August 15, 2013
As the September. 23rd deadline to comply with new HIPAA requirements is fast approaching for agents and brokers, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) hosted a HIPAA webinar for its members, which is now archived and available here.
David Curtis Smith, author of the agent and broker HIPAA compliance and training materials from Total HIPAA Compliance (www.totalhipaa.com), presented the webinar, “HIPAA Privacy and Security 2.0 for Health Insurance Agents and Brokers.” (Mr. Smith was recently awarded Health Plan Adviser of the Year by Employee Benefit Adviser)
Topics covered included:
- What is HIPAA 2.0?
- What changes in the HIPAA law do agents and brokers need to know?
- If an agency already has HIPAA Policies and Procedures in place, will they meet the requirements of the new regulations?
- How do agencies meet the 2013 requirements of the law?
A significant number of agents and employers have focused on preparing for Affordable Care Act requirements and delayed implementing the 2013 HIPAA requirements. The HIPAA deadline for agents, employers and subcontractors is Sept. 23, 2013 Health and Human Services (HHS) has already levied heavy fines for violations of the current regulations, and the new, more stringent regulations are yet to be implemented.
“Many of the insurance agents we talk to are not aware that their clients must also be HIPAA compliant in just one month,” commented David Smith, webinar speaker. “If an agency becomes HIPAA compliant first, they can lead clients through the process,” Mr. Smith added.
The Omnibus 2013 rulings issued in January 2013 by HHS finalizes many of the open items that were first announced following the sweeping changes described in the 2009 ARRA/HITECH legislation. Total HIPAA has labeled this HIPAA 2.0 because of the significance of the changes in the law.
Changes that will go into effect in September 2013 include direct regulation for insurance agents and brokers as Business Associates, as well as substantial increases in fines and penalties for breaches of health information. Perhaps the most significant change is the requirement for Business Associates’ subcontractors to meet the same requirements as Covered Entities for protecting the health information of clients.
On-line training and 50 Privacy and Security Compliance documents for agents, employers and subcontractors are available from Total HIIPAA Compliance. (www.totalhipaa.com)
ABOUT TOTAL HIPAA COMPLIANCE: Total HIPAA Compliance prepares health insurance agents, HR professionals, HIPAA Privacy and Security Officers, healthcare professionals and subcontractors of Business Associates to meet federally mandated 2013 HIPAA compliance regulations. With more than 100 years of combined regulatory, educational, professional management and health care experience, our staff prepares and delivers compliance materials and training in a variety of media that best meets the needs of individual learners.
See more at: www.totalhipaa.com
About NAIFA: Founded in 1890 as The National Association of Life Underwriters (NALU), NAIFA is one of the nation’s oldest and largest associations representing the interests of insurance professionals from every Congressional district in the United States. NAIFA members assist consumers by focusing their practices on one or more of the following: life insurance and annuities, health insurance and employee benefits, multiline, and financial advising and investments. NAIFA’s mission is to advocate for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhance business and professional skills, and promote the ethical conduct of its members.