There is no doubt the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is quite complicated. Your health organization must adhere to the requirements of HIPAA to protect your patients' personal health information (PHI). HIPAA also matters to MSPs as it can create some awkward situations for IT services providers in Atlanta that serve health organizations. Here's a look at why the MSP you choose should be HIPAA-compliant:
HIPAA and MSPs
An IT services provider in Atlanta that has access to HIPAA Covered Entities (CE)--- or possesses CEs--- will require PHI for HIPAA compliance. This creates quite the conundrum as a healthcare organization that hires an MSP to manage its data security and provide HIPAA compliance won't be qualified to judge if its own MSP practices pertaining to HIPAA are insufficient. Those who are found to be non-compliant with HIPAA rules face costly enforcement actions.
How to Proceed
The best course of action is for MSPs to ensure that they are HIPAA compliant. If you manage a healthcare organization or are in a decision-making role, do your due diligence to ensure that the MSP you ally with has invested the effort to be compliant with HIPAA standards. HIPAA mandates that a business with access to PHI entrusted to a business that is HIPAA-covered must perform work under a business associate agreement (BAA). Such a BAA mandates the business associate conducts work within the constraints set forth by data security requirements set by the organization covered by HIPAA. Technology measures like encryption to safeguard PHI will be necessary to comply with HIPAA security rule provisions. MSPs qualify as the type of business associate to operate under the agreement.
The BAA sets forth the legal responsibilities of all relevant parties. It specifies how PHI can be used. The BAA also explains data protections for breach prevention that every business associate must have in place. HIPAA requirements mandate that the BAA has the following:
- The business associate must destroy or return PHI following BAA termination
- A subcontractor the business associate relies upon is legally bound by the BAA
- The business associate must report unauthorized uses or breaches of PHI
MSP Compliance is the Best Route
It makes sense for healthcare organizations to ally with MSPs that offer and adhere to BAAs when working with clients covered by HIPAA. MSPs must ensure both parties comply with HIPAA's BAA mandates. Otherwise, penalties and fines might be applied. These fines can reach tens of thousands of dollars for a single violation.
In an ideal world, your MSP will do much more than merely comply with HIPAA The best MSPs take the time necessary to explain the HIPAA conundrum to their clients. These MSPs show clients how to resolve this matter through a foolproof BAA. They communicate that this effort is just another component of providing data that is fully HIPAA-compliant. An MSP that doesn't take this route will fail to distinguish itself from the pack. The bottom line is you deserve an alliance with an MSP that provides a seamless HIPAA/BAA solution.
The Best IT Services in Town
At MIS Solutions, our IT services team in Atlanta provides managed services, cloud computing, help desk support, network design, backup and recovery, and so much more. This is the assistance every healthcare organization needs to get work done with the utmost efficiency. To learn more about how we can help your healthcare company, contact us today.