Compliance is one of the most important aspects of working in the healthcare industry. The network of complicated federal and state laws involved with maintaining compliance can be a hassle to keep up with, but it cannot be overlooked. Everyone involved in healthcare should know how compliance audit benefits and regulations affect the workplace since the rules constantly shift and carry heavy consequences if broken.
Fortunately, compliance issues do not have to be more complicated than they already are. The compliance process can be easily managed with the help of experienced attorneys at every step. Norman Spencer Law Group has you covered for any of your compliance needs or questions.
Factors Affecting Compliance Audit Benefits
While healthcare compliance might seem straightforward at first, there are several elements you need to remember. For example, hospitals are not the only organizations responsible for maintaining compliance. Primary care providers, dentists, dermatologists, radiologists, ophthalmologists, and physical therapy centers must be on top of compliance laws.
Mental health providers, pharmacies, drug manufacturers, and medical equipment manufacturers are not exempt. Even IT specialists who work in healthcare or have healthcare-related clients need to be aware of compliance regulations. No matter how you fit into the healthcare industry, compliance laws are never far off.
Other factors go into compliance laws. The size of your organization and the number of employees determine the types of compliance laws you must follow. The location also matters since different state and local laws can apply on top of federal ones. The number and complexity of business transactions and the types of services or products offered also affect compliance. Take these into consideration when a compliance audit is considered.
Types of Compliance Audits
There is no single type of compliance audit. Internal audits focus on an organization’s policies, while compliance audits focus on adherence. Different types of compliance audits can affect your organization. Here are a few audit types that may come up:
HIPAA Audits: Any organization or company that handles or transfers patient data is subject to HIPAA and its audits. This includes healthcare providers, insurance companies, and clearinghouses. This type of audit looks at how patient information is stored, handled, and protected.
SOX Audits: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) covers accurate corporate disclosures. A SOX audit looks at data protection, management of electronic records, executive accountability, and internal controls management. Because of the wide range this audit covers, IT and financing sectors in healthcare are often affected.
PCI Audit: Payment Card Industry (PCI) audits involve any organization or company that processes payment cards, including healthcare industries. PCI audits make sure credit card data is appropriately handled, shore up security gaps, ensure no sensitive credit card or social security data is stored, and address any risks to customer cards.
SOC 2 Audits: SOC 2 audits apply to any organization that stores customer or patient information on the cloud. They look at data security, confidentiality, privacy, data availability, and processing integrity. SOC 2 audits also come in type 1 and type 2. Type 1 audits look at a vendor’s security systems and make sure they are well-designed. Type 2 audits look at how effective a vendor’s operating system is.
ISO Audit: The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) handles standards for multiple industries to align their business practices worldwide. ISO guidelines can allow an organization to become ISO compliant or even reach ISO accreditation, and ISO compliance certification takes a longer audit process.
GDPR Audit: The General Data Protection plan is a law that covers citizens of the European Union and affects any organization that handles info related to EU citizens. American healthcare companies are no exception. This audit makes sure that EU citizen data is used with consent, is made anonymous, is safely handled when crossing borders, and has a protection officer overseeing it.
These audits have standards that need to be followed to be fully compliant. Some, like the SOC and ISO audits, are voluntary but can increase the reputation of any organization that takes the time to go through them. Like HIPAA, SOX, PCI, and GDPR, other compliance laws are mandatory and can carry severe penalties if ignored. You need to make sure that your organization is aware of the different types of standards it could be subjected to.
How to Determine Your Compliance Audit Benefits
If your business has decided to undergo compliance voluntarily or face a compliance audit from an outside agency, your first order of business should be to contact a healthcare law attorney with experience in compliance regulations. Attorneys can help with planning out compliance protocols, setting up an audit, walking employees through compliance training, or defending you in court if a situation goes that far.
At Norman Spencer Law Group, our attorneys are ready to help you with whatever your compliance situation. We have the experience you can depend on whether you need compliance plans or a team to defend you. Do not wait to contact us since it is better to have a relationship with a law firm before any compliance complications arise. We are available over the phone, ZOOM, and we can even meet you in person if need be for a free consultation.