You, HIPAA, and Your MSP

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The Insurance industry is required to keep up to date with the laws of HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. In recent years, there has been a big upswing in the use of cloud technology among insurance providers. With the utilization of new technology processes, comes a whole new relationship with managed service providers.

 

The last place you, want to find your company, is at the end of a large fine associated with noncompliance to the HIPAA laws due to lack of knowledge, tools, or resources related to technology. This is where an MSP comes in handy. Whether you already work with one or not yet, it is important to note that since an MSP is involved in helping your agency achieve compliance, they are also susceptible to the same requirements.

 

Why is it so important to have an MSP by your side when it comes to complying to HIPAA rules and regulations?

Check it out: What Is HIPAA? 



Well, it all boils down to security and the potential event and consequences of a data breach. Health insurance providers are responsible for the information of thousands of patients and clients. Medical records and billing information are among the most protected assets. This sensitive information is personal to the patient and must be protected under the law when it comes to providers, lawyers, accountants, and IT professionals.

 

The stakes are high when it come to the fines agencies face when they do not comply to the HIPAA regulations.

 

The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary failed to encrypt physicians’ laptops and was hit with a $1.5 million fine.

 

You don’t want this to be you, especially if you have access to a local MSP who can help tackle the encryption of all your employee hardware and equipment. There are several ways MSPs can help your agency with HIPAA compliance.

Check it out: Cybersecurity Laws Agencies Need To Know

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Encryption

Any data that is shared and transmitted through electronic devices must be encrypted. Meaning only authorized people have the ability to open a file or message. Your MSP will ensure that all devices used in your business (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) are all equipped with the best security encryption.

 

Password Policy

Creating a strong and secure password may not sound like something you need the help of an MSP for, but you always want to be safe than sorry. Sometimes even that you believe to be a solid password, may be “good” or “fair” at best. An MSP will also encourage you to change your passwords on a regular basis.



Check it out: What’s Your Password?

 

The right tools for you

Every agency is different and needs to find the software and tools that work best for your business and your employees, while of course still sticking to the industry standards. There are a lot of options out there and before you decide on one that may not be a right fit, it’s a good idea to let your MSP help you choose which services would work well with your systems.

 

Reporting

Documentation is important when it comes to encrypting devices. Developing a process for reporting the encrypted devices and dates of last encryption can come in handy when a device is stolen or lost. In that event, you should be able to see when the last time the encryption on that device was updated, which will tell you if you need to report a security breach.


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Alex Willis