HIPAA Vs HITRUST: Similarities and Differences

Posted by Tonni Islam

In the healthcare industry, HITRUST and HIPAA are often used together when speaking about regulations and compliance. Both of these concepts are incredibly important for any healthcare firm. However, they have some unique characteristics that you should know about.

And truly, what is the difference between HIPAA and HITRUST? Well, hiring a HIPAA consultant is the best way to have a deeper understanding of these rules.

However, in this article, we’ll explore some of the high-level differences for you. Let’s get started:

More Reading: Preparing to be Compliant

The Difference Between HIPAA and HITRUST


HITRUST stands for the Health Information Trust Alliance, which was founded in 2007. It’s a non-profit organization. It has created something called the Common Security Framework (CSF). 


HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This law in the United States creates security standards around healthcare. It also helps aid privacy and protecting information from patients, called Protected Health Information (PHI). 

Companies that fall under these regulations include insurance companies, healthcare providers, clearing houses, third-party vendors, and software companies that work with these organizations.

More About HITRUST

HITRUST came after HIPAA as an attempt to simplify compliance. The framework takes 40 security standards and frameworks and attempts to provide prescriptive recommendations. 

HITRUST-CSF is a framework that provides flexible approaches to risk management for healthcare organizations. 

It also takes into account other standards like Information Security Standard (ISO), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and more. By complying with HITRUST, organizations can also maintain compliance with HIPAA. 

More About HIPAA

HIPAA is a complex set of regulations. However, there are three primary rules with HIPAA:


There are rules about how PHI can be used and disclosed. 


Organizations must implement certain security measures to protect electronic PHI. 

Breach Notification

If data is breached, then entities must report this to the individuals affected. They must also report to the HHS. 

Additionally, organizations must audit themselves every single year to ensure that they are in compliance. However, HIPAA leaves a lot to be desired since it does not provide prescriptive roadmaps for achieving this. 

So What’s the Difference Between HITRUST and HIPAA?

In simple terms, both HITRUST and HIPAA are frameworks to protect patient information. 

HIPAA is a law, whereas HITRUST is only a framework. In other words, HITRUST helps you maintain compliance, whereas HIPAA outlines the rules that you must comply with in terms of security and privacy.

How ComplyAssistant Can Help You With HITRUST And HIPAA

It’s difficult to achieve HIPAA compliance and HITRUST certification. However, the consulting and software available from ComplyAssistant can help you through the entire process. 

We will aid you in your audits, organization, data management, and other compliance needs. With built-in monitoring, task prioritization, and more, your compliance will be streamlined. 

With ComplyAssistant, you don’t have to put the pressure on your team. Let existing systems and consulting expertise guide you in protecting you and your patients.