9 Benefits of HIPAA Compliance for Healthcare Patients

9 Benefits of HIPAA Compliance for Healthcare Patients

A doctor and nurse carefully review medical information, taking care not to accidentally release such healthcare patient data to unauthorized personnel.

In the United States (2022) alone, with 33.36+ million hospital admissions and 860+ million physician visits, the healthcare industry in the United States is becoming more vital than ever to the longevity of U.S. patient health. Even while the U.S. population is still coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s highly important for healthcare professionals to provide reliable, secure healthcare support to U.S. patients. Apart from just ensuring patients receive effective treatment, it’s equally important to ensure their personal data is safe & secure.

According to a 3rd party’s survey (2021) on adult respondents’ most important factors when engaging with healthcare providers, privacy & security have rated – and still rate – highest amongst all respondents – with the keeping of private health info. confidential at 89% and data security at 88%; this means: data confidentiality is serious for patients – whether just going in for routine checkups or handling chronic health issues. Coupled with the rising of new & improved healthcare technology, security concerns in terms of personal data confidentiality breaches is a real problem; according to another 3rd party, healthcare data breach costs have risen by approximately 42% since the last report (2020) – accounting for approximately US$ 10.10 million dollars as of November 2022 – which means: due to breaches in healthcare patient data, US$ millions are being spent each year to recover data and/or improve critical healthcare infrastructure – accounting for 710+ data breaches of 500 or more patient records per breach since 2021 – which has been steadily increasing each year (that’s bare minimum 355,000 records in total – and steadily-increasing – since 2021).

Considering these statistics – and since we’re seeing the debilitating impact of healthcare patient record security breaches – it’s vitally-important for healthcare professionals to understand the significance of The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that protects their patients’ sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without their consent. By closely-complying with HIPAA, albeit there’s the risk of data breaches, your patients’ healthcare info. can be securely-protected and even recompensed via a hefty fine if a breach would occur.

In this article – as part of our new series on HIPAA – we’re going to go through 9 benefits of HIPAA compliance for healthcare patients and then introduce you to Callnovo Contact Center – a HIPAA-certified call center / contact center that helps bring healthcare data protection to your organization and give your patients ease of mind and heart as they look to improve their own quality of life.

Benefits of HIPAA Compliance

Contrary to common belief, HIPAA doesn’t only benefit insurance companies/health care institutions; by having a good understanding of HIPAA compliance, you’ll see how much HIPAA’s 1st and most crucial priority is the healthcare patients it protects. By keeping this in mind, understanding the following benefits of HIPAA compliance for healthcare patients, your healthcare organization will be thoroughly-equipped to ensure patients’ personal data is kept confidential and their well-being vouched for if any confidentiality issues would arise.

Let’s get started with 9 benefits of HIPAA compliance.

Patient Privacy

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ensures patients’ personal data is confidential at all times; this means: all healthcare service info., info. on given treatments, medical diagnoses info., and/or health history should only be shared upon immediate patients’ consent. To understand this and associated HIPAA regulations better, check out the HIPAA Exams website. Furthermore, under HIPAA, medical staff with access to data are required to sign a legally-binding agreement that states they’ll protect such patient data during their permanence in employment and after they’ve moved on from the company/practice. As such, the importance of evading the risk of unauthorized disclosure can’t be understated – because such data breaches significantly & negatively affect patients and can even cause risk to their lives.

Safety of Patients

HIPAA compliance reduces clinical procedure error numbers since it ensures medical staff can access the right patient information – such as: blood types & allergies – at every moment; likewise, HIPAA ensures all updates to such patient data are communicated accurately & rapidly within medical teams – which further reduces the potential for error, allowing all medical personnel to provide the best standard of care possible.

The Fostering of Patient Trust

HIPAA likewise protects healthcare info. from falling into the wrong hands – like unauthorized individuals who shouldn’t have access (i.e., health insurance companies, employers, and others). As such, HIPAA ensures healthcare providers can uphold the highest patient confidentiality standards throughout patient care.

Reputation Preservation

HIPAA laws are designed to follow a few core regulations that govern patient privacy & information security standards; failure to comply can result in grand fines and/or other legal sanctions. This includes such as: losing a job due to data mishandling, being sued by former employees that utilized company equipment to gain access to data without authorization, or even having representatives from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) visiting & demanding answers if HIPAA compliance isn’t effectively complied with.

Meeting Insurance Requirements

The majority of health insurance companies now require electronic health record (EHR) emission; this means: all practitioners/clinics must fully-comply with HIPAA regulations to continue tending to patients within such networks. Failure to comply – whether intentionally or ignorantly – can lead to losses in reimbursements for provided services, preventing them from being successful businesses.

