Why HIPAA Certification is Important for Cytogenetic Lab Testing
As trusted operators of cytogenetic testing facilities, Virtual Scientific knows how important HIPAA is for preserving and maintaining the safety and security of medical recordkeeping.
HIPAA, which Congress enacted in 1996 as an incremental healthcare reform measure, has evolved through multiple revisions to focus largely on protecting patient privacy. According to HIPAA regulations, HIPAA compliance is required for “any organization or person who works in or with the healthcare industry or who has access to protected health information.” This includes all healthcare providers, health insurance companies, healthcare clearinghouses, and employer group health plans. All laboratory testing facilities in the United States fall under the jurisdiction of HIPAA regulations.
In order to achieve HIPAA certification, individuals and organizations must undergo HIPAA training. Organizations, including laboratory testing facilities, must distinguish between HIPAA’s two areas of designation in their training, either HIPAA Privacy or HIPAA Security. All groups, according to HIPAA training guidelines, must comply with the HIPAA Privacy regulations. Only those entities that store and protect electronic patient data need to comply with HIPAA Security regulations.
Attaining HIPAA certification is a three-stage process:
- Provide HIPAA Awareness Training to all employees who have access to Protected Health Information (PHI)
- Implement formal documents and controls to protect PHI
- Train an employee of your organization to act as a HIPAA compliance officer
Once compliance has been achieved and you have been issued your certificate of completion, your HIPAA certification is valid for a two-year period. Some organizations will require yearly retraining based on their individual recertification policy.
Outsourcing your cytogenetic testing has become a very common industry practice. Virtual Scientific can save your business valuable time and money by conducting your cytogenetic testing needs. Our laboratories and technologists have all the certifications and accreditations mentioned in the article above so that your workflow can stay intact, no matter the testing application. Virtual Scientific clients benefit from our industry-leading TAT, and our highly experienced cytogenetic technologists integrate into your team seamlessly, adapting easily to different analysis protocols.