Is HIPAA Training Legally Required?
Yes, the provision of HIPAA training is indeed a legal requirement.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) explicitly requires that covered entities and their business associates provide training to their workforce. This training must educate workforce members about the entity's privacy policies and procedures and the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
The key legal provision for HIPAA training lies in the Privacy Rule at 45 CFR § 164.530(b). The rule specifies that "a covered entity must train all members of its workforce on the policies and procedures concerning protected health information (PHI)." Furthermore, the rule requires that each covered entity provide training "as necessary and appropriate for the workforce members to carry out their functions within the covered entity."
As per HIPAA regulations, covered entities include health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and certain healthcare providers. As defined by HIPAA, business associates include any organization or person working in association with or providing services to a covered entity who handles or discloses PHI or Personal Health Records (PHR).
In practical terms, this means that if you are part of a healthcare provider, a health plan, a healthcare clearinghouse, or a business associate, and you handle PHI in any capacity, you are required by law to undergo HIPAA training. This is to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to protect patient's health information and maintain their rights.
The penalties for non-compliance with HIPAA can be severe, ranging from financial penalties to criminal charges, depending on the nature of the violation. Therefore, ensuring that all relevant workforce members receive appropriate HIPAA training is not just a matter of best practice - it's a legal necessity.
- Answered by: Andrew David Easler, Esq.
- Published: 06/21/2023
- Updated: 06/21/2023
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