Few businesses escape the far reaches of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and every business must comply with the regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Although every business must work to ensure compliance with all rules and statutes set forth by administrative agencies, employees often fail to realize the true impact these two governing authorities have upon businesses. You need to know what types of employment HIPAA laws pertain to and how OSHA impacts your employment on a daily basis.
OSHA was created by the US Congress with the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 as a means of analyzing, monitoring, and taking a proactive approach against on the job injuries, illnesses, and accidents. All employers must provide annual training of OSHA regulations. However, some forms of employment fall outside the scope of OSHA, such as the self-employed, immediate family of farm employers, federal agencies, and the employees in state or local governments. Federal agencies and state and local government employees often have their own strict set of safety and employee health regulations to adhere to. A violation of OSHA rules may result in investigations, citations, and possible fines of the entity in addition to possible civil lawsuits about the issue.
Medical entities have a strong bond to OSHA as much of their business involves possible injury or illness from pathogens, possibly violent situations, adhering to policies regarding the best practices for the entity, and monitoring of medical equipment. Furthermore, medical entities represent the direct impact of HIPAA laws.
Congress enacted the Health Insurance and Portability Act in 1996 as a result of increasing concerns over an employer’s right to the medical information of employees. Although the regulation began as a employee-employer standard right of privacy, it evolved into the HIPAA law that governs the use, disclosure, and transmission of protected health information (PHI) today. Protected health information is information that can be used to identify the past, present, or future status of any given patient, which includes diagnoses, treatments, social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses, which may be in electronic, verbal, or printed form.
Every employee that has access to any patient’s PHI must undergo employer-provided HIPAA training yearly to be in compliance with the law. Except for judicial reasons, disclosure of information must accompany a signed, written consent. If consent is not given, the violation may result in a $100 – $50,000 fine and 1-year imprisonment depending upon the intent of the person releasing the information.
Your employment depends upon your knowledge of HIPAA and OSHA laws and regulations; however, you ultimately have the responsibility of ensuring that you do not violate the regulations that govern your job sector. For additional questions regarding this OSHA and HIPPA training breakdown or for inquiries about your disposal needs, contact us today by clicking here.