Posted by: on June 5, 2024 at 9:30 am

How TAZ Networks Can Help Your Healthcare Practice

As we move into the second half of 2024, HIPAA audits are becoming more rigorous. And small healthcare practices, including doctors’ offices, need to be more vigilant than ever when it comes to their compliance. Ensuring compliance with HIPAA regulations is not just about avoiding fines, it’s also about protecting patient information and maintaining trust. At TAZ Networks, we specialize in helping small to medium-sized businesses, including healthcare providers, navigate these complex requirements with ease.

What to Expect from 2024 HIPAA Audits

According to a recent article by HIPAA Secure Now, the OCR (Office for Civil Rights) has ramped up its auditing efforts, focusing on both covered entities and business associates to ensure comprehensive compliance. This is what the article said on the matter:

“Under the HITECH Act, HHS is required to conduct periodic audits of covered entities and business associates to ensure compliance with the HIPAA.

Additionally, the number of large healthcare data breaches has skyrocketed in recent years, more than doubling from 358 breaches exposing 5.1 million records in 2017 to 725 breaches exposing over 133 million records in 2023. This alarming trend strongly suggests that many organizations are not fully compliant with HIPAA’s safeguards to protect patient data.

According to OCR Director Melanie Fontes Rainer, risk analysis failures are commonly found during breach investigations, especially at smaller healthcare providers and plans. Organizations are failing to thoroughly assess risks to their electronic protected health information (ePHI), leaving vulnerabilities that criminal hackers are actively exploiting.”

This means that healthcare providers of all sizes need to be prepared for potential audits, with a strong emphasis on security and privacy measures.

Key Focus Areas for HIPAA Audits

In 2024, the primary areas of focus for HIPAA audits will include:

  1. Risk Analysis and Management: Ensuring that all potential risks to patient information are identified and mitigated.
  2. Policies and Procedures: Documented policies and procedures must be in place and regularly updated to reflect current practices and regulations.
  3. Employee Training: Regular training sessions to ensure all staff members are aware of HIPAA requirements and how to handle patient information securely.
  4. Security Measures: Implementing and maintaining technical safeguards to protect electronic patient health information (ePHI).

Failing to comply in these areas can not only result in significant penalties, but also damage to your practice’s reputation.

How TAZ Networks Can Help

At TAZ Networks, we understand the unique challenges faced by small healthcare practices. Our tailored IT services are designed to ensure your practice meets all HIPAA requirements, so you can focus on patient care.

Our Services Include:

  • HIPAA Compliance Consulting: We offer comprehensive consulting services to help you understand and implement all necessary HIPAA regulations. Learn more about our HIPAA compliance consulting services.
  • Healthcare IT Managed Support: Our managed IT services for healthcare include regular risk assessments, policy reviews, and staff training to keep your practice compliant and secure. Explore our healthcare IT managed support services.
  • Data Security and Backup Solutions: We provide robust security measures to protect your ePHI, including encryption, secure data storage, and regular backups.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

Preparing for 2024 HIPAA audits doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With TAZ Networks by your side, you can rest assured that your small healthcare practice is in good hands. Let us help you navigate the complexities of HIPAA compliance with our expert IT services. As HIPAA Secure Now said: “The costs of an audit finding or breach are far higher than being proactive.”

For more information on how we can assist your practice, contact us today and ensure you’re ready for the 2024 HIPAA audits.

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