Healthcare organizations can now effectively assert to many of the mandated provisions within the HIPAA Security Rule by undertaking annual SOC 2 assessments by a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm. NDNB, one of North America’s leading providers of SOC 2 HIPAA compliance assessments, has developed a specific testing matrix that maps directly to the HIPAA Security Rule provisions of 164.308 to 164.316, along with other applicable HIPAA mandates. It’s an incredibly efficient and comprehensive process for showcasing compliance with the Security Rule initiatives of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
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Additionally, because of the flexibility allowed under the SOC 2 framework, additional components of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) can also be evaluated for baseline compliance, such as the Privacy Rule, Breach Notification mandates, and other notable HIPAA provisions. More and more service organizations are undertaking SOC 2 HIPAA compliance, so call the experts today at NDNB to learn more about our comprehensive SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 reporting. NDNB also offers comprehensive SOC 1 and SOC 2 audits for businesses using Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google GCP.
SOC 2 Reporting | Excellent Framework for HIPAA Compliance Reporting
North American Covered Entities (CE) and Business Associates (BA) need to become compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, and the SOC 2 HIPAA offerings from NDNB are an excellent way for validating compliance. With the Department of Health and Human Services continuing to expand their regulatory power with audits and fines, becoming HIPAA compliant is a must, so call the experts today at NDNB.
HIPAA compliance is here to stay – no question about it – so putting in place the necessary policies, procedures, and processes is absolutely vital for both Covered Entities (CE) and Business Associates (BA). Then, validation with the HIPAA compliance mandates can be conducted via SOC 2 HIPAA reporting with NDNB.
SOC 2 HIPAA Roadmap to Compliance
1. Begin with a Scoping & Readiness Assessment: Service organizations new to the world of SOC 2 HIPAA compliance – or are just looking for a fresh set of eyes to assist with their control environment – would be well-served by performing an upfront, pre-audit, scoping & readiness assessment. Benefits of a SOC 2 scoping & readiness assessment include the following:
- Determining scope in terms of what Trust Services Criteria (TSP) are going to be included in the actual audit report (there are five (5) to choose from, and the vast majority of service organizations do NOT choose all five.
- Determining which areas of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are actually going to be included within the SOC 2 HIPAA report. More specifically, will you just include the HIPAA Security Rule, or also the HIPAA Privacy Rule, along with the HITECH Act, and more?
- Determining what documentation, you’ll need to develop for SOC 2 compliance, such as missing information security policies and procedures. And by the way, developing policies and procedures is one of the most demanding and time-consuming aspects of regulatory compliance, and it’s why NDNB offers complimentary templates to our valued clients.
2. Understand the Importance of Remediation: No organization has a picture-perfect internal control environment, which means that remediation will have to be performed for any gaps and noted deficiencies. With that said, there are generally three (3) areas of remediation that need to be performed: Security/technical, operational, and documentation.
As for security/technical, this often relates to controls around system settings, such as weak password complexity rules, incorrectly configured server hardening standards, weak firewall rulesets, missing two-factor authentication, etc.
As for operational remediation, this requires service organizations to perform annual security awareness training, conduct an annual risk assessment, along with developing – and documenting – a contingency plan for disasters.
As for documentation remediation, this is often the most demanding and time-consuming process for the entire SOC 2 HIPAA audit. Why? Because businesses always seem to lack the necessary policies, procedures, and other supporting documents that need to be in place for compliance. Think about the dozens of security policies and procedures that need to be developed and you can clearly see the time needed for such a task can be overwhelming. Fortunately, NDNB offers industry leading HIPAA templates and other InfoSec documents for helping you save both time and money on critical policy development.
3. Know What Auditors Will Be Looking for: Audits are about collecting evidence, so it’s no surprise that auditors will be on the lookout for some very basic – and obvious – deliverables regarding a SOC 2 HIPAA audit report.
Here’s what you can expect to provide – at a minimum – to your auditors: (1). Policies and Procedures – information security policies, operational policies, H.R. policies, and more. (2). Screenshots of system settings, such as password settings, firewall rulesets, baseline server settings, and much more. (3). Operational materials, such as proof of an annual risk assessment being performed, proof of annual security awareness training being completed, proof of an incident response plan in place, and more (3). Documented, signed memorandums of how a certain function is performed. (4). Deliverables that auditors will collect during a physical inspection, such as log reports for access controls, and more.
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