Essential Steps to Managing HIPAA Audit Risks

Posted by Tonni Islam
Essential Steps to Managing HIPAA Audit Risks

Healthcare organizations understand the importance of protecting their patients’ information and understandably adhere to the Privacy Rule. Still, a HIPAA compliance audit seeks to examine how well these organizations follow the established regulations to ensure that patient information remains protected. If an audit process discovers an audit risk, a healthcare organization must take specific steps to manage that risk.

Here are the different steps to manage HIPAA audit risk.

Step 1: Assess the Risk

The first step in managing HIPAA audit risk is to assess it. This step involves comprehensively evaluating the risk, its potential consequences, and the specific areas that will be affected by those consequences. After assessment, you will understand how your organization will be impacted and whether the risk will recur.

Step 2: Develop an Action Plan

After identifying the root cause of the audit risk, the next tip for managing HIPAA audit risk is to develop an action plan. Your plan of action will depend on a thorough analysis of the processes, systems, and human aspects that contributed to the audit risk identified. These can help you create a feasible solution with clear timelines on when these solutions should be implemented.

Step 3: Put the Action Plan in Motion

With a feasible solution at hand, it is time to implement that plan. Your staff members should be properly informed about the risk and their roles in correcting it. These tips for managing HIPAA audit risk should be monitored closely to ensure that all plans are executed effectively.

Step 4: Evaluate and Adapt

The only way to understand whether your efforts to manage HIPAA audit risk are achieving the intended goals is to assess whether your corrective actions are achieving them. An evaluation will identify any loopholes that need more attention. Any findings after the evaluation should be adapted to ensure a robust risk management strategy.

All You Need to Know About HIPAA Audit Risks

A HIPAA assessment primarily determines if an organization has suitable policies, controls, and processes that comply with all regulations put in place to protect patient health information. An organization that has been selected for an audit process is mandated to submit related documents and data using a secure portal. The data and documents show how the organization adheres to each HIPAA rule that specifically pertains to the organization. HIPAA auditors will send a notification to the organization detailing the specific documents that should be submitted.

Call Us for the Best Practices for Audit Management

From the onset, we have established that organizations do all that is expected of them to protect patient health information from getting into the wrong hands. Still, incidental disclosures occur. HIPAA audits can result in hefty penalties, but ComplyAssistant can help you design the best action plan using our HIPAA risk assessment software.