It might feel like it was yesterday that your business went through its last HIPAA compliance training. Then, all of a sudden, you realize that a whole year has passed! You might be wondering if it’s time to go through the process again. The answer is yes! Here are a few things you should consider when it comes to HIPAA retraining.
Annual retraining is required by HHS
All organizations with any kind of access to PHI are required by The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to annually train their employees on HIPAA. Not only is this important for remaining compliant, it’s also necessary to keep everyone in your organization well-informed about any new changes to your policies and procedures. If you are audited, records of annual training will be one of the first things HHS or your state attorney general will ask for. Keeping everyone abreast of what safeguards they should be using to protect PHI is essential in maintaining HIPAA compliance.
Your new employees need to be trained
How often are you hiring new employees? If you’ve brought on new hires since your last HIPAA training, then it’s definitely time to train your entire workforce again. Failing to train new workforce members is one of the most common ways that organizations become non-compliant. If you are an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure that all of your employees who access PHI take annual HIPAA training.
Businesses and technologies are always changing
Even if you remember everything from your last training, odds are that your thoughts on compliance aren’t exactly accurate. That’s because what’s considered “compliant” is always changing. Compliance requires having safeguards in place that reflect industry cybersecurity standards and the current state of your business. As encryption standards are updated or your organization’s remote access procedures change, policies need to be updated and employees must be trained on them.
Keeping meticulous track of your training records is key
Not only will this allow you to make sure that a retraining is on the schedule, but it’s also necessary for audits. We’ve seen carriers (Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare, etc.) ask for training records before taking on Business Associates, and other organizations may also want to make sure your records are well organized. It would be counterproductive to put in all the work, organization, and funds required to train your employees and end up with nothing to show for it. Trust us, keeping top notch records is in your best interest.
Retraining saves you time and money
It might not seem that way now, but the position you put yourself in by foregoing training is risky both legally and financially. If your lack of compliance becomes a legal issue, you not only face losing valuable clients and a good reputation, but you’ll spend hours talking with lawyers and doing paperwork. Not to mention legal fees, PR difficulties, and overtime for employees trying to help with damage control. It’s best to avoid this debacle altogether and train annually.
Retraining protects you
This alone should be a pretty key motivator for investing in HIPAA compliance retraining. By staying up to date with the latest in HIPAA compliance, you are protecting yourself from potential harmful data breaches. Many disastrous consequences can be avoided simply by retraining. It also protects you in the event of an audit. If you can prove that you are up to date on all training, odds are that the audit will go much more smoothly.
Retraining ensures client and employee safety
We’ve already detailed how retraining can benefit your organization and those who work within it, but it’s also crucial to ensure the safety of your organization’s protected data. It is your responsibility to do whatever you can to keep that information safe. A large part of that is HIPAA compliance retraining. Even if you have systems in place that work for your organization, you need to be certain that they are compliant and your employees know how to use them.
Have you performed a Risk Assessment in the past year? Do you have updated HIPAA Policies and Procedures in place? Our HIPAA Prime™ program does all this and more! We create customized compliance documents and provide your staff with easy online training, ensuring compliance for your business.
Want to know more about how you can become HIPAA compliant?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help your organization become (and stay!) HIPAA compliant. Or, get started here.