As of 2023,the fines for HIPAA noncompliance can range from $100 to $50,000 per individual violation, depending on the "perceived level of negligence" found to be present. If you needed a single figure to illustrate just how important paying attention HIPAA is for any medical organization, let it be that one.
As a part of your MedTech organization's digital transformation, you've likely transitioned some or even all of your infrastructure to the cloud. The productivity and efficiency gains are to be celebrated - but they shouldn't come at the expense of security. Even though the maximum penalty is $1.5 million per calendar year for violations, this can still add up quickly.
Part of keeping your platform HIPAA compliant is making sure all parts of your data pipeline are in compliance. We’ve already covered how you can ensure third party APIs like Weavy are in compliance, so let’s take a look at some options for cloud providers that will keep you in compliance.
1. Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure is one of the biggest names in cloud services in existence, and all it takes is a brief look at their attention-to-detail to see why. Azure is a notable entry on this list due to the inclusion ofan automatic BAA (Business Associate Agreement) under their product Terms agreement. HIPAA requires that all covered entities and their business associates enter into a BAA to make sure that PHI is fully protected. Azure establishes this relationship automatically, making for one less thing that your MedTech organization has to worry about.
Box is another cloud service provider that has gone to great lengths to make sure that its storage offerings in particular are HIPAA-compliant. Among other things, data is encrypted both in transit and at rest and physical access to production servers is always restricted for extra protection. Box also employs very strict logical system access controls and there is also extensive reporting and an audit trail of all account activities for both users and the content being stored on Box's servers themselves.
It's also important to note that Box makes a point of training all employees on security policies and controls as they relate to HIPAA, allowing them to remain up-to-date as things can (and often do) change frequently.
3. Google Cloud
Google Cloud was built under the supervision and expertise of a team of more than 700 security engineers, making it notable because this is larger than most other providers offer in terms of on-premises security. As necessary under HIPAA, Google enters into a Business Associate Agreement with all customers similar to the way that Azure does. Google Cloud also has annual audits for all important industry standards, including but not limited to ones like SSAE 16/SAE 3402 Type II, ISO 27001, ISO 27017, and ISO 27018. These relate to, among other things, cloud security and cloud privacy.
Finally,there is Sync - a cloud storage provider built from the ground up to keep PHI safe, secure, and protected at all times. In addition to offering instant access to all files from computers, mobile devices, and even directly from the Internet, Sync allows for secure, private file sharing to make both internal and external collaboration as easy as possible. All files use HIPAA-compliant strong encryption to make sure that PHI cannot be accessed in any unauthorized way. Sync also includes a series of strong access controls, giving users the complete freedom to protect their private health information in a way that makes the most sense given their organization's needs.
Remember that while HIPAA compliance is important when looking for a cloud service provider, it is not the only quality to be mindful of. The cloud is nothing if not malleable - meaning that how you use it can and should be dictated on your specific MedTech organization and its long-term goals. You still need to establish your priorities in terms of things like medical record-keeping, streamlined collaborative care, reduced data storage costs, and more, so that you can find the provider that checks as many of your unique boxes as possible.
If you'd like to find out more information about HIPAA-compliant cloud service providers that can meet your MedTech organization's needs, or want to discuss how Weavy can help you increase functionality while maintaining compliance, reach out: