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The Ninth Annual Healthcare Compliance Benchmark Survey was conducted by SAI Global and Strategic Management Services, with 388 responding organizations. One of the most revealing findings was related to the reported compliance priorities for 2018. Overwhelmingly, the highest-ranked priority among the survey respondents was addressing data breaches. Two-thirds of respondents cited HIPAA Security/Cyber-security, and over half of respondents reported HIPAA Privacy as their highest concern. This finding constituted the biggest change from the previous year’s Survey. Note that nearly 75 percent of Survey respondents also reported that their compliance office held the responsibility for HIPAA Privacy, and nearly a third had responsibility for HIPAA Security.
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This year, approximately 20 percent of Survey respondents indicated high confidence in their preparation for a potential OCR audit, whereas last year that number was at 30 percent. Sixty percent of respondents indicated moderate confidence in their OCR audit readiness this year, an increase from the 50 percent figure reported in 2017. The Survey responses of “not very confident” and “does not apply” were similar in number to previous Surveys. The Survey Results suggest that recent high-profile cases involving Protected Health Information data breaches, many of which resulted from cyber attacks, have influenced a shift in compliance priorities. These findings should also be viewed in light of additional Survey results indicating that compliance office staffing and resources are not expected to increase this year. Taken together, these results suggest that the added HIPAA compliance responsibility is placing a significant strain on many compliance officers.
A full report and analysis of the 2018 Healthcare Compliance Benchmark Survey will available at the 22nd Annual Compliance Institute in Las Vegas, April 15-18 at the Strategic Management Services booth (#412). Richard Kusserow will be available at the booth to answer any questions concerning the Survey results and implications.
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Strategic Management Services has highly qualified HIPAA compliance consultants with decades of experience and ready to assist in upholding federal HIPAA regulations through expert insight, effective training, and actionable strategies unique to your organization’s needs. If you have any questions about the security of your program, contact us online or give us a call at (703) 683-9600 to speak to an expert.