Certified HIPAA Privacy Associate

Certified HIPAA Privacy Associate

 

          Along with health information technology (HIT), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is an essential component of the maelstrom of activity driving dynamic changes in the healthcare industry.  Some industry professionals claim HIPAA laws are outpacing technology.  The centerpiece of the HIT space is protected health information (PHI), which has been traditionally stored in hard copy files and now is moving towards digitalization with the ultimate goal of electronic health records (EHRs).  Fueled by generous federal incentives to organizations that show meaningful use of EHRs, EHRs will be not only fully integrated across all departments within a healthcare organization, but will be accessible on a regional and then national level.  The proliferation of EHRs’ interoperability and accessibility to multiple providers and payers result in PHI disclosure, thus making it vulnerable to privacy and security breaches. 

          This is where HIPAA comes in.  Initially, HIPAA policies were designed to provide a common thread among radically different state privacy and security laws, and were intended to establish “the floor” or a bare minimum to protect patients’ privacy of health and benefit information.  A recent provision to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, called, the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act is an essential addendum to HIPAA laws that should be familiar to handlers of PHI.  HITECH raised the bar of specific privacy and security policies.  For example, two new categories were added that constitute HIPAA criminal violations with increased enforcement and civil penalties.  Enforcement agencies are sharpening their pencils to begin audits in the near future and will hold healthcare organizations and business associates accountable for security violations and noncompliance via fines. 

If your job role requires you to come into contact with PHI, HIT professionals urge you, at a minimum, to have a rudimentary understanding of HIPAA.  More than ever, it is essential that you understand how HIPAA Privacy and Security rules apply to your handling of protected health information at your workplace.          

Though not exhaustive, the following bulleted list includes individuals who would most benefit from an education in a broad scope of HIPAA Privacy and Security. 

  • Lab Technicians
  • Pharmacy Staff
  • Covered entity general employees
  • Business Associates general employees
  • Volunteers
  • New Hires in a Healthcare organization
  • Medical students
  • Nurses
  • Employees who need a general awareness of HIPAA
  • Medical Observers

…or if you are seeking employment in the healthcare field, the course’s resulting certification (pending passing an exam), validates your knowledge of HIPAA Privacy and Security and the HITECH Act.  Healthcare entities are seeking individuals with HIPAA knowledge and though the certification alone will not secure a job, it is an invaluable marketing tool that will capture a prospective employer’s attention and may open an otherwise closed door.

If you are already employed in the healthcare sector, a certification in HIPAA Privacy expands the scope of your knowledge and benefits your organization by having a HIPAA-savvy employee. 

Become a Certified HIPAA Privacy Associate and equip yourself with tools to expand your job role and make you a valuable asset to your organization.

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About Julie

My credentials include a Master's Certificate in Health Informatics, a CHPSE certification (Certified HIPAA Privacy and Security Expert), and certification in HL7 (Health Level 7). The multidisciplinary approach to equipping myself to enter the healthcare IT sector is consistent with my professional background in sales, management, healthcare, and recruiting. I also have a BA in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan, which as been invaluable in my professional life for exceling in sales, change management, and laying down an excellent foundation from which I was able to build effective communication skills with professionals of all levels.

Posted on March 14, 2011, in Education and Training, HIPAA and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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