HIPAA compliant hosting is just one of the technological advances that have changed the face of healthcare forever. The accessory sales of the healthcare industry are expected to cross $3 billion in the coming year! That has led to the introduction of healthcare solutions from various sources, including startups and businesses that have been around for a while. If your company has been thinking of going at it alone, it is essential to know what it could mean for its future.
The Congress passed HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act more than two decades ago. Some of its objectives include fraud reduction and management of health insurance courage in case the policyholder switches their jobs, etc. Even today, compliance with it remains essential for any businesses that are a part of the healthcare industry. A Google search using the words HIPAA compliant hosting will be enough to show you how important this concept is for businesses today.
Why is HIPAA-compliant hosting important?
As its name suggests, your business will have access to a platform that ensures the way you store patient health and insurance information is HIPAA-compliant. A good hosting service will have both technical and physical safeguards that protect the information while in storage, as well as, during transfer. Lax security and ill-defined standards of privacy can attract the attention of cybercriminals.
In your company’s hands is extremely sensitive data that cannot see the light of the day. However, many healthcare providers have made the wrong choice by choosing hosting services not up to par. In the past year, unencrypted records of more than 120,000 patients were leaked from an Arkansas clinic. The information about a huge percentage of patients in Pennsylvania suffered the same fate!
Does jail time figure in your calculations in case of a HIPAA violation?
Meeting the consumers’ demands and protecting their information is important when it comes to HIPAA compliance. However, they are not the only reasons motivating healthcare providers. For any company considering not to invest in HIPAA, the decision could be a very expensive one. Being unable to follow HIPAA guidelines could mean your company could be charged with willful neglect. This charge can result in hefty fines from anywhere $10,000 to $50,000! The limit for any company to pay the fine stands at $1.5 million for one year.
On the other hand, things can get worse if instead of willful neglect, you are charged with reasonable cause. That would result in a fine of $100-$50,000 penalties for compromising sensitive information of each of the 500 or so patients! Another possibility when a company is in HIPAA violation: jail time!
How does HIPAA-compliant hosting protect your company?
Instead of paying to make your information storage and transfer HIPAA compliant, hire a reputable and capable hosting company. You will then enjoy the following advantages:
- Full uptime in case of a natural disaster
- Physical security of higher quality than what you will be able to build locally
- High-quality results of audit results and money saved due to in-house security audits
Which HIPAA-compliant hosting companies should end up on your shortlist?
Comparison shopping and selection of multiple candidates for a job are time-honored traditions. We’d advise that you stick to them and behave just like any traditional vendor would behave when in selection mode. Before making a choice, consider:
- How much you will pay on a monthly basis
- Find out if any of the companies have a startup price
- Would your data undergo disk encryption to remain secure while at rest?
- Would your data undergo encoding via secure VPN connections and whitelisted IP addresses, so it remains secure while in motion?
- Confirm the presence of remote data centers for backup of your data
- Protection from lateral attacks by the use of dedicated servers
A Word of Caution
While dozens of sites claim to be completely HIPAA compliant, others supposedly have the most advanced cybersecurity that ensures compliance. The problem with these claims is that you can’t always be sure that they are true! You can’t afford to take a risk by entrusting your company’s healthcare data to the first business you come across on the net. You need a company who will protect the data in case of a natural disaster, from hackers and even their own employees. When you think you have the right candidate in mind, do the due diligence. It will save you much more than you’d end up paying later by choosing sub-optimal protection!