The winds of change are blowing across HIPAA compliance. The HIPAA Privacy Rule is receiving a facelift for 2023 as digital advances in healthcare enter a new age. But wait—it’s not just about the written regulations. Even the way we see compliance is changing. Consider it this way: if HIPAA is changing, then our thoughts also need to. So, medical billing outsourcing companies must also revise their HIPAA strategies.
Imagine healthcare organizations as stewards of patient information. They build trust with each piece of PHI that is properly maintained. And who helps them in doing so? It is none other than medical billing outsourcing companies on the back. They handle the bulk of paperwork and back-office tasks by using remote online software. Moreover, they have access to EHRs, so they must be HIPAA-compliant at every cost. Otherwise, their PHI could be compromised by a little mistake.
As a whole, complying with HIPAA is a transformational journey that begins with the proper frame of mind. Once you become clear in your mind, you can easily deal with whatever circumstance comes up in the future. In this blog, we will take a look at trends medical billing services must adhere to in 2023 to stay compliant.
2023 HIPAA Compliance Trends Medical Billing Services Must Follow
Here we have explained 5 key trends for securing your medical billing outsourcing companies:
1. The Integration of HIPAA Security and Privacy Measures
With the advent of EMRs and healthcare IT, security and privacy are coming together under a single umbrella. Effective security measures are essential for protecting sensitive ePHI. Security also acts as a fortress that can’t be breached to protect patient privacy.
Historically, the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules had distinct roles and scopes. Anyhow, a seismic shift is coming that is unavoidable! These norms are coming together to form a powerful alliance. Healthcare executives must use this collective capacity as a cornerstone of HIPAA compliance. Likewise, medical billing services are moving forward in light of this transition.
The upcoming years, up through 2023, call for an unshakable focus on the implementation of reliable protocols. These protocols are strictly for handling data, protecting patient rights, and establishing thorough security policies. Notably, the line between security and privacy is blurring more and more. So, we need a cogent viewpoint. This viewpoint becomes especially relevant with the new HIPAA privacy laws in Q1.
So, as we have approached 2023. It’s offering patient rights greater clarity than ever before. Get ready for a remarkable year. The year brought a new canvas for patient access to data. Thereby, organizations and medical billing companies have to be simultaneously charged with new objectives:
- Providing prompt responses to inquiries
- Giving rigorous identity verification
- Have flawless data management
And if you haven’t already, now is the time to become acquainted with planned upgrades. Make sure every staff member is aware of the changes. Similarly, staff training is another way to go with the flow. Probably, your staff may require training more than once, according to the update coming. However, reminders in automated HIPAA software are also useful to schedule training sessions.
2. Defense Against Phishing with cyber-awareness
Surprisingly, 83% of firms had to deal with phishing assaults in the turbulent year 2021. Meanwhile, an unsettling prediction for the current year predicts six billion additional attacks. So, the risk of falling victim to tactics like phishing increases due to the rise in complex cyberattacks. Therefore, employee training is now essential for sustaining HIPAA compliance. It plays a significant role when defending against intrusions.
Thorough and consistent training will prepare your whole staff to tackle risks like phishing. This training covers the following areas:
- Identifying the red signs of an assault
- correctly reporting incidences
- Implementing effective defenses against threats
3. Fusing Cybersecurity Best Practices and 405(d) Compliance
HIPAA changes will take effect in 2023, putting effective cybersecurity in the spotlight. Data protection is not the only goal; theft and security breaches must also be prevented. Understanding how to tighten security standards inside your company, however, is no easy task.
Think back to 2017, when professionals in IT, healthcare, cybersecurity, and privacy converged. It gave rise to tools to strengthen security procedures and defined Section 405(d) of the 2015 Cybersecurity Act (CSA). Section 405(d) of the CSA, “Elevating Healthcare Industry Security Approaches,” deals with improving healthcare cybersecurity through best practices. Your medical billing team must be well-versed in these since their departments analyze the requirements. Conduct a routine Security Risk Assessment (SRA) while improving your security expertise. A 405(d) specialist assists SRA compliance, and a HIPAA compliance program makes this check easier.
4. Understanding the Vitality of Remediation and Implementation
The careful implementation of corrective actions is fundamentally linked to the attainment of compliance, according to the DOJ’s mandate. The likelihood of legal repercussions and fines increases in the absence of an effective remedy. As a result, the trend seen in 2023 demonstrates an increasing propensity to use compliance automation software. It will particularly improve the management of risk assessment procedures. So, medical billing professionals will spend less time on risk assessment and more on remediating. Doing so might require more effort and hence be challenging. However, it is the best way to boost security and compliance in 2023.
5. Preparing for Incident Response
Quick action is essential if your firm is the subject of a data breach or cyberattack. Create efficient response and reporting methods for diverse occurrences in cooperation with your team.
The HHS highlights data breaches over the previous 24 months that are being investigated. In case an incident occurs due to any misfortune, adhere to the given steps:
- Prepare: Establish disruption indicators and catalog IT assets.
- Detect and Analyze: Compile information, keep an eye out for clues, and examine variances.
- Recovery: Stop the attack, enlist security partners, eradicate the threat, and restore systems.
- Post-Incident Review: After recovery, look for ways to enhance and update processes.
Understanding the modifications to the HIPAA requirements is required to assure compliance. We must integrate cybersecurity best practices in medical billing outsourcing companies. Also, train medical billing services to recognize risks. SRAs, automatic reminders, and other features of the HIPAA compliance system assist you in getting ready.