HIPAA Training Requirements: Your Guide to Compliance

HIPAA training requirements for 2024

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), employees must go through strict training to protect the privacy and safety of private patient data. The landscape of healthcare information security is changing a lot in 2024, and the updated HIPAA training standards are at the head of these changes. 

We’ll walk you through the HIPAA training requirements for 2024, along with recent updates you should be aware of to remain compliant. 

Standards for HIPAA Training in 2024

HIPAA requirements in 2024 will involve the following training standards: 

  • Privacy Rule Training Standard: The HIPAA Privacy Rule stresses the importance of the legal use and sharing of protected health information (PHI). Although other parties may collect health data, this rule applies only to covered entities. 
  • Security Rule Training Standard: This standard says that all employees, even management, must be trained on security as part of a program that is required by the Security Rule. It has four addressable implementation specifications that cover things like regular security updates, ways to protect against malware, keeping an eye on login tries, and making, changing, and keeping safe passwords. The goal of this standard is to make security better for covered companies and business partners.

Who Needs HIPAA Training? 

HIPAA training requirements expand beyond doctors and hospitals. If you fall into any of these categories, you will need to complete HIPAA training and stay up to date with future changes: 

  • Covered Entities: Healthcare clearinghouses, doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, nursing homes, and health insurance companies are all examples of organizations that must follow HIPAA training rules. 
  • Business Associates: Non-clinical staff who work with covered companies, such as administrative, billing, and IT partners, must also be trained under HIPAA. 
  • Vendors: People and businesses that deal with medical data, billing, or selling medical equipment are considered vendors and need to be trained on HIPAA. 

Is HIPAA Training Required More Than Once? 

HIPAA rules make it clear that training should be given as many times as needed and be “ongoing”. This includes situations where new technologies or laws/guidelines have a direct effect on workers.

Separate departments and roles may require different frequencies of training. Your organization’s security officer or team should determine what the most appropriate “reasonable period of time” between training for departments should be. Training employees regularly helps protect PHI by keeping them up to date on changing standards and making sure they follow them.

Changes to HIPAA Training Requirements for 2024

Healthcare data protection is always changing, especially when it comes to HIPAA training standards. An increasing amount of data breach reports highlight the importance of protecting sensitive data in the upcoming year. 

Medical Form and Data Requirements 

One of the most important changes to the HIPAA training standards for 2024 is that patients’ rights to access their data will be even more clear. Training programs should ensure that healthcare workers know how to make it easier for patients to get information while still keeping sensitive information safe and secure. 

Client intake forms, medical records release forms, and any other type of medical form or consent form must also be HIPAA compliant. An easy way to ensure your forms are up to date with the latest requirements is to use a reliable online form builder that meets HIPAA regulations. 

Cybersecurity and Privacy

New HIPAA guidelines encourage a complete cybersecurity plan based on section 405(d) of the CSA’s “Aligning the Health Care Industry Security Approaches.” This includes training in how to respond to incidents so that cyberattacks can be dealt with properly. In the new year, these updated rules will spell out specific steps to take, stressing how important it is to be ready and act quickly in the event of a cybersecurity attack.

Protocols for Responding to Incidents

The HIPAA requirements outline exactly what to do in the event of a data breach. This means following a very careful process of looking over and keeping an eye on IT assets, gathering data, and watching out for signs of cyberattacks. 

In a nutshell, healthcare organizations must have a clear containment plan, get in touch with their security partners right away in the event of an incident, and do a full review of the event after the fact to improve future response plans.

The HIPAA Minimum Necessary Rule

The Minimum Necessary Rule is an existing component of HIPAA rules with some expected updates for 2024. The rule says that healthcare organizations can only use and share protected health information (PHI) as much as they need to to do their job.

News for 2024

The suggested changes to the Minimum Necessary Rule for 2024 are meant to make the standards for managing cases and coordinating care less strict. This includes all interactions between everyone involved, such as those between covered entities, agencies, and healthcare organizations. 

Breach Notification Rule Changes 

The Breach Notification Rule was first introduced in 2009, but it only applied to PHI maintained by covered entities and their business associates, excluding health-related data held by other parties. The proposed change to this rule adds a definition of “health care provider” to include an “entity furnishing health care services or supplies.” The FTC’s suggested revisions aim to make it clear that health and wellness apps, as well as health tech, are now included within the scope of these regulations.

Changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule

Another key component of HIPAA is the Privacy Rule, which determines how organizations should keep people’s medical data and other personal health information safe. 

There are several changes likely to happen in 2024, including: 

  • Patients being allowed to view PHI in person (and take notes or photographs)
  • Requirement for organizations to inform patients of their right to obtain PHI copies
  • Fee estimate requirements on healthcare organizations’ websites for accessing PHI
  • PHI sharing (in certain ways) when covered entities have a good faith belief it’s in the best interest of the patient

As we enter the new year, its important to be aware of HIPAA changes for compliance. But staying up to date with new guidelines doesn’t have to be stressful or overly complex. 

The best way to make sure you’re hitting all of these checkpoints is to find a trusted partner to guide you. At FormDr, we have HIPAA-compliant patient forms that are customizable to your business. Learn more about how we can help you make compliance simple in 2024 and beyond with our reliable solutions here.