Behavioral health professionals face annual HIPAA training requirements as mandated by federal regulation.
Not only is HIPAA training for employees essential to function, it also fulfills a significant requirement outlined by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
According to the law, employees need to be trained annually on the following items:
- HIPAA 101 Training: Employees must undergo HIPAA 101 Training to ensure that they’re fully aware of the security and privacy obligations they must maintain under the law. HIPAA 101 Training cannot be fulfilled by continuing education credits and must be attended by all staff members.
- HIPAA Policies and Procedures: Once your behavioral health organization has implemented effective policies and procedures that address the full extent of the HIPAA regulatory standards, you must ensure that employees are trained on them. Each employee must read these policies and procedures so that they understand how to properly handle and maintain protected health information (PHI) to keep your practice safe.
HIPAA Training for Employees: Documented Attestation
After your staff has undergone HIPAA training, you must also ensure that you have documentation.
All employees must attest that they’ve performed the required training. Additionally, employees must document that they have read and understood the HIPAA Policies and Procedures in your organization that they have received training on. This documentation must include the date and time that they signed off on this training in order to protect your organization from liability in the event of a data breach or HIPAA violation.
Documentation must be retained by your office and made accessible to auditors or federal investigators in the event of an OCR investigation.