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How Vendors Can Affect Regulatory Compliance

Business staff laughing and working on iPads together.

IT management for the healthcare industry seems to grow more complex by the day. From HIPAA compliance and regulations to managing multiple locations and networks, IT teams can struggle to keep up—and keep the organization secure.

One often-hidden speed bump on the road to HIPAA compliance and comprehensive cybersecurity? Vendors. Business associates of healthcare providers need to be thoroughly vetted to ensure they are security-forward and won’t compromise your compliance—or your data.

HIPAA rules define “business associate” as: a person or entity that performs certain functions or activities that involve the use or disclosure of protected health information on behalf of, or provides services to, a covered entity. A member of the covered entity’s workforce is not a business associate.

So, where can you start? First, make sure your organization has performed due diligence on its relevant business associates to ensure that they do not jeopardize your HIPAA compliance. Do they meet HIPAA requirements for vendors? Can they provide documentation to that effect? Before you consider adding any new vendors, these are essential questions to ask.

Next, all vendors and business associates should have established agreements or contracts outlining requirements for security, audits or compliance requirements. And speaking of audits, you’re going to need proof of your vendor agreements, and their annual review, in case your business is chosen for an audit. HIPAA regulations require organizations to retain required documentation for six years from the date of its creation or the date when it last was in effect.

And remember, any vendors that don’t qualify as a business associate should be required to sign a confidentiality agreement to protect your organization and ensure privacy.

Vendor management on its own can be time-consuming. And when you add in the complexity of managing signatures, certificates and agreements it can become overwhelming. That’s why many healthcare providers today are turning to managed IT and security providers, like Corsica, to help manage vendors, compliance and cybersecurity concerns.

Managed IT providers have experts with the knowledge and experience to help healthcare organizations reach and maintain full compliance. Often, providers will start with a compliance gap to help you understand where your organization stands today, and what the future of IT could look like. Compliance gap reviews typically include a comprehensive analysis of your technology and cybersecurity environment, a review of potential security risks, and a proactive, customized plan with actionable steps to help mitigate risk and protect client data.

Get Started with Corsica

The Corsica Technologies team has a collective 300+ certifications and 250+ combined years in IT and security management. And partnering with Corsica comes with many other benefits:

  • Reduced labor expenses: We provide a dedicated team to handle maintaining your system and designing a solution customized to your needs for a fixed monthly fee—typically around what you’d pay for one full-time IT hire.
  • Full scalability: Our team of highly-skilled engineers designates essential resources for your business to keep your IT operating effectively. As a result, your technology will grow with your practice, making it easy to manage users, storage and security as necessary.
  • Real-time network monitoring: We proactively watch over your network to prevent service outages and maximize your uptime. We also complete scheduled maintenance and promptly deploy patches for enhanced reliability.

See how managed IT and security can change the way you do business. Schedule your personal consultation today.

Corsica Tech

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