Casetivity & HIPAA Compliance
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a list of standards for securing private healthcare information. Every healthcare provider and institution must keep this information secure regardless of how it’s being stored. Casetivity is a low-code software development platform that uses built-in HIPAA-compliant features to help public health organizations comply with the latest regulations.
A person’s health records contain sensitive personal information that must be protected according to federal law. According to HIPAA, this information cannot be disclosed without the patient’s consent. Providers and public health departments must ensure their records systems comply with the national standards to prevent the accidental sharing of confidential data. Patient health information is often uploaded to a patient management software platform, where it can then be shared with local and state health departments for reporting purposes, especially when it comes to administering early intervention services, preventing lead poisoning, and tracking the spread of infectious disease as we saw with COVID-19.
Casetivity is SSG’s premiere public health low-code application platform for designing custom patient care management software. It allows users to create specialized HIPAA-compliant apps for public health departments and organizations. Learn more about these patient privacy requirements and how they can affect your healthcare software.
What is HIPAA Compliance?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, enacted in 1996, outlines specific guidelines for protecting what’s known as private healthcare information (PHI). These rules have been revised over the years to ensure compliance as health organizations begin to digitize their health records. Failure to comply can result in a fine of up to $1.5 million.
All healthcare providers and organizations use these guidelines to protect PHI from falling into the wrong hands. It applies to any organization that needs access to this information for business purposes, including public and private healthcare facilities, hospitals, doctor’s offices, medical discount services, insurance companies, and public health agencies.
The three principal rules of the law are as follows:
The Privacy Rule
The HIPAA privacy rule outlines the circumstances in which PHI may be shared, including what qualifies as PHI, which organizations must follow these standards, what types of professionals are allowed to share and access PHI, and the patient’s rights regarding the use and disclosure of this data. The rules allow patients and their next of kin to access this information. The patient must give their consent whenever this information is created or shared. Any patient request to access their own PHI must be answered within 30 days of receipt.
The Security Rule
The security rule outlines the guidelines for protecting PHI regardless of how it is being stored. Digital health records and apps have led to the creation of electronic private health information (ePHI). The rule covers the procedures and regulations for storing electronic health records, including those stored in a hard drive or in the cloud. Only authorized individuals should be able to access the files. The rule also applies to the physical display of this information. For example, the provider reviewing the information should have the screen turned away so unauthorized individuals cannot read it.
The Breach Notification Rule
The breach notification rule outlines the procedures for notifying patients and all parties involved in the event of a data breach. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must be informed of the breach as soon as possible as well as the patient(s) whose data was exposed.
HIPAA Compliance and Patient Management Software
Most healthcare facilities and organizations now use some type of digital records system. Electronic patient data is easier to store and manage than paper medical records. These tools also use automatic data analysis to quickly identify emerging health trends, such as the spread of lead poisoning or a new infectious disease. But these systems must adhere to the same privacy laws as paper records.
To limit access to authorized individuals, any patient management system that contains ePHI must meet the following standards:
The ePHI must be hosted on a server, either remote or onsite, with a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).
Only necessary patient data should be collected. HIPAA encourages data minimization to prevent the collection of sensitive information unrelated to the patient’s care.
All ePHI must be encrypted to prevent unauthorized users from gaining access. This means keeping data encrypted, such as backup data centers, even at rest.
In case of a data breach, the system must also have a secure backup location for the ePHI as a data recovery and patient notification plan. The backup should be kept offsite.
The system should have a secure login process to limit access to authorized users. Administrators can use Access Management to control who has access to this information. Authorized personnel will be assigned a unique user ID. The system should also automatically log off when the user walks away from the device. The user authorization process should include two-factor authentication to enhance security.
The organization must also do a regular risk assessment of its digital operations to ensure the system meets these standards. This includes having a remediation policy in place, so the team can respond to potential vulnerabilities as soon as they are detected.
Is Casetivity HIPAA Compliant
Yes, Casetivity is a fully HIPAA-compliant low-code health software development platform. All apps and software programs created through the platform will automatically meet the standards as required by HIPAA. Users do not need to specialize in data security or vulnerability remediation to keep their systems secure.
What Measures Does Casetivity Take to Ensure HIPAA Compliance?
The platform features an easy-to-use Access Management interface that quickly authenticates and authorizes users based on their organizational role, only giving them access to the data they have permissions for. The platform makes it easy to set up two-factor authentication. Users will be sent clear instructions in terms of creating an account. The input fields can also be adjusted based on the necessary data.
All ePHI stored on the platform is encrypted and protected by a secure firewall to prevent data breaches. SSG conducts regular risk assessments to protect all apps from vulnerabilities. Administrators and IT professionals can easily monitor the system for suspicious activity so that they can report the incident to the proper authorities.
The platform can easily be customized based on the organization’s needs. As new processes come online and more ePHI needs to be collected, users can quickly scale up their operations without putting this information at risk.
If users have any questions or concerns about the security of their app, SSG is standing by to offer assistance.
Dealing with HIPAA compliance in the digital age can be an enormous undertaking for many healthcare organizations and companies, especially if other providers use a different case management software program. Casetivity makes it easy for all types of public health agencies and organizations to design software that will automate routine processes without putting sensitive public health data at risk. The platform uses built-in state-of-the-art security protocols to help users create unique software programs that comply with the law. Contact SSG to learn more about our approach to HIPAA compliance.