HIPAA Compliance Audits

HIPAA compliance audits are a necessary process for medical organizations to evaluate and manage their conformity with the HIPAA regulations. This article discusses the current state and future expectations of the HIPAA audit program.

Current State of HIPAA Audits By the end of 2012, 115 medical organizations had undergone HIPAA compliance audits. The results of these initial audits will influence how the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) manages future auditing efforts. Susan McAndrew, the deputy director of OCR, stated that all health care groups scheduled for HIPAA compliance audits within 2012 were pre-warned.

Future of HIPAA Conformance It is unlikely that any HIPAA compliance audits will be conducted in 2013. McAndrew reasoned that the program will not be able to proceed “until all final reports are issued” and the OCR completes the slow process of evaluating results.

Preparing for a HIPAA Audit Here are some useful tips for preparing for a HIPAA audit:

  • Regular Evaluation of HIPAA Compliance Efforts
  • Regularly evaluate the status of the HIPAA compliance efforts in your company.
  • Assess all security and privacy standards.
  • Organize documentation of policies and procedures in an easily retrievable manner.

Updating Notice of Privacy Efforts Ensure that any notice of privacy efforts is regularly updated. Include all new policy information during standard communication with patients.

Record-Keeping and Documentation Retain and organize all HIPAA-related documents to provide evidence of conformity efforts during an audit. Record and document all staff training on HIPAA regulations.

Business Associate Documentation Identify and keep track of all business associates. Document any privacy agreements and training involved.

Designate an Audit Response Team Designate a team responsible for responding to a HIPAA audit notice. You will have 15 days to locate and organize any necessary documentation. If a group of briefed professionals is already in place, things will run more smoothly when the event arises.

Stay Informed Frequently visit the HIPAA audit protocol website. The protocol changed this year, and it is likely to change again before your audit.


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Branden R.
22:38 03 Aug 23
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