HIPAA awareness & compliance among medical practices: 6 key survey findings

Around 40 percent of medical practices and billing companies are aware of HIPAA audits, up from 32 percent in 2014, according to NueMD's 2016 HIPAA Survey, an update to its HIPAA survey from 2014.

The survey polled 927 individuals working at medical practices and billing companies.

Here are six key findings:

1. Around 69 percent of respondents said they were familiar with Omnibus updates, up slightly from 64 percent in 2014.

2. Only 58 percent of respondents reported conducting annual staff training at their facilities, down from 62 percent in 2014.

3. Fifty-three percent of respondents reported hiring a security officer and 54 percent reported hiring a privacy officer in 2016.

4. Sixty-eight percent of respondents are aware that business associate agreements are a big part of HIPAA compliance, up from 60 percent in 2014. Around 29 percent reported having completed their business associate agreement evaluations this year.

5. More than half of respondents noted they use email to communicate with patients, while 37 percent use mobile devices.

6. Forty percent of respondents said they are "very" confident that at least one employee, who is familiar with HIPAA, is taking active steps to ensure compliance, as opposed to 38 percent in 2014 who said the same.

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