HIPAA includes all those entities that are involved in the healthcare sector and handle sensitive information about individual patients. It involves even those organizations that are closely associated with these healthcare organizations and handle the healthcare information. To put in simple words, all those entities that are involved in managing sensitive data manually or electronically have to comply with the HIPAA rules and regulations.
HIPAA And The Medical Billing Practice
HIPAA gives clear rules from the flow of health information of individuals. As far as billing is concerned, it emphasizes on electronic submission of bills. HIPAA has been responsible for bringing about a major change in the medical billing practices. As per HIPAA medical health providers need to follow better administrative practices. These healthcare organizations need to make sure that they follow very high medical billing standards. They must follow the HIPAA Compliance Manual. Some healthcare providers are taking the services of third parties for medical billing services. The healthcare organizations need to make sure that these third party entities also follow the HIPAA guidelines.
Billing system and HIPAA compliance
It is mandatory for the healthcare organizations to work with only those medical billing agencies who meet all the standards of HIPAA compliance Certification guidelines. The things that they need to check before signing a contract with the billing partner are:
- The processes followed by the medical billing service provider must be as per the HIPAA rules and regulations.
- The staff of the billing service provider has to be trained in HIPAA compliance
- It is not enough for the staff to be trained, but they must also follow all the rules and regulations with regards to HIPAA compliance.
- The security of all the health information that is shared with the third party should not be compromised.
- They must also check the software that the billing provider is going to use.
- The billing software must satisfy all the critical requirements of HIPAA compliance manual
- The software must comply with the record management application of the healthcare provider.
- The billing party needs to ensure that the patient records are managed properly.
The benefit of standardization of billing procedures:
HIPAA has defined standard procedures for all the different billing transactions. This has helped the healthcare industry in a big way. It has increased the revenue of the healthcare industry in a big way. This is because standardization has helped in improving the administration. Administrative aspects have become well-organized. It has also helped in better record management. As a result there is reduction in the time taken to make the payments.
Thus we can say that when any entity associated with the healthcare sector abides by the HIPAA rules they are not only protecting sensitive data but it is also helping them itn improving their efficiency. As we can see in the case of medical billing services where the administration has improved and even the revenue has improved. Thus it is always better for the medical billing service provider to abide by HIPAA.