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Why a Third Party Should Always Assess Your HIPAA Compliance

by | Jan 31, 2024 | All, compliance,healthcare IT | 0 comments

Don’t DIY this money-saving evaluation

Performing your own HIPAA compliance security assessment in-house is like trying to DIY dangerous electrical work without experience. | Varay Managed IT, San Antonio & El PasoOne of the biggest mistakes we see in the health care industry is when organizations try to handle their HIPAA compliance security assessments in-house.

Though this choice seems easy on the budget in the short run, you have to think of the long-term consequences. 

Let’s play through a parallel example of this kind of DIY strategy: If you’re responsible for a medical practice, hospital, or other health care organization, you would never tackle a complex electrical issue on your own. You’d hire a vetted expert.

Why? Because a mistake could easily cost your organization millions of dollars, your professional reputation, and the well-being of the patients you serve. 

 

Why a third-party HIPAA security assessment is best

In-house IT is a fantastic asset for medical organizations, but the elements of a comprehensive compliance and security evaluation require intense focus and diligence — two things your in-house team is already busy devoting to the day-to-day needs of your organization.

HIPAA security assessments are incredibly complex. A meaningful audit (and the recommendations that follow) require not only an impartial eye, but a deep understanding of both HIPAA compliance and the current IT threat landscape.

An audit this thorough, with literally millions of dollars at stake, should always be performed by an experienced third-party IT vendor.

 

What a quality security assessment looks like

How complex is the HIPAA security assessment process? The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services says health care organizations should:

  • Assess security measures used to safeguard PHI.
  • Identify all devices, servers, web forms, accounts, external hardware, and physical storage where PHI is kept or transmitted.
  • Find, test, and document potential threats and vulnerabilities.
  • Evaluate how well current security measures are being employed.
  • Map out the potential damage a breach would cause.
  • Recommend practical steps to increase security of PHI and the organization’s systems.
  • Recommend employee screening and training processes.
  • Identify vital data and create a secure backup process.
  • Identify the best uses and methods of encryption and authentication for the organization.
  • Determine best practices for protecting PHI transmissions.

Whew! It’s a tall order for a team that is already working hard to protect your daily data transmissions and storage. A third-party IT vendor can dedicate the intense focus and experience you need to get an accurate representation of where your organization stands and how you can protect yourself from breaches and HIPAA penalties.

 

Minimize your risks with a HIPAA security assessment from Varay

Breaches happen every day, and they can destroy an organization through hefty HIPAA fines, revenue loss, and reputation damage. And let’s remember that the $1.5 million cap on HIPAA penalty fees is annual. Organizations have paid as much as $2.5 million in fees over the course of multiple years. 

DIY-ing your next HIPAA compliance security assessment isn’t worth the risk. 

Varay is ready to go through your processes with a fine-toothed comb and safely test your defenses until you’re a lean, mean, HIPAA-compliant machine.

Contact us today to schedule your assessment.

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