicated as it has four implementation specifications which include periodic security updates, procedures for guarding, procedures for monitoring login attempts, and procedures for creating and safeguarding passwords.

Additionally, it discusses the “security awareness and training program,” which highlights problems such as protection from malicious software and security reminders. The law has become quite flexible for organizations so that they can fulfil their desired goals.

When It’s Required?

There are many scenarios when HIPAA is required

Training is required, and let us start with the one that matches the administrative requirements. According to them, within a reasonable period of time, when a particular individual joins the workforce, he requires development training.

When the organization or company changes its policies and rules, this also becomes the perfect time when training should be provided. This is because with the policies, the strategies will also change, and training for the person will be highly essential.

Moreover, if the organization plans to change its practices and also the technology that they were previously using, this can cause problems for the workers to understand how things are working, so training will become mandatory in this situation.

Furthermore, the department of health often changes its guidelines and policies, so training must be provided for workers to match up with the current rules.

How To Know Workers Require Training Or Not?

The security and privacy officers can research to analyze whether new rules or guidelines will affect organization operations. If yes, then it will be the right decision to conduct HIPAA training.

The officers can ask workers individually whether they require training, and all workers who need HIPAA training will be identified. They can also design a HIPAA training program that will be conducted annually so that all the freshers know how things work and experienced workers can refresh their current knowledge.

Do you Need HIPAA Training?

HIPAA training is necessary for all individuals working with or handling protected health information (PHI). This includes individuals who are:

  • Employees of covered entities
  • Individuals who receive PHI from a covered entity
  • Individuals who create, receive, or maintain PHI
  • Individuals who disclose PHI
  • Representatives of covered entities
  • Individuals who contract with a covered entity
  • Individuals who conduct business with a covered entity

Covered entities must also provide training to individuals with access to PHI, such as billing, coding professionals, and medical record technicians. This training is required regardless of whether the individual is an employee, agent or contractor. The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires that all individuals who need to know how to protect PHI must receive training on the proper handling and use of PHI.

Problems Caused By Scanty Training

You may know that HIPAA is a privacy law that applies to all organizations with protected health information, which includes most healthcare providers, health insurance companies, and healthcare clearinghouses. HIPAA requires organizations to take steps to protect the privacy of personal health information.

Unfortunately, many organizations do not have adequate HIPAA training. This lack of training can lead to problems such as:

  • The unauthorized release of personal health information.
  • The accidental disclosure of personal health information.
  • The unauthorized access to personal health information.
  • The misuse of personal health information.

Organizations that are not adequately trained can easily violate HIPAA and expose patients to potential privacy risks. Inadequate training can also lead to heavy fines by the government after an audit of large organizations.

All organizations must take steps to properly train their employees about HIPAA and the risks associated with violating the privacy of personal health information.

Final Thoughts

HIPAA compliance isn’t optional. If you want to stay out of trouble, you need to take the time to educate yourself and your team on the law. Your organization should conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations. These audits include reviewing policies and procedures related to data security, access control, and encryption. Unfortunately, many companies don’t offer PHI training because they assume their employees already know the rules. Finally, we can say HIPAA requires covered entities to take steps to ensure that protected health information is properly handled.

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