HIPAA privacy rule was enacted more than a decade ago and health organizations, ever since, are putting consistent efforts to ensure that the health information remains private and secure. The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations are vast and complex at places and healthcare organizations require a thorough understanding and substantial effort to maintain compliance. Consequently, many organizations, especially the smaller hospitals and physician practices, often fail to keep up with the requirements and land into hefty fines for HIPAA violation. In some healthcare organizations, the staff does not understand who exactly is in charge of maintaining the compliance and in others they ignore the gaps in the procedures believing it to be a low-risk area. HIPAA violations can lead to major financial and reputation damage and this calls for identifying and analyzing the HIPAA compliance gaps and working towards closing them.
Providing good healthcare services requires a good coordination among a number of people and organization that work together to maintain the quality as well as compliance in the services. No healthcare organization can work alone, be it a hospital, clinic, long-term care company or a dental practice, and it has to rely on vendors or third parties for its functioning. However for every healthcare organization, it is important to know and monitor the company it is partnering or working with to ensure that compliance and quality are being maintained. With time the federal and state regulations are growing more and more complex which is also increasing the risk of regulatory violations. This calls for a heightened need of ensuring vendor compliance for healthcare organizations.