The Differences Between HIPAA Vs SOC 2 For Healthcare

Posted by Tonni Islam

No matter what kind of healthcare organization you operate, compliance is a top priority. However, different regulatory frameworks or organizations require unique approaches. In any case, having the right HIPAA compliance consulting on your side is incredibly useful.

But, you may be wondering what the difference between SOC 2 vs HIPAA is. Let’s explore the distinctions between these two concepts so that you can best prepare your organization for optimum compliance.

What Is An SOC 2 Audit?

SOC 2 is a process for auditing by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It evaluates your company or organization’s ability to protect customer or patient data securely when conducting daily operations.

There are two kinds of SOC 2 reports. A Type 1 report looks at your organization’s controls at a certain time. The Type 2 report assesses how effectively your controls are operated over that same period.

What Is HIPAA?

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) is a federal regulation that creates a standard around patient health records and their other private data.

This data is also referred to as protected health information (PHI), which is defined as that which is stored digitally or in a hard copy that identifies a person.

You must safeguard this information whether you’re storing it, using it electronically, or non-electronically.

Similarities Between SOC 2 And HIPAA

Before getting into the differences, let’s talk about some of the similarities between SOC 2 and HIPAA:

Data Encryption

You must encrypt customers’ sensitive data when storing it using up-to-date methods and techniques.


There must be strong passwords and central password management within your organization.

Data Risk Management Report

In order to pass HIPAA audits and SOC 2 audits, you must evaluate your third-party vendors with risk evaluations. This can help reduce the risk of private information falling into the wrong hands.

Ethics Reviews And Business Code Of Conduct Reviews

You must conduct reviews annually and create a code of conduct for both HIPAA and SOC 2 compliance. This helps unify your vision toward staying in compliance.

The Difference Between HIPAA And SOC 2

There are several distinct shins between SOC 2 and HIPAA:

Data Breach Notification

Depending on the size of the breach, you will need to make notifications within 60 days (over 500 records) or at the end of the calendar year (under 500 records) for HIPAA. However, SOC 2 does not have data breach rules.

Data Processing

SOC 2 requires organizations to describe the types of data that must support a product or service. HIPAA does not have this level of data diagnosis.


An SOC 2 audit can take around six months to complete. A HIPAA audit can take up to six months, depending on the size and scope of the healthcare organization or practice. For information on preparing for a HIPAA compliance audit, read this post.


The SOC 2 is typically performed because a client requests it. HIPAA must be done according to federal regulations regardless.

In Summary

There are a lot of similarities between SOC 2 and HIPAA. However, their users and objectives are somewhat different.

HIPAA has prerequisites that you must meet. SOC 2 report won’t fully demonstrate that you’re complying with HIPAA.

By using ComplyAssistant, you can improve your risk profiles and reduce errors. This results in better compliance across a variety of frameworks and audits. Contact us for a free demo today, and let’s ensure that you and your patients are protected.