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Understanding Hipaa And Its Various Forms Of Training Programs

Posted on November 30th, 2014

What is HIPAA?

It stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law that was introduced in 1996 to push reforms into the healthcare industry. This law aimed at cost reduction, simplification of administrative processes and improvement of the privacy and security of patient information.

The HIPAA law consists of two separate laws, which are the HIPAA Privacy and the HIPAA Security. The HIPAA Privacy law is meant for the safeguarding of a patient’s privacy and protected health information (PHI). The HIPAA Security law is for the safe handling of patient’s protected health information in electronic form (ePHI).

What is HIPAA training and who needs it?

IF a person is working in the healthcare industry, then that person has to undergo a form of HIPAA training. This is because it is necessary to teach the person how to handle protected heath information (PHI). The person should be properly able to store, use, transmit or convert data from non-standard to standard formats.

Any healthcare staff no matter working at what level may have to handle PHI at some point or another. Therefore HIPAA training is mandatory for all. Depending on the role played by a person in the healthcare industry, an appropriate level of HIPAA training has to be completed.

What levels are there in HIPAA training?

Level 1- Beginners

In this level, an individual, group or an organization is trained on the basics of HIPAA. The training helps in figuring out possible ways to make the organization compliant with HIPAA, and also in highlighting the changes on the ARRA’s HITECH Act.

For this, the Certified HIPAA Privacy Associate (CHPA) is one of the most recommended HIPAA training certification, and is suitable for students, general staff, and anyone who has recently joined the industry.

Level 2- Professional or Organizational

This is an advanced level and is meant for those who are already familiar with the basics of HIPAA but want to understand more about HIPAA compliance. For this, they have to opt for the Certified HIPAA Privacy Expert (CHPE), Certified HIPAA Security Expert (CHSE) or the Certified HIPAA Privacy Security Expert programs.

Again, which of the aforementioned programs does a person needs to take depends on the role that person plays in the industry. For example, if for someone who handles PHI at a high level and has to follow policies that are compliant with HIPAA Security regulations, then CHSE is the appropriate choice of training.

It is not necessary that a healthcare professional limits him or herself to only one form of HIPAA training because of what his or her job dictates. There is always the option of taking up another HIPAA training program and broadening one’s understanding of HIPAA.

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