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HIPAA Outside the US

Compliance of the standards set in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a big deal for health practitioners in the United States. Not only are rules and guidelines outlined as a means of introducing order, there are also penalties and punishments that come with any breaches, accidental or otherwise. As such, HIPAA Compliance is both a strict and exact necessity when it comes to dealing with companies or programs that host the information.

It is worth noting that HIPAA does not prohibit any US-based practitioner from availing of the services of an offshore company. While many health practitioners in the US comply with HIPAA in adherence to enacted legal policies, the same cannot be said for those offshore companies that are technically not covered by US law. What motivates offshore companies to pursue the label of ‘HIPAA compliant’?

For one, although HIPAA is mere US legislation when it comes to its limited territoriality, its applications are widely-recognized internationally. The standards set are in no means limited to the context of the country or any other locality. Privacy is a universal concern in the Information Age and countries all over the world can easily adopt concepts and standards set about by HIPAA to the benefit of themselves and their customers. Compliance to HIPAA does not simply mean doing nothing illegal, it also means you are doing everything in the most security-efficient way possible.

Offshore companies and agents in their employ are free to use their own programs and systems; how sure are you that the services you are availing as a health practitioner are put under the tightest lock and key from cyber criminals? HIPAA understands and acknowledges that it is impossible to foresee all potential breaches and likewise plan accordingly. Instead HIPAA focuses on internal security; primarily by highlighting that the passing of information from one set of hands to the other must done by the minimal and most effective manner.

HIPAA is not limited to the medical field. Businesses and other enterprises have begun adopting their own versions based on the standards set by HIPAA. While such offshore corporations may not be legally held in check by HIPAA, the responsible health practitioner knows that similar such methods must be demanded. HIPAA Compliance is not simply doing something to avoid legal ramifications; observance of its standards is a business proposition of the highest grade and a guarantee that your clients can depend on.

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Rey Palmares

Rey Palmares


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