Updated: Feb 27
HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a United States federal law in effect since 1996. While HIPAA was originally established in an effort to simplify healthcare and reduce delivery costs, the regulation is more closely associated with patient privacy and security. HIPAA training solutions are designed to protect patient privacy while empowering employees. Like every other compliance act, rule, regulation, policy, or standard, HIPAA demands strict adherence in order to guard against the consequences of data breaches.
What Types of Organizations Require HIPAA Training?
HIPAA defines two types of organizations that it recognizes as having a need for HIPAA training:
Covered Entities (CE’s) include health systems, healthcare payers, and clearinghouses
Business Associates (BA’s) tend to be “subcontractors”. That is, companies that provide services to Covered Entities or even to other Business Associates. For example, a data storage company serving a hospital. In this case, the storage company must comply with HIPAA regulations and, to that end, must sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with the hospital in order to provide this service.
HIPAA Training for Employees
If your organization handles sensitive client information, such as health records, addresses, diagnoses, you are obligated by law to safeguard that data. HIPAA compliance training ensures that your employees and your company as a whole, are doing everything they can maintain the privacy of your patient’s data.
HIPAA does not mandate that employees must participate in any specific training program, only that employees must receive training regarding HIPAA Rules. The organization must confirm, in writing, that employees have completed HIPAA training.
How HIPAA Training is Structured
As mentioned earlier, HIPAA compliance pertains to protecting the privacy and security of Protected Health Information (PHI) that the organization has or will have access to. PHI refers to information that can be tied to an individual's health condition. To comply with HIPAA, the organization must determine which regulations pertain to them. There are two separate regulations under HIPAA:
Pertains to the safeguards for keeping PHI protected from the standpoint of people, administration, and contracts
Pertains to safeguards for keeping PHI that is stored in electronic form (e.g. computers, networks, email, software, and electronic transmissions) safe from hackers, theft, and catastrophes.
All organizations must adhere to the HIPAA Privacy regulations, since Privacy involves safeguards from a people standpoint. However, only organizations that store or transmit PHI electronically must comply with the HIPAA Security regulations.
Implementing the Best HIPAA Training Solution for Your Organization
There are numerous training options available. But you will need to determine whether you want to train your employees yourself or work with an outside training organization. If you are confident in your staff’s knowledge of HIPAA and your ability to translate that into effective content, then building your own HIPAA training program can be a good option.
If this is not the case, you can easily find a third-party HIPAA training organization, but this typically a more expensive option. This also raises the challenge of coordinating your staff to be available for training when the trainer is able to be on-site. Working with a third-party is particularly difficult when you consider the needs for providing initial HIPAA training to new employees.
eLearning for HIPAA Training
In recent years, as online technologies have continued to evolve, more and more organizations have chosen online learning or ‘eLearning’ as the cornerstone for their HIPAA training program. eLearning provides a cost-effective approach to HIPAA training while offering a level of convenience to your employees that classroom-based training cannot deliver.
When considering the implementation of an eLearning program, many organizations find that they can re-purpose a great deal of existing HIPAA content to serve as training materials and that they can easily update their training courses as their needs evolve over time.
LMS Portals for eLearning HIPPA Training
LMS Portals provides a cloud-based eLearning to deliver your HIPAA employee training. Using our system, you can quickly and easily develop and deliver HIPAA training courses to meet compliance requirements and help protect your organization against a costly data breach.
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