HIPAA-compliant medical billing is not just a trend that every medical practice in the U.S has to follow. It is rather an obligation; they are to put security measures in place to avoid exposure to malicious data thefts. In this regard, medical billing companies often come to providers’ rescue.
Every year, we lose a great deal of money due to inconsistencies in the data transmission system. Medical billing firms, healthcare professionals, everyone has to play their part in securing the data of patients and other stakeholders.
Nowadays, the most revolutionary or technologically advanced system, which has changed the data collection and storage mechanism is Electronic Protected Health Information) e-PHI, and, rightly so, it is important to protect health data at any cost. Since patient privacy is everything in HIPAA, the security of data has to airtight.
To summarize, we seek the help of regulatory authorities that suggest changes to safeguard the billing and coding process. Not only the medical billing officials should be focusing on compiling clean claims but also on ensuring the interests of the public.
According to the official guidelines of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), a security officer has to embed a well-designed system (after the risk analysis) followed by professional medical billing services to practitioners.
Security Measures at Administrative Level
The points below describe the different aspects of administrative safeguards.
Security Management Process
First, analyze and assess the potential threats to the e-PHI deployed in your medical facility or outsourcing medical billing company. Second, you should implement security measures that takedown risk factors or vulnerabilities of the system to an appropriate level.
Deploy Security Personnel
A chief security officer is a must in the covered entity to ensure security measures are not just on papers. Moreover, they are responsible for devising new policies and strategies and keeping tabs on the latest security updates released by the regulatory authorities.
Information Access Management by Medical Billing Companies
The HIPAA Security Rule requires the covered entity to implement a system that restricts access to unauthorized information without prior permission from the user or relevant authorities. Ideally, the system functional by the medical billing companies should have the “minimally necessary” security consistent with the Privacy Rule.
Workforce Training and Management
As the golden rule, appropriate authorities must supervise the workforce designated to use e-PHI (Electronic Protected Health Information). To avoid the misuse of information, every staff member must be trained according to the security policies and guidelines.
Furthermore, there must also be set sanctions or penalties for misusers or staff members who violate the rules of the covered entity.
Evaluation of Security Measures by Your Medical Billing Services Partner
In the end, you, as a covered entity, along with your medical billing services partner should review on a monthly and annual basis to compare how well the existing policies are performing as per the Security Rule.
To conclude, we come straight to this question.
How can we succeed as a professional medical billing company?
By improving the revenue cycle and implementing proper security measures.
Patients expect confidentiality with their doctors because it is their right. In fact, you, as healthcare professionals and, us, as billing services, have to offer them complete confidentiality. It is the ultimate test when you have to care for patients with honesty on one side and run your financial cycle on the other.