what is hipaa training

HIPAA Training Courses and Programs: Everything You Need to Know

HIPAA training involves educating healthcare professionals and employees about their roles and responsibilities in protecting patient privacy. The training also teaches them the best practices for properly handling protected health information or PHI.

This post will walk you through the training basics and the types of training courses you can take.

What is HIPAA training?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that sets standards for the protection of certain health information. HIPAA training is a type of training that teaches individuals how to handle and protect health information in accordance with HIPAA requirements.

HIPAA Training Courses and Programs: Everything You Need to Know

What Is HIPAA Training?

HIPAA training for employees is one of the most important steps you can take to maintain HIPAA compliance. It covers the fundamentals, including the three HIPAA rules that all healthcare employers and workers should know and put into practice. 

HIPAA and Privacy Act training teaches you the best tips and practices to remain compliant and improve your cybersecurity measures. It equips you and your employees with proper and up-to-date information regarding handling sensitive medical data protected by data privacy regulations.

Importance of HIPAA Training

Conducting training is a crucial step toward regulatory compliance. As a general rule mandated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and HIPAA, covered entities such as healthcare providers, health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and their business associates should comply with specific training requirements.  

The consequences of HIPAA violations can be very costly. Depending on the severity of the offense, HIPAA fines and penalties can reach up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not to mention all the stress it can bring to you and the rest of your organization. Training equips you and your employees with the knowledge and abilities to abide by HIPAA standards so you can keep all the violations at bay. 

More importantly, HIPAA training aims to establish confidentiality and maintain data integrity, avoiding potential risks leading to breaches and unauthorized disclosures. Through training, your staff becomes more aware of the weight of their duties and responsibilities toward protecting PHI. 

HIPAA Training Courses and Programs: Everything You Need to Know

Different Courses for HIPAA Training

There are different types of HIPAA training courses:

Online HIPAA Training Courses

Web-based training programs offer convenience and flexibility. They can be done live or as recorded sessions, allowing you to complete your education at your own pace and convenience. They typically include HIPAA training materials or modules, which you can download or access online. Websites like HIPAA Training and the educational institutions mentioned in the next section may also offer HIPAA online programs. 

In-Person HIPAA Training Workshops

Face-to-face training sessions can also be conducted in a physical classroom or workshop setting. In-person workshops are interactive and may include group discussions, case studies, role-playing exercises, and Q&A sessions.

Educational institutions and other third-party providers offer both online and in-person HIPAA courses. Check out the University of New HampshireIndiana UniversityTotal Medical Compliance, and Biomed Medical Compliance for in-person training requirements. Before registering for training, carefully check if the educators are reliable, knowledgeable, and trustworthy.

Customized HIPAA Training Programs

You can also conduct training programs tailored to your organization’s or industry’s needs. Customized training may incorporate elements of in-person and online formats and may include additional materials or modules addressing unique compliance challenges and organizational policies. They may also allow you to customize certain materials or parts of the training yourself, such as Hard Hat’s HIPAA Training Kit

HIPAA Training Courses and Programs: Everything You Need to Know

Free HIPAA Training Courses

While the cost of HIPAA training can vary significantly, you can have your employees undergo free training, which usually covers the fundamentals of HIPAA requirements. 

Some of the free HIPAA trainings you can find online include:

EdApp Free HIPAA Compliance Training

You can take this free online course on any device. It covers the basics of HIPAA compliance, such as the security measures needed to protect your clients’ data, contingency plans in dealing with threats and breaches, and the best practices you can apply to your day-to-day process. 

OSH Academy 625 HIPAA Privacy Training

Another online course you can take for no cost is HIPAA Privacy Training by OSH Academy. Aside from HIPAA and Privacy Act training, OSH also covers the Security Rule, electronic PHI, and risk analysis. At the end of this free HIPAA training, you should get at least 70% on the final exam to pass the course and get a certificate. The HIPAA certification, however, comes with a fee.

US Department of Health and Human Services HIPAA Training Materials

HHS HIPAA training includes guides from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Their modules are web-based and downloadable for easy access. The website also encourages you to sign up for the OCR Privacy and Security Listserv to stay informed about health information privacy and security and access technical assistance materials.

Know that these trainings, while free, are not intended to replace comprehensive HIPAA training programs. Investing in courses tailored to your organization’s unique compliance needs can offer more in-depth guidance.

Kent Cañas

Kent is a content strategist currently specializing in HIPAA-compliant online fax. Her expertise in this field allows her to provide valuable insights to clients seeking a secure and efficient online fax solution.

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