Learn about the best HIPAA-compliant web hosting and how to stay abreast of new regulations and industry developments.
What is HIPAA Compliance?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects the confidentiality of patients’ protected health information (PHI) and creates a strict set of regulations for healthcare organizations and providers when it comes to how they store, process and transmit the electronic protected health information (ePHI). The bill was passed in 1996 right at the start of the digitization of patient data, so the regulations extend to web hosting in regards to the storage and handling of electronic data. In order for covered entities and business associates to continue their work they must be HIPAA compliant.
What does HIPAA Compliance look like? We can’t go through all the regulations, but here are the main cornerstones of HIPAA Compliance:
· Only authorized personnel have access to facilities;
· Technical, physical, and administrative safeguards for access to ePHI;
· Records of software and hardware activity;
· Disaster recovery plan;
· Follow-through on policies regarding access to electronic media;
The need for such compliance
Over the past two decades, healthcare has been moving away from analog storage for patient data to digital storage methods, which although more efficient and compact are vulnerable to attacks. Furthermore, recent innovations in telemedicine, healthcare gadgets and mobile apps introduce a new software infrastructure at risk of hacking. HIPAA-compliant web hosting and cybersecurity guarantee the protection of sensitive patient information. Keeping cyber-protection of ePHI in step with the pace of emerging healthcare technologies ensures great strides in the medical field. We’re at the cusp of making personalised medicine a reality.
On the flipside we also have to mention the financial aspect of HIPAA violations, which can cost companies dearly. Following a massive data breach, health insurance company AMCA filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2019.
The best HIPAA hosting in 2020
Want to avoid HIPAA violations and legal headaches associated therewith? Dedicate a good chunk of your budget to HIPAA-compliant web hosting as it’s the sole way to guarantee protection from HIPAA infringement. Another piece of advice, don’t be frivolous with your choice. The market is competitive and not all web hosting companies are created equal.
We’ve selected some tried-and-tested services to get you started.
Place your bets on a company who has been in the game since the start of web hosting. Atlantic is such a company, operating since 1994, and made their reputation with compliance-oriented hosting and managed services. Firewalls, encrypted VPNs, aggressive monitoring and reliable backups are all part of the product package.
Customers can also request unmanaged hosting solutions. Either way (managed or unmanaged), Atlantic upholds 100% uptime. On the subject of security, Atlantic is both SOC 2 Type II and SOC 3 Type II certified. In addition to both certifications, the company has undergone third-party audits to prove compliance and high security standards.
Depending on what products you need, Atlantic has developed several plans at different price points, making it one of the more affordable options on the market.
Liquid Web has been built specifically to provide HIPAA-compliant hosting and has been audited by a third party to make it official. One of the biggest strengths of this hosting service is customer-centric products with powerful features – extensive safeguards, business associate agreements and locked server cabinets.
You can choose from a single-server or a multiple-server pre-configured plan to have you hit the ground running, or you can collaborate with the Liquid Web to create a custom plan for your own customised plan. If you’re green to HIPAA-compliant hosting and need guidance, this is the service for you.
Liquid Web has perfected the art of customer support. Whenever you have a question or an issue (be it at 2 am in the morning, on a Sunday, or on Christmas), there’s always someone to give you the answer and troubleshoot the issue.
Another web hosting company with service specifically tailored towards healthcare compliance. If you value customer support, Rackspace is a solid option, because their approach values customer satisfaction above all else. In fact, it’s an integral part of their branding – “Fanatical Support®”, a core concept in their company values. So what does this support entail?
Rackspace guides its clients through the set-up process every step of the way. The walkthrough is truly in-depth as you go through customized design and implementation. The features available to customers include database management, monitoring and network administration.
But what about security? Are they up to snuff? Yes. Rackspace has earned itself HITRUST CSF certification. Full HIPAA compliance.
HIPAA Compliant Hosting and healthcare RSS feeds
As healthcare undergoes further digitalisation, HIPAA Compliance is well on its way to becoming a labyrinthine maze of regulations and policy (well, more so than it already is). We’re at the advent of a digital revolution, which means one day smart medical devices and healthcare apps are going to be ubiquitous.
Account for state laws, which vary wildly from state to state, and the burden of information weighs heavily on security and IT professionals within healthcare. Put simply – it’s a full time job on top of an already immense workload. That’s why you should consider staying up-to-date with RSS.
You’re able to surveil different websites’ feeds from a single tab on your browser (or an app on a mobile device). If you’re specialized in a narrow area of HIPAA Compliance, RSS readers have functionalities to subscribe to a specific feed from a large news site.
For example, HIPAA Journal, as one of the biggest sources of news and updates, divides its content into subsections like HIPAA Compliance News and Practical HIPAA, which further branch out. Rather than bombard your feed with every single publication, subscribe to the subsections that are relevant to your line of work. With the right RSS reader, you take full control over how you receive and consume content. In the process, you save yourself time manually going through website after website. Time best spent on your duties.