Small practices are struggling with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance ahead of new audits, according to research released by cloud-based medical practice management software company NueMD.
Its 2016 industry survey measured progress towards compliance with the HIPAA among small medical practices. Conducted in February 2016, the survey of over 900 healthcare professionals revealed an increase in general awareness, but active steps toward compliance are still lagging
“With audits finally seeing the light of day, we wanted to gauge how quickly the industry is adapting to new regulations and offer resources to anyone who may be falling behind,” said Caleb Clarke, sales and marketing director at NueMD.
“Our hope is that surveys like these will draw attention to areas needing the most improvement.”
Key findings include that 60 percent of respondents are still unaware of pending HIPAA audits, although 70 percent of respondents have created a compliance plan, compared to 61 percent in 2014. Some 30 percent of respondents have yet to create a plan, and 54 percent of respondents have not appointed security or privacy officers.
In response to the results, NueMD is partnering with Total HIPAA Compliance and Atlanta-based healthcare attorney Daniel Brown, to host a series of free webinars designed to educate small medical practices and billing companies on various areas of compliance.
“Becoming compliant helps to protect not only patients, but the financial wellbeing of a practice,” said Jason Karn, chief compliance officer at Total HIPAA Compliance.
“It’s really important that the industry remains educated and we’re excited to be a part of that.”
Healthcare, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPAA, NueMD, Caleb Clarke, Jason Karn, US