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HIPAA and OSHA Training: What's the Difference?

In 2020, instances of breached health care records reached more than 29 million. This is in part due to a lack of HIPAA compliance training. Safety training is the best way to avoid fines for these types of violations.

In this article, we discuss the difference between HIPAA and OSHA training. We also discuss how they can affect your work safety. Continue reading if you want to maintain compliance and avoid penalties.

What Is HIPAA Training?

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA is a method of protecting private information and records for medical patients. It's a national standard for privacy that applies to physical and electronic records.

HIPAA training involves a work safety course that explains the rules of HIPAA. Medical staff learn how to maintain patient information and records. They also learn what rights the patient has concerning their records.

Who Must Complete HIPAA Safety Training?

The answer to, 'who must complete HIPAA safety training, depends on the type of business. The main categories include healthcare (including mental healthcare), business associates of healthcare providers, insurance, and group health plan organizations.

Certain employees working in healthcare or health insurance need HIPAA compliance training. These include staff members who handle records or are near sensitive information.

There are other organizations outside of the healthcare industry that need training. Any businesses that sell products or services to healthcare are an example.

There are employees outside of healthcare that still need HIPAA education. Examples include employees that sponsor and manage health benefits for staff. They can also include members of a Human Resources department.

HIPAA Training Requirements

HIPAA training involves learning security awareness as well as any security updates. It doesn't focus on the HIPAA rule specifically. Instead, staff learn how to maintain information while they complete their daily responsibilities.

There are also no specific requirements for training format. You can use online training videos, newsletters, or other sources. Consider spreading the information over the year instead of all at once.

Spreading out the information in small chunks can help improve staff engagement. It can also maximize retention. Only having to remember small chunks of information at a time is easier than a lot all at once.

HIPAA Training Frequency

Training frequency is not listed in hard numbers. New employees must complete HIPAA training within a 'reasonable period of time.' This rule is up for interpretation, but we suggested sooner rather than later.

After initial training, employees need to refresh their knowledge with periodic safety courses. We recommend doing so every year to remain compliant. You'll also want to document the training in case of an audit.

What Is HIPAA Compliance?

HIPAA performs random audits and investigates complaints. This helps ensure companies are practicing high standards of security. Audits take into account privacy, security, and breach notifications.

Managers supply auditors with required documentation. These should be the versions in use at the time the company receives the audit notification.

The company needs to submit a letter if they don't have this documentation. The letter should include details about why they can't provide the requested information.

Failure to Comply

HIPAA compliance is essential if you want to avoid penalties for violations. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has the power to issue corrective action plans and financial penalties for these violations.

A HIPAA violation can be either intentional or unintentional. Even unintentional violations are subject to penalties due to negligence. The violations are rated on a tier system ranging from 1 to 4 with each involving hefty fines.

What Is OSHA Training?

HIPAA and OSHA training are both focused on high standards of safety. Where HIPAA training protects a healthcare patient's information, OSHA training provides a safe workplace for employees and customers/patients.

Training is necessary to promote safe and healthy working conditions. OSHA provides detailed standards of education for this training.

Who Must Complete an OSHA Safety Course?

Unlike HIPAA, OSHA requires that all employees take part in training. HIPAA rules only affect employees that handle patient information. OSHA rules affect every employee in a company. New hires and upper management alike all must complete safety training.

OSHA Training Requirements

Like HIPAA training, OSHA training requires documentation. The documentation for OSHA, however, requires specific details.

The details include training dates, content, names of trainers, and names of attendees. Managers need to make these records available to employees and store them for at least 3 years.

Training requirements may change each year. For this reason, it's important to stay current on these requirements. You can visit the OSHA laws and regulations page to find these updates.

OSHA Training Frequency

HIPAA and OSHA have different standards for training frequency. OSHA training must be completed annually for all employees. Management should have new hires complete training within 10 days of hire.

Proper HIPAA and OSHA training takes more than just a few minutes. There are no specific requirements for the duration of the training. However, you make sure the course is long enough to provide the necessary information.

What Is OSHA Compliance?

OSHA and HIPAA have similar methods of ensuring compliance. Both programs conduct random inspections. OSHA inspections are more commonly triggered by injuries, fatalities, complaints, and hazardous materials.

The severity of the violation determines the priority of the complaint. Lesser hazards may result in a phone call from the OSHA office while more severe violations may result in an in-person visit.

Failure to Comply

Not complying with OSHA standards results in hefty financial penalties. These range from $13,653 per violation up to $136,532 per violation. If you fail to address the violations, you may receive daily fines until the issue is resolved.

Organize HIPAA and OSHA Training

You should now understand the main differences between HIPPA and OSHA training. You can begin to organize your work safety training with this information. Staying compliant with changing regulations is essential in avoiding fines for your company.

To get help with compliance and safety, review our online training options and sign-up today.

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