HIPAA Cybersecurity for CPAs in Orange County CA

As a CPA working with any healthcare clients, you are considered a business associate who is subject to today’s HIPAA compliance laws. These laws can appear very intimidating and you may be struggling to determine what your role is in preserving patient privacy as part of your effective HIPAA compliance services.

The primary key in being compliant lies in understanding your role as a business associate according to these important privacy laws and using protective HIPAA cybersecurity for CPAs.

Are You Required to Comply?

Not every business that works with a healthcare client is considered to be a business associate and subject to strict HIPAA compliance rules. Yet accountants usually do fall under the category of business associates, especially if they receive and/or view patient health information (PHI) at any time while performing services for their healthcare clients.

Being considered a business associate is common when performing financial audits, providing financial consulting services to clients, or even during litigation support. If there is any reason you may handle PHI as CPAs, then you are required to use and protect this information with suitable HIPAA cybersecurity. You must also sign a business associate agreement that obligates you to comply with all privacy laws.

What Must You Do To Stay In Compliance?

Maintaining compliance requires that you understand your responsibilities to protect PHI and use the right HIPAA compliance services. You must understand security rules about the protection of electronic information and use effective measures to encrypt it during transmission and storage. This includes performing routine risk assessments of your security protocol and ensuring it adheres to required levels of HIPAA cybersecurity for CPAs.

Risk mitigation including employee awareness training, working according to the minimum necessary rule of obtaining and using PHI, and keeping up with technology requirements and improvements is a necessity. In addition, if your business contracts with any others who may access PHI, you must ensure their compliance and require them to sign a similar business associate agreement.

What If You Fail to Maintain Compliance?

If you are a business associate, you are subject to criminal penalties for failure to maintain appropriate HIPAA compliance services according to your signed agreement. There are four tiers of HIPAA compliance violations, each with different penalties depending on the following facts:  

  • Was the compliance issue known?
  • How long did the issue exist?
  • What caused the violation?
  • What is the severity of the violation?

Penalties range anywhere from $50,000 to $1.5 million and can carry a sentence of imprisonment anywhere from months to years.

Before doing business with any healthcare business that is bound by today’s HIPAA compliance rules, you must know, understand and comply with these. Any PHI that you see in your work or transfer to another business associate you must protect with effective security measures.

Since obtaining suitable HIPAA cybersecurity for CPAs can be challenging, it is suggested that you seek HIPAA compliance services from companies that are experienced with these laws and can help you plan the best protection for your business!

Need HIPAA Cybersecurity In Annaheim CA?

Intelecis Offers HIPAA Compliance Services For CPAs!

Call (949) 335-6410!