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How Holistic Healthcare Providers Can Maintain HIPAA Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a U.S. law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients' medical records and other health information. While most people associate this regulation with traditional medical practices, it is just as important for holistic healthcare providers to ensure they are HIPAA compliant. This blog post will guide you through the steps necessary for maintaining HIPAA compliance as a holistic healthcare provider.

1. Understand the HIPAA Basics

The first step towards HIPAA compliance is understanding what the Act entails. It sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data, known as Protected Health Information (PHI). PHI includes any information about health status, provision of health care, or payment for health care that can be linked to a specific individual. As a holistic healthcare provider, any patient information you collect is likely considered PHI and should be treated as such.

2. Conduct a Risk Assessment

HIPAA mandates regular risk assessments to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic PHI (ePHI). Conducting this assessment helps you understand where your practice might be at risk and lets you take preventative measures.

3. Implement Administrative, Physical, and Technical Safeguards

HIPAA requires covered entities to implement specific safeguards. Administrative safeguards involve policies and procedures designed to show how the entity will comply with HIPAA clearly. Physical safeguards involve physical measures to protect electronic systems and related buildings and equipment from natural and environmental hazards and unauthorized intrusion. Technical safeguards involve the technology that protects PHI and controls access to it.

4. Training Employees

Your staff should be trained on HIPAA rules and the specific policies and procedures you've implemented in your practice. Regular training sessions ensure everyone is up-to-date with any changes to the regulations or your internal practices.

5. Use Compliant Software

Any software you use that interacts with ePHI should be HIPAA-compliant. This includes your Electronic Health Records (EHR) system, billing software, and other applications storing or transmitting patient data. For instance, Holbie's practice management software is designed with HIPAA compliance in mind, ensuring your patient data is secure.

6. Develop a Plan for Breaches

Even with the best precautions, breaches can still occur. It's essential to have a plan in place to respond to any data breaches swiftly. The plan should include procedures for containing the breach, notifying the affected individuals, and reporting the breach to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

7. Regular Audits

Regular audits can help you identify areas where your practice might not fully comply with HIPAA. These audits should assess all areas of HIPAA compliance, including physical security, administrative procedures, and technical safeguards.

HIPAA compliance is an ongoing process, not a one-time task. It's important to regularly review and update your policies and practices to ensure you're continually protecting your patients' information. By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to ensuring your holistic healthcare practice remains HIPAA compliant. Visit for more information on how our HIPAA-compliant software can support your practice.

August 11, 2023
 - by Antonio Arias, MBA, CHBME
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