HIPAA Training Requirements 2021

HIPAA Training Requirements 2021

  2020 was an eye-opening year for many healthcare providers. COVID caused changes to how doctors provided care for individuals. A key part proved to be Value-Based Care. COVID made major changes to healthcare. This included raising rates of telehealth visits. Care coordination became important for a growing number of patients. Patients with COVID expected doctors to have a complete picture of their health. All these parts helped to shape the new HIPAA rules for 2021. 2020 ended with new HIPAA rules open for comment. There are new HIPAA training requirements coming soon.

2020 CARES Act

The Opioid Emergency showed the need for care coordination. The Coronavirus Pandemic only strengthened the pressure. Currently, healthcare agents must get specific written permission from a patient to disclose their Substance Use Disorder (SUD) or mental health disorder. This proved harmful during the Opioid crisis. HIPAA law prevents sharing mental health or SUD information for care coordination or case management purposes. This will change. Healthcare agents will be able to receive information once the patient signs a single revokable consent. Value-Based Care will continue to get easier. The concept of Value-Based care is an important component of the Affordable Care Act. Value-Based care stresses wellness and primary care by offering financial incentives. There are some frustrations with the new HIPAA rules. Most of the rules aim to ease rules that stand in the way of care coordination. They also add to worries about access leading to leaking PHI. Comparing the dichotomy between ease of access with Personal Health Information security will be challenging for healthcare entities in the coming year.

Rule Changes Proposed for HIPAA Training Requirements

The OCR closed comments on the new suggested rules in May 2021. The new HIPAA rules will create easier access for individuals who are attempting to get their own records. Streamlining increases personal access, reduces turnaround times and regulates API access between EMRs. The new rules prohibit unreasonable access requirements. One example of this requires a patient to be in the facility to access their records. OCR is also encouraging providers to disclose information about life or death situations. Families and caregivers will now have an easier time supporting your patient during a crisis. Another rule highlights care coordination between many health care providers. This allows providers to track medicines from other providers, among other things. This is a key need demanded by the Opioid Emergency.

From Individual Protections to Coordination of Care

One of the keys to Value-Based Care is streamlining services for wellness and preventative care. The new rules are meant to improve care coordination between healthcare entities. Care coordination guarantees a holistic care strategy involving several providers. It also expects that the patient and their family have easy access to the patient's medical records. How do we navigate the fine line between privacy and easily obtained personal health information? Electronic Medical Records (EMR) may be the answer to some of this. Through the application program interface (API) feature, providers can share medical records between separate EMR programs. HIPAA will encourage people to use the patient portals available to access their personal health information. Remember that only offering one way of obtaining a patient's individual records (either by paper or through the EMR) will not be acceptable under the new rules. Access issues will be different for individual patients. Your office should study those issues on an individual basis. This adds another layer when the time comes for new HIPAA training. New HIPAA laws also reduce financial burdens for HIPAA-covered health care providers and health plans. The purpose of these changes is to boost personal access and aid care coordination. This is good news for anyone involved in HIPAA-covered health care.  To learn all of the changes, we urge you to get updated HIPAA training.

Value-Based Care - Adding Meaning to Healthcare

Telehealth increased 154% in March 2020 alone due to COVID lockdowns and closures. Telehealth has been around for a while but has been underutilized. Poor infrastructure and patients' awareness of telehealth have been problems in the past. COVID changed our use of telehealth and our opinion of its value. Shut-in became a more accepted and recognized living standard, with many elderly and immunocompromised patients threatened by COVID exposure in public. Telehealth also was able to offer a steadier financial forecast for primary care and specialty physicians. Almost everyone had diminished revenue as a result of COVID precautions. Telehealth is expected to continue increasing even after COVID restrictions end. Expanded coordination of workflow methods will be vital. The new HIPAA requirements also ease some limitations on administrative processes. These changes include:

  • Requests to third parties for electronic PHI.
  • No single section for written permission.
  • A condition that providers meet any reasonable PHI requests.

The healthcare field thrives on trust and a complete understanding of HIPAA compliance. What is HIPAA Certification going to give you and your patients in the future? The confidence that you understand all the features of the new rules and how to achieve them. HIPAA Certification also improves patient faith in your office. Certification guarantees that anyone with access to PHI is aware of the changes in rules and workflow.

Coordinated Care - The Future of Health Care

Providers will be expected to form connections with a wide variety of other providers soon. This will provide plenty of benefits to patients, caregivers, and families. Coordinated care is the overall goal for the future. The OCR is moving toward a much more unified and holistic method with the new HIPAA rules. Knowing your staff are well versed in HIPPA is an important part of the focus on Value-Based Care. What is HIPAA training required to teach? We have a lot of information on changing HIPAA laws. We are ready to present the information clearly to make sure you can focus on moving toward coordinated care for your patients.

Streamlining HIPAA Processes

Streamlining the process through new regulations means forecasting what HIPAA compliance looks like in a post-pandemic world. It should mean you can achieve the holistic care your patients need to control their health. You can reassure the patient that you are well-informed regarding who can have their information. The new HIPAA requirements will create some challenges when creating new, less confining processes. Hopefully, these changes will be positive for both your staff and patients. Asking how this may affect your current and future healthcare policy is a key part of managing your HIPAA compliance. Providing HIPAA training should include any staff with access to PHI. Guaranteeing that your staff is focused on patient needs and access to coordinated care will help you succeed. You want to give your workers the information to avoid costly HIPAA errors. Coordinated care will involve a mixture of people and agencies. As our communities and infrastructures continue to age, we need to form a plan based on balancing privacy with health care priorities. Records technology and telehealth will center on keeping a delicate balance between patient's rights to privacy and the need for coordinated care.

The Future of HIPAA

The updated rules are the biggest HIPAA changes since 2013. This will give providers of healthcare services and patients some very different information to consider. Since the comment period closed in May, it may be a few months before the definitive rules are published. Knowing the suggested changes will you shape plans for giving healthcare records. It will also help you create new HIPAA-compliant methods to coordinate care and ease PHI access for individual patients. Remember that any healthcare entity handling PHI must follow the new rules within 180 days of the release.

How Do We Become HIPAA Compliant With the New Rules?

Once the new Final Rules are issued, it will be important to train all healthcare workers on them. These new rules will be a change for anyone who has experienced the older HIPAA rules. Keeping your staff well trained and your facility HIPAA certified means avoiding fines. HIPAA violations have fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It erodes the patient's trust in your staff. It's important to get HIPAA training that is suitable for your entire staff. HIPAA mistakes cost big money. Fines range between $10,000 and $1 million per event. You need your training provider to be clear and accurate with HIPAA information.

For 2021 Guidelines for Healthcare Workers, please click here. For 2021 Guidelines for Business Associates, please click here.