How to ensure HIPAA, ERISA and COBRA ComplianceLisa Smith
June 6, 2012 — 2,545 views
Technological advancements have truly revolutionized the way enterprises and organizations conduct business. The advent of the internet, mobile technology, and other paraphernalia significantly reduced the complexity of doing business. Research shows that advances in technology have certainly contributed to the success of all business enterprises. However, as technology advances so too do the criminal minds of the fraudsters. They have become increasingly sophisticated and are constantly on the lookout of opportunities to dupe people. This forced governments and regulators to come up with different laws, codes of practice and regulations. The following are some of the important regulations that all business enterprises must comply with at any cost.
HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was enacted in 2006 to help protect the health insurance coverage for employees and their families when they change or lose their jobs. The title II of the same act deals with measures to curb fraud and abuse within the healthcare system. To achieve HIPAA compliance, enterprises and organizations must adhere to the security provisions of HIPAA designed to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of protected health information (PHI) and electronic health records (EHRs).
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 put forwards minimum standards for retirement, health, and other welfare benefit plans in private industry. ERISA compliance is necessary to ensure that the funds placed by employees in retirement plans are available to the employees or their beneficiaries when they retire.
COBRA is the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act enacted in 1986 that apart from other things gives consent to an insurance program that allows some employees to continue health insurance coverage even after leaving employment. COBRA compliance is necessary for those enterprises that have group health plans.
With the regulatory environment becoming more and more demanding and complex, companies and organizations have no other choice but to comply with these laws. These laws are binding on all types of business organizations and non-compliance would mean stringent punishments in the form of fines, penalties and imprisonment. Since complying with these regulations is a time consuming process, enterprises must seek the help of industry experts who can implement an effective compliance program depending on the business environment of the enterprise. With these tailor made and effective compliance solutions, enterprises can not only be compliant but also reduce the cost burden significantly.