Updated: Apr 25, 2021
The Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 is legislation that was written to help keep patient medical information secure and private by requiring companies that handle protected health information (PHI) to provide the proper physical, network, and security processes to ensure this data privacy.
Specifically, the HIPAA legislation was designed to accomplish the following:
Offer the opportunity to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for American workers and their families when a job change or job loss occurs
Reduce healthcare abuse and fraudulent activities
Enforce industry-wide standards for healthcare information regarding electronic billing and other processes
Mandate the protection and confidential management of PHI
Who does HIPAA Apply to?
HIPAA applies to covered entities (CEs), which are organizations that provide treatment, manage payments, or provide other healthcare operations. It also applies to business associates (BAs), which are organizations that have access to patient information and support treatment, payments, or other operations. Subcontractors, or business associates of business associates, are also required to maintain HIPAA compliance.
Fines and Penalties for HIPAA Violations
HIPAA violations, which can be significant, are driven by the level of negligence that is determined. Fines can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation (or per record), with a maximum of $1.5 million annually for violations of one provision. Violations can also lead to criminal charges which can result in jail time.
The fines and penalties are divided into two major categories:
Reasonable Cause ranges from $100 to $50,000 per incident and does not lead to any criminal charges.
Willful Neglect ranges from $10,000 to $50,000 for each incident and can also result in criminal charges.
HIPAA Compliance Training for Employees
For the protection of your patients, your employees, and your organization in general, HIPAA training programs for your staff is critical. In fact, anyone who handles PHI is legally obligated to complete a HIPAA compliance training program. This includes everyone from doctors and nurses to administration staff.
While the HIPAA regulation does not offer any specific instruction regarding how long a training should be, there are guidelines for what needs to be included in training. Required topics include:
Guidance regarding what is protected under the HIPAA regulation
The reasons for this protection
Instruction regarding how to protect information
eLearning for HIPAA Compliance Training
In the past, the only real option a healthcare organization had for delivering HIPAA training was through instructor-led, classroom-based learning. More recently though, as cloud-based technologies have continued to evolve and workforces continue to become remote (a trend that was already in motion, even before COVID-19), online learning, or “eLearning” has emerged as a preferred option for all types of corporate training programs, including HIPAA compliance training.
eLearning not only reduces the cost of HIPAA compliance training (as it removes the need for on-site instructors), but it has also proven to lead to higher rates of learner comprehension and retention. And with eLearning, your employees can access the critical training information they need, when and where they need it.
A Learning Management System to Support eLearning for HIPAA Compliance Training
The core technology that drives and supports all types of eLearning programs, including HIPAA compliance training, is a Learning Management System, or “LMS”. This is the application that provides the framework in which you can build, deliver, and track your HIPAA training program.
As you evaluate your options and choose an LMS, there are two specific attributes that are becoming increasingly popular for eLearning and HIPAA compliance training:
In choosing to go with a cloud-based LMS offered by a third-party vendor, you eliminate the need for a large, up-front capital investment as well as the ongoing efforts required to manage the system. The cloud LMS vendor takes care of this for you and provides assurances around the availability and security of the system. All of this allows you to simply focus on building and delivering a great HIPAA compliance training program.
Historically, most LMS deployments were single architecture, meaning that the entire software and hardware infrastructure was dedicated to a single learning environment. In contrast, a multi-tenant LMS allows you to “spin up” multiple eLearning environments (portals) from a single deployment of the LMS application. This provides significant value and flexibility for eLearning administrators who want to create a unique learning experience for each of their various training audiences.
LMS Portals: eLearning for HIPAA Compliance Training
LMS Portals offers a cloud-based, multi-tenant learning management system that allows our clients and partners to launch and manage multiple, private eLearning environments on-demand. Using our system, you can “spin up” new branded HIPAA compliance training environments quickly and dynamically and manage everything from one centralized console.