What is a HIPAA Certification?

What is a HIPAA Certification?

by Yenny (SU)

Chances are, you’ve seen the acronym “HIPAA” many times, and wondered what it stands for. It’s the abbreviation for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which was enacted in 1996 as a step toward healthcare reform.

One of the purposes of HIPAA was to ensure that health insurance was portable—so that people wouldn’t lose their coverage when they changed or lost their jobs. In addition, HIPAA establishes stringent privacy requirements governing the sharing of patient medical records in the United States. Which is why U.S.-based healthcare workers need to understand HIPAA Certification and why choosing the right HIPPA Certification program is so important.

Why HIPAA Training and Certification Matters

HIPAA requirements are highly complex and could result in millions of dollars in fines and even criminal indictments for companies in violation of those regulations. For example, if patient information is unintentionally compromised to unauthorized third parties – whether through carelessness, a lack of discretion, or an avoidable breach of cybersecurity – it could have devastating consequences for your practice.

Many different companies offer private certifications in HIPAA compliance. However, these certifications are not approved by the federal government or recognized by OCR. You need to know what to look for when choosing the right certification program, and determine if it is appropriate for your circumstance.

Here’s an overview of the types of certifications available:

Ø  Privacy and Security Awareness Training.  This integral course covers cyber security awareness training as well as role-based information security training for executives, IT administrators, and managers. While not limited to HIPAA, the course does address HIPAA compliance.

Ø  Certified HIPAA Professional (CHP). This level-1 certification program covers the basics of HIPAA compliance as well as the history of the law, and does not ask for educational prerequisites. Ideal for employees at healthcare organizations who have access to personal health information, this certification has broad applications that anyone from healthcare providers to administrative staff, executives, supervisors, and IT security staff could use to their benefit.

Ø  Certified HIPAA Administrator (CHA). This certification is more detailed, and most useful to those who directly deliver or oversee the delivery of healthcare services, including nurses and hospital administrators. This certification is most concerned with data privacy compliance, and focuses on the ways in which the HIPAA legislation affects patients and the dissemination of their sensitive medical information. It is most useful in helping to understand how to comply with HIPAA requirements and how they affect patients on a day-to-day basis.

Ø  Certified HIPAA Security Specialist (CHSS). This is a higher-level certification that requires applicants to already hold a Certified HIPAA Professional (CHP) certification. Generally designed for IT employees in the healthcare field, CHSS qualification focuses on the technical aspects of HIPAA compliance, including security standards and practices and how they apply to the storage and management of electronic medical records. It is generally designed for IT employees working in the healthcare field.

Choosing the Right HIPAA Certification Program

There are many different HIPAA certification providers, but choosing the right one for your practice can be difficult given the fact that the government doesn’t endorse or regulate any of these companies.

And it’s not just administrators who need HIPAA certification. Anyone at your practice who handles patient data on a daily basis could benefit from this certification. To find the right certification and the right provider for your practice, contact Colington Consulting at 800-773-6379. They are experts in the field of HIPAA rules and procedures. Colington Consulting can help you avoid problems and steep fines by bringing your practice into complete HIPAA compliance. It is what they do best, allowing you to do what you do best … provide health care to your patients.