Penalty & Fine Avoidance

To expand upon what’s mentioned further above, failure in HIPAA law compliance can result in the imposition of significant fines/penalties. The largest marginal fine ever levied was US$ 4,000,000 dollars against the New York Presbyterian Hospital when a laptop was confirmed stolen containing 6,000+ patients’ personal data. To mention, civil penalties can also be applied to those found to knowingly-breach HIPAA laws; these depend on how many patients’ records were compromised – running into the thousands. Therefore, it’s vital that businesses & healthcare providers ensure HIPAA compliance – or, they’ll risk large fines – and even damage to their public reputation.

Knowledge of when They’re Breached

HIPAA requires breaches involving the unauthorized disclosure of data to be reported right away. This is strictly put in place so affected patients can know what their risk level is in reference to safeguarding their confidentiality. Failure to report breaches immediately can result in higher fines – which is why it’s important to ensure proper preparation & compliance.

Data Information Security

HIPAA states all electronically-protected health data (ePHI) must be unreadable, unusable, and/or indecipherable to unauthorized persons via technology or methodologies mentioned by the HHS – meaning anything from encrypting data via SSL/TLS certificates, using security software (i.e antivirus programs), not opening suspicious emails & attachments, clicking suspicious links, etc. – and, doing what’s possible to ensure patient data is confidential/secure all the time.

Meeting Industry Standards

To keep simplicity and ensure those involved understand exactly what HIPAA compliance is, specific standards & measures have been agreed upon by the healthcare industry.

Such standards & measures include:

  • ensuring a designated privacy officer is available,
  • training all healthcare personnel on patient confidentiality laws & regulations – as well as how they apply to their roles within your organization,
  • regularly-checking the security & continual updating of all systems to include vulnerability patches, and
  • regularly-checking your firewalls, spam filters, and virus scanners to ensure they’re up-to-date.

Callnovo Contact Center – a HIPAA-certified Call Center

Callnovo Contact Center – a strong, global leader in the outsourcing industry – is 100% HIPAA-certified, having been awarded their HIPAA Seal of Compliance Certificate.

Callnovo Contact Center – a 18+ year tenure call center outsourcing expert, with outsourcing experience in 40+ industries, providing superb customer service (CS) solutions to close to 1,500 global corporations & Fortune 500 companies – guarantees that businesses/organizations within the healthcare industry can securely store patient data – as well as maintain such data confidential – throughout the lifecycle of that data so healthcare patients can remain at ease, knowing their data is safe. As a HIPAA-certified contact center, Callnovo intricately-monitors the handling of healthcare patient data to ensure there’s no leakage of data nor any risk of data breaches.

Following HIPAA’s rules & regulations, Callnovo:

  • upholds HIPAA’s privacy rules by ensuring patients’ health info. is properly-protected while allowing the healthcare data required for the provision of and promotion of top-quality health care to flow smoothly, protecting public/private health & patients’ well-being,
  • works closely & continually with healthcare providers, healthcare clearinghouses, and business associates acting on behalf of covered entities – including claims processing, data analysis, utilization review, and billing – to ensure all patient data is safely secured, only accessible by authorized personnel so as to maintain patient data confidentiality while ensuring the best healthcare support, and
  • vigorously-protects identifiable health info. transmitted/maintained in every form (electronic, oral, or written) by covered entities and/or their business associates (excluding certain educational/employment records).

Furthermore, as a global, omnichannel, multilingual outsourcing leader with a strong reputation, Callnovo likewise upholds the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ensure all European customers’ personal data is likewise kept confidential, ensuring they receive the quality service they need – regardless of the industry niche – while providing peace of mind and ease of heart.

With Callnovo, businesses such as your own in the healthcare industry can enjoy additional key advantages – such as:

  • Always-available Service – maximizing customer satisfaction/CX by continually-meeting customers’ needs without limits.
  • Omnichannel Support – accessible, rapid, always-ready support through all channels, leading to enhanced CX, influencing long-term brand ambassadorship/loyalty.
  • Native Language Support – meeting customers’ needs efficiently, conforming to cultural expectations, improving customer loyalty.

Conclusion

With rising hospital admissions, physician visits, doctors visits, healthcare insurance claims, etc., it’s direly-important for the healthcare system to ensure the confidentiality of patients’ healthcare records and data. As such, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is becoming increasingly important – as it functions as a safe haven for patients’ sensitive patient health info., protecting it from unauthorized and unlawful disclosure. To carefully comply with HIPAA and ensure all patient data is safely-protected, we encourage you to consider partnering with a HIPAA-certified call center – such as Callnovo Contact Center – to ensure patients not only receive superb care, but also that they will fully trust your business to keep their data secure and to minimize the risk that such data would be breached/released without their consent.

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