HIPAA Privacy Rule and eCommerce

Following Best Practices and HIPAA Privacy Guidelines

HIPAA Privacy Requirements for eCommerce

The HIPAA Privacy Rule states some national principles to guard individuals' medical data and other personal health-related information, including health care clearinghouses, health plans, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically. The Rule needs suitable protections to guard the personal health data privacy and sets conditions and restrictions on the disclosures and uses of such information without the patient's approval.

This Privacy Rule also provides some rights to the patients over health data, including rights to obtain and examine their health histories and request modifications. This article would talk about the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules and how they can be implemented in the eCommerce business. The overall principles for the privacy of independently recognizable health data establish a set of national rules for specific health data safety.

HIPAA Compliant Solution - Medical Development

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also known as HHS, allotted the Privacy Rule to apply the Health Insurance Accountability and Portability under the HIPAA Act of 1996. The Privacy Rule discourse the use of individuals' health data—known as "protected health information or PHI" by governments subject to the Privacy Rule — "covered entities," and also principles for individuals' rights to information privacy to control and understand how the healthcare departments are using their health data. In HHS, the OCR has accountability for imposing and executing the Privacy Rule to intended compliance events along with civil money penalties.

A primary purpose of the Privacy Rule is to guarantee that patient's health data is completely secured while permitting the health data flow required to promote and provide premium-quality health care and defend the people's wellbeing and health. The Rule maintains the balance that allows significant data use while shielding patients' privacy looking for healing and care.

Knowing the fact that the health industry is diverse, the Rule is made wide-ranging and flexible to cover the diversity of disclosures and uses that should be considered by the eCommerce business or other healthcare providers.

Free 45-Minute Workshop

Mastering HIPAA Complexity for Medical Websites, Apps, and Portals

Check out our free 45-minute workshop where you’ll discover a simple, step-by-step gameplan to master risk, complexity, and profit for your HIPAA-compliant digital platform... without wasting months or years becoming a HIPAA expert!

image description
Is your business protected?

Who is Covered Under Privacy Rule?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule, along with all the Managerial Interpretation rules, was implemented to health care clearinghouses, health plans, and health providers who convey health data in the computerized form for which the HHS has implemented principles under HIPAA.

Health Plans

Health plans made by groups and individuals that pay the medical care cost are covered entities. Health plans comprise vision, dental, health, and insurers of prescription medicines, health care organizations, Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare and Medicare insurers, and patient care insurers (without nursing home fixed-indemnity plans).

These plans consist of employer-sponsored group plans, multiemployer health plans, and government health plans. But exceptions are still there—a group health plan with 50 or fewer members managed by the owner that maintains and recognizes the health plan is not considered a covered entity.

Health Care Providers

All health care companies, irrespective of their size, who digitally convey health data with specific transactions, are considered covered entities. These data communications include benefit eligibility inquiries, claims, referral approval requests, or other data transactions for which HHS has made rules under the HIPAA.

Computerized technology like email does not mean a health provider comes under a covered entity; the data communication should be linked with a standard health data transaction. A health care provider is also covered under Privacy Rule whether it digitally conveys these transactions or through a billing service.

Health Care Clearinghouses

These entities are processing non-standard data they obtain from other entities into a standard or the other way round. In most cases, health care clearinghouses will get separately recognizable health data only when the processing services are being offered to a health care provider as a business subordinate. In this case, specific Privacy Rule requirements are valid to the healthcare clearinghouse's disclosures and uses of secure health data.

Business Connections

What is a business associate? Generally, a business associate is defined as an organization or person, not a participant of a covered entity's employees, that performs specific activities or offers services to, a covered entity that includes the disclosure of individually recognizable health data. On behalf of a covered entity, subordinate business activities consist of data analysis, claims processing, operation review, and billing process. Its services to a protected entity are restricted to legal, accounting, actuarial, data aggregation, consulting, organization, directorial, authorization, or monetary services.

Business Associate Contract

When a covered entity uses a contractor or non-workforce member to perform "business associate" activities, the privacy Rule needs that the covered entity comprise guards for the data in a business associate contract (in certain conditions, organizational entities may use substitute means to attain the same level of safety). In the definition of a business associate contract, a covered entity should execute detailed written protections on the exclusively recognizable health data used by its business acquaintances.

Safeguard Sensitive Data with Tokenization and other Security Practices

What are HIPAA Compliant Website Requirements?

In case your eCommerce business is related to health-related services or products, you must ensure it fulfills the rules made by the HIPAA to guard sensitive health information. Many of the same security and privacy procedures covered by PCI compliance apply here and apply strong access control, network protection, and physical security.

All patient data related to health insurance, billing, diagnosis, test, or lab results; patient care is covered under Protected health information. However, hospitals and healthcare providers tend to manage the most Protected health information, and such data can certainly be saved by eCommerce sites working with hospitals and healthcare companies. HIPAA compliance needs your eCommerce business to implement the best practices for defending customer information you must follow considering payment data daily.

HIPAA Compliant Solution - Medical Development

Some security needs for HIPAA compliance may previously be assembled into the shopping cart (such as SSL and data encryption). You may need to finance a security setup to ensure the safety of your health-related information. As far as eCommerce security is concerned, there are uncountable deliberations you should keep in mind, especially when it comes to customer data.

It is also essential to consider HIPAA-compliant eCommerce integration if you want to start a business in the healthcare industry. Defending customer payment data via PCI Compliance is a huge responsibility, but one that is authoritative to guarantee that your website is protected and safe for clientele to use.

Things will be different during EMR integration for the eCommerce business that deals in health services and managed health-related information. In such cases, your eCommerce website should be HIPAA Compliant.

Bringing in the experts to ensure HIPAA compliance

How Can Clarity Help with HIPAA Compliance?

Summing up the whole discussion, it can be said that the Privacy Rule also provides some rights to the patients over health data and rights to get and examine their health histories and request modifications. All healthcare companies, irrespective of their size, who digitally convey health data with specific transactions, are considered a covered entity. On behalf of a covered entity, subordinate business activities consist of data analysis, claims processing, operation review, and billing process. Shielding customer payment data via PCI Compliance is significant accountability, but one that is commanding to guarantee that your website is protected and safe for customers to use.

Clarity has developed some of the best HIPAA-Compliant Websites. Any health organization can face issues with HIPAA responsibilities when they start their digital journey. These problems can be overcome by working with a professional HIPAA development team. Clarity's HIPAA Compliance Services include:

  • HIPAA Complaint Website
  • HIPAA Compliant eCommerce integration
  • HIPAA Security and Privacy Rules
  • HIPAA Compliance Requirements
  • HIPAA Technical Safeguards
  • HIPAA Compliance Certification
  • HIPAA Password Requirements
  • HIPAA Compliant App Development