I recently attended the National WEDI conference in Washington DC. WEDI stands for the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange. It was a very educational conference, covering topics from HIPAA regulations to Artificial Intelligence. The conference presented a wide range of experts from Data Engineers to the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Seema Verma. There was a phrase and topic that Ms. Verma covered that sticks in the forefront of my mind and I wanted to share it with you.
For those of you who may not be aware, Ms. Verma, as the head of CMS, is responsible for over 1 trillion dollars of government spending. Her opinion carries a lot of weight and her decisions affect the entire country. In her keynote address, she used the phrase, “The wall of shame” When referring to the renewed focus of cracking down on HIPAA violations and breaches. She mentioned that the government had not given enough effort to enforce HIPAA compliance and “out” the entities who were not adhering to the law. She and her team have put into motion, through HHS and the office of the OCR, a new directive to aggressively seek out companies who are non-compliant and make an example of their mistakes. The goal being to help other payers, providers and business associates learn from these mistakes and to reiterate the seriousness of non-compliance. With industry complexities constantly on the rise and opportunities for breaches made possible by these changes, it is very important that each of us do our due diligence when it comes to HIPAA compliance. If you have put in the effort to comply with the HIPAA law, your chances of ending up on the “Wall of Shame” are drastically reduced, should you have a breach and find your company in an audit.
If you haven’t had the time to invest in your HIPAA compliance or perhaps you don’t know how or what to do, our tool, the Discovering HIPAA Vault, is here to help you. All your major Documentation is tracked and saved securely in the cloud and HIPAA training for you and your team is all in one convenient location. HIPAA compliance is critical, so let us help you protect yourself and your patients.