TMCnet Feature
June 16, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About HIPAA Records Retention

Every healthcare provider has to comply with HIPAA data retention requirements. It has become compulsory to avoid data threats and misuse of medical records. 

Nowadays, most healthcare companies opt for using software to store and manage patient’s records. It helps them to save a lot of time as well as manage the data effectively.

However, the software developer must develop the software in such a way that it is in compliance with data retention requirements. The healthcare companies need to be careful as well.

As they are responsible for managing the records, if the record-keeping environment is not safe, there will be legal consequences.

To avoid any lawsuits, every healthcare provider has to use software that follows HIPAA records retention requirements policy.

What is HIPAA Record Retention?

HIPAA stands for The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Passed in the year 1996, it is one of the most important bills passed for medical professionals. 

As per this law, healthcare companies have to protect medical records by following the retention law. It helps to retain the medical documents as well. All the personal identification, as well as health information, need to be kept safe.

Why is it Important to Retain Records?

Record retention is important for medical providers as well as patients. Here are the two reasons why it is important to retain records.

  • Data Protection:

It helps to protect the medical data. If the data is damaged due to a security breach or collapse of the database, it will help to keep the data safe. Every year, many big companies lose billions due to reputation damage as the data is breached by hackers. However, with HIPAA compliance, they can keep all the data safe and secure. 

  • Efficiency in Operation:

A medical provider needs complete information about a patient in order to provide the correct treatment. If a doctor cannot get access to the medical history of the patients, the treatment will not be effective. For example, if a patient has diabetes and the doctor is unaware of it, the treatment plan might interfere with the underlying illness, thereby causing health risks for the patient. However, with HIPAA data retention, doctors will be able to access the complete medical history of the patient and provide the best treatment for the same.

Who Needs to Comply with HIPAA Data Retention Requirements?

As per the HIPAA Act, here are the individuals who need to comply with HIPAA data retention requirements. 

  • Healthcare Providers:

The healthcare provider who provides services to the patient needs to retain the records. It includes doctors as well as hospitals. Both the entities need to retain data.

  • Health Plans:

It can be an individual or a group health plan. This plan includes all the medical information of the patients as it covers the cost.

  • Business Associates: 

These are entities that provide services on behalf of HIPAA. They protect the health information of the individuals.

  • Healthcare Clearinghouses:

These entities help to standardize the elements of the data. 

This is all you need to know about HIPAA record retention requirements. All the medical, as well as personal data, needs to be retained as per HIPAA Act.

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