Tuesday, July 31, 2012

4 Less Known Facts About HIPAA Certification

By now, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) should be no mystery to anyone involved in the US medical system. However, in the 16 years that have passed since its enactment back in 1996, HIPAA has managed to keep some of its aspects elusive to the general public. Read below to find out four less known facts about Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act certification.

1. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act certification can generally be obtained by attending a training course and passing an exam with a certain grade and is a requirement for numerous jobs within the health care industry. However, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act certification offers a distinct advantage which not all medical professionals are aware of, but that could greatly benefit them. By attending a training course that caters to specific regulations within HIPAA, such as security, auditing, and administration, an individual can become a specialist who can conduct Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act training for other members of the health care system.

2. Specialists with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act certification are permitted to handle specific aspects of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in the health care organization they belong to. They can become compliance officers, security officers, they can run audits, controls, and various evaluations, or they can take up positions in administration, Human Resources departments, or management. The type of responsibility you can assume within your medical organization following the obtaining of the HIPAA certification depends on how specialized your training course was. So, if you are looking to advance your career, make sure you thoroughly analyze the various HIPAA certification options available.

3. According to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance is not mandatory only for medical professionals with direct access to patients and health information, such as doctors and nurses, but also for business associated of covered entities. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act certification is useful for pharmacy workers, auditors, interpreters used to ease communication between doctors and patients, medical laboratories, and even maintenance and cleaning staff that has access to rooms where patient information is stored. HITECH regulations apply quite drastic sanctions to any business associate that is negligent with protected health information.

4. Although HIPAA compliance is required by law, HIPAA certification is not, so do not confuse the meaning of the two words. All the necessary information on HIPAA can be found on the US Department of Health and Human Services website, completely for free. Nonetheless, formal training is the easiest way to raise Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act awareness and ensure compliance with employees. HIPAA certification titles, as well as types, vary according to the specific courses offered by one training company or another. The US Government does not impose certain regulations or standards for the format of the training course or of the HIPAA certification title, so you have to search and choose the one that best fits you.

These are some of the most important facts about Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act certification which are less known to the average medical professional. Make sure you keep all the information presented above in mind when searching for a training course for your HIPAA certification.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Essentials of HIPAA Exams: 5 Points

Privacy and security of patients' confidential records is an important function in every health organization. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) lays down the guidelines and rules that ensure the confidentiality of patient medical records. All employees who deal closely with patients and their medical records must be aware of these laws and understand them properly so they can adhere to them in the best possible manner.

For this purpose, healthcare organizations, clearinghouses and even health insurance agencies provide HIPAA training to their employees. There are levels of trainings and an employee is supposed to successfully pass an exam to be certified. Based on your work profile you can choose your specific certification. Certified Security Compliance Specialist, Certified HIPAA Professional, and Certifies HIPAA Administrator are some of the certifications you can choose from.

There are certain employees in hospitals who deal with access, use, and storage of the medical records. These individuals need special training so that there is no scope for any violations of the HIPAA laws. They are trained about the various safeguards to be kept in place to protect the sensitive information. As more and more hospitals are converting to electronic storage, training is essential in order for employees to understand the electronic, physical, and technical safeguards.

Here are five essentials of HIPAA Exams.

• HIPAA exams will introduce you the basics of HIPAA laws starting with the technical and physical safeguards that must be put in place and followed in order to protect the sensitive medical information of patients. The privacy and security laws will also be covered in the training.

• If you want to specialize as a security compliance specialist, there is a special certification you can do for it. Here you will be trained in detail about the security guideline and regulations, including cyber or online security.

• A basic HIPAA certification will teach you basics of HIPAA rules and regulations that every healthcare employee should know regardless if he deals directly with patient medical records or not. This course will help you understand the situations when disclosure of information is legitimate and when it is not.

• Nowadays, HIPAA certifications can be taken online as well as in a classroom setting. Online training is more convenient owing to flexible hours and you can complete the course as per your schedule. An examination is conducted once you finish with the study material. On successfully passing the examination, you become a certified HIPAA administrator.

• Non compliance and violations are not taken lightly by HIPAA. Any such report will lead to heavy fines and even imprisonment depending on the extent of the violation. Therefore, training is important as employees become more aware of every step they take. A small mistake on your part can lead to loss of license for you as well as the health organization.

Healthcare organizations are on the lookout for individuals who are already certified. When they know you are aware of the HIPAA rules and regulation, they feel confident about you joining their team. They also save resources as they don't have to take care of getting your certification done after you join. There are refresher courses available so that you can keep yourself up to date about any modifications in the Act.