How App Companies in NJ, New Jersey can be HIPPA Compliant?

02 October, 2020

How App Companies in NJ, New Jersey can be HIPPA Compliant?

The healthcare industry has already embraced technology by employing mobile apps. Today, you can consult with doctors and healthcare professionals from anywhere around the globe through these apps. However, creating one of these apps for the healthcare industry is not as easy as said. First of all, you need to have an expert who can develop an app with all the advanced features and functionalities.

However, that is not the only challenge when it comes to creating a healthcare app, as healthcare is one of the most regulated industries in the US. One such factor that can potentially affect your healthcare app's very existence is HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance. This is because medical IT solutions fall under HIPAA's purview for protecting the patient's privacy and medical data.

Making your apps HIPAA compliant could lead to a fine that can typically range from $100 to $50000 but, the highest possible penalty is a whopping $1.5 million per year. So, it is evident that app companies in NJ have to create apps that are HIPAA compliant. This article discusses how app companies in NJ can become HIPAA compliant and the many aspects you should be concerned about.

The first thing you need to do is ensure that you comprehend all the HIPAA titles and factor them into your planning, given that the whole existence of the app may be in jeopardy even if you make an honest mistake. 

The Three Security Rules for HIPAA Compliant Mobile App Development


HIPAA's security rules can be broadly divided into three, namely Technical, physical, and administrative safeguards. Technical Safeguards: As the name suggests, this pertains to the technology employed. It also deals with the protection and control of electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). The ePHI must be encrypted once it leaves a company's internal servers, which are always protected by a firewall. 

The access control includes unique user identification. This can be anything as simple as email ID or a more advanced option like biometric data, password, or a pin code. Apart from this, access control also includes emergency access procedures, which like the name suggests, refers to providing access to ePHI in case of an emergency.

The Audit Controls and Activity Logs part of the technical safeguard requires the app developers to implement sufficient mechanisms capable of recording and examining the system's activities that are linked to the ePHI. Ensure that the users' activity log after they access the data is recorded in a readable format.

The Addressable Technical Safeguards is the aspect that allows some room for flexibility. It includes the implementation of multiple mechanisms such as ePHI authentication, encryption/decryption tools, and more.

Physical Safeguards: This aspect deals with the physical protection of ePHI that could be stored in a remote data center, or on-premise, or on the cloud for that matter. This safeguard instructs you on how to secure the workstations or smartphones from unauthorized access. For the workstations involved with the ePHI, policies and steps that must be created that can restrict their actions, this could include security systems, video surveillance, and more.

Similarly, when it comes to smartphones, the user accessing ePHI through them must follow the organization policies that were previously implemented. One of the standard policies that we can cite as an example of this is deleting ePHI from the phone when they leave the company. Apart from this, there are also addressable safeguards, such as facility access controls. 

Administrative safeguards: This includes employing security officers/privacy officers who are in charge of taking measures to protect data and manage employee behavior. Furthermore, this safeguard also involves risk assessments, contingency plans, and third-party access. This means performing a risk assessment for ensuring HIPAA compliance, formulating a plan to protect the ePHI's integrity in case of an emergency, and ensuring that third-party can't access the ePHI all comes under this. 

App companies in NJ need to be aware of all the safeguards mentioned above. They must also make sure to conduct an initial risk analysis, eliminate HIPAA compliance risks, adjust processes, and finally ensure long-term risk management to be entirely HIPAA compliant.

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