Your startup is up and running: You’ve secured funding, you’ve hired fantastic staff, and you’ve built your MVP. But the moment you think you’ve done everything you can, you learn that your startup must be HIPAA compliant. HIPAA regulations can be daunting for an established business to navigate, so it can be even more of a challenge for a startup founder who is trying to juggle every facet of the business. However, you’re in luck: Accountable was built with HIPAA Compliance for startups in mind. Our cloud-based software was built to help you and your team navigate through the complexities of HIPAA and will help you understand what you need to do to ensure that your company is compliant.
What is HIPAA?
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which is set up to regulate how healthcare providers store, record, manage, and share the private healthcare information of US citizens. Businesses that service those organizations are called Business Associates. Following the adoption of the Omnibus in 2013, Business Associates that work on behalf of a Healthcare Provider or even other Business Associates that come into contact with any Protected Healthcare Information (PCI) will need to be HIPAA Compliant.
Does my Startup need to be HIPAA Compliant?
Most startups are in the business creating software to support other businesses, so if your customers come into contact with PHI by virtue of being a covered entity or a business associate of them, it is possible that your business may come into contact with thousands of PHI over the course of your day so it is critical that you know what you need to do to protect the security of that information in order to protect your business.
In order for your startup to be HIPAA Compliant, you’ll need to annually complete risk assessments to identify security risks, implement policies and contingencies, train your employees, and arrange business associate agreements with any contractor or business who might be able to access PHI. Additionally, you need to make certain that the information you are entrusted with is encrypted and secure.
Cost of Noncompliance for Startups
So what will happen to you if your startup isn’t compliant with HIPAA? For starters, you’ll pay. If you’re found to be in breach of any of HIPAA rules, your startup could be faced with some pretty severe fines, regardless of whether the violation was intentional. In the case of severe violations, those responsible could be hit with penalties of up to 10 years in prison.
At the lower end, each individual breach of PHI can cost your company $100 if the HHS determines the violation to be incidental, and if the HHS determines that wilful neglect was involved each violation can cost your organization $50,000, for a total max penalty of $1.5 million dollars. Think your startup can survive that? There are many mature organizations that couldn’t handle those penalties.
Become HIPAA Compliant
The only thing that is more challenging and complex than running a startup company is navigating the complexities of HIPAA Compliance. Fortunately for you, Accountable HQ was created for that purpose: We’ll help manage the HIPAA compliance of your startup, so you can focus on building your business. Our cloud base compliance solution will allow you to become fully compliant, as well as earn your company a HIPAA compliance certificate that will allow you to flaunt your status in your niche.