The deadline for submitting HIPAA/MIPS security risk assessment is quickly coming. Are you prepared? Having a completed risk assessment is critical to avoid potential fines and penalties from the government. In this article, we will provide an overview of the SRA requirements and provide tips on how to complete your assessment.
What is a HIPAA/MIPS Security Risk Assessment and Why Do You Need One?
A HIPAA/MIPS security risk assessment is an evaluation of an organization’s compliance with HIPAA and MIPS security regulations. The goal of the assessment is to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities and recommend a corrective action plan to mitigate those risks. Conduct the assessment by a qualified third-party, such as a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).
Under the HIPAA Security Rule, organizations must perform a security risk assessment. However, many organizations are not aware of this requirement or do not have the resources to conduct a comprehensive assessment. The HITECH Act addresses this problem by requiring covered entities to perform a periodic security risk assessment and report the results to the Secretary of HHS. In addition, the HITECH Act imposes significant fines for failure to comply with the security risk assessment requirement.
Many organizations view the security risk assessment as a compliance burden. However, if conducted properly, the security risk assessment can be a valuable tool for identifying and addressing potential risks before they result in data breaches or other problems. Therefore, organizations need to select a qualified third-party vendor to conduct their security risk assessments.
When is the Deadline to Complete a HIPAA/MIPS Security Risk Assessment?
The deadline for completing a HIPAA/MIPS Security Risk Assessment is quickly approaching. Organizations must complete their assessment by the end of 2022 to remain compliant with the HIPAA and Medicare regulations. Organizations should begin the process of selecting a qualified vendor and completing their security risk assessments now.
What are the Penalties for Not Completing a HIPAA/MIPS Security Risk Assessment?
Organizations that fail to complete a HIPAA/MIPS Security Risk Assessment by the deadline are subject to significant fines and penalties. The maximum penalty for failure to comply with the security risk assessment requirement is $1.5 million per violation, per year. In addition, organizations may be subject to civil and criminal enforcement actions if they fail to comply with HIPAA and MIPS regulations.
How to Complete a HIPAA/MIPS Security Risk Assessment
All organizations that must comply Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) must run a security risk assessment (SRA). The SRA is an in-depth analysis of an organization’s current security measures, and it can identify gaps and vulnerabilities. The HIPAA Security Rule requires all covered entities to perform a risk assessment regularly. In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has mandated that all clinicians participating in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program must complete an SRA as part of the meaningful use requirements.
- Gathering Information
The first step in completing an SRA is to gather information about the organization’s current security measures. Your organization can do this by conducting interviews with key personnel, reviewing documentation, and observing processes and procedures. Once you gather all the relevant information, it is then necessary to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities.
- Risk Analysis
The next step is to conduct a risk analysis. This involves analyzing the information gathered in the previous step and determining which security measures you need to strengthen or implement to reduce potential risks. During this phase, it is important to consider both technical measures, such as encryption and access controls, along with administrative measures such as policies and procedures.
- Developing Mitigation Strategies
Once you identify and analyze all the risks, it is then necessary to develop strategies for mitigating those risks. These strategies should include both short-term and long-term solutions, with clear timelines for implementation. It is also important to document each strategy and its associated timeline to ensure your organization follows them.
HIPAA/MIPS Security Risk Assessments are an important part of any organization’s compliance strategy. The deadline for completion is December 31st. 2022. Failure to comply may result in significant fines and penalties. Organizations should begin the process of selecting a qualified vendor and completing their SRA now to remain compliant with HIPAA and MIPS regulations.
If you need help with completing your HIPAA/MIPS Security Risk Assessment, contact us for more information. SwiftTech Solutions provides managed IT services and can help you with the process! We look forward to helping you comply with HIPAA/MIPS.