How to Become a HIPAA Consultant

Two Parts:Training to Become a HIPPA ConsultantGetting a Job as a HIPPA Consultant

HIPAA consultants have knowledge and expertise focusing on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA is a United States federal law that was created to provide guidelines to protect patients' medical records as they may be provided to others within the health care industry.[1] HIPAA consultants may work with, and provide services to, healthcare professionals and managers, insurance providers, clinicians, physicians, pharmacies and acute-care professionals. In order to become a HIPAA consultant you will need to get training about the law and how it applies to all aspects of the health care system, and you will need to find a job in the field.

Part 1
Training to Become a HIPPA Consultant

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    Learn about what the job entails. This will help you decide if you really want to become a HIPAA consultant. Generally, the job duties of a HIPAA consultant will include providing others with an understanding of the HIPAA requirements.
    • Consultants are trained to be aware of the privacy rules, dates of compliance, as well as possible resulting penalties for non-compliance of HIPAA regulations.[2]
    • Preparation for becoming a HIPAA consultant may require certification depending on the regulations and guidelines in the region where you work.
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    Consider enrolling in professional HIPAA training course. If you already have a bachelor's degree, but no education or background in HIPAA, then a training course could be of great use to you. Also, if you want to move up in terms of HIPAA compliance jobs, specialized training can illustrate that you have the skills to advance in your field.[3]
    • There are many training programs available, especially online courses that you can research and explore. Research some of the HIPAA certificate programs available through vocational schools or community colleges in your area. These may be more cost effective ways to get specific HIPAA training.[4]
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    Complete your coursework. Your training will include coursework focusing on how HIPAA requirements have a direct effect on policies, procedures and processes within the health care organization that administers and maintains a patient's medical records. Training should also encompass and provide an overview of how HIPAA affects how health care organizations maintain and monitor compliance relative to their patients' privacy and confidentiality.[5]
    • You will learn all the various components of HIPAA, including what information is protected, authorized uses and disclosures, administrative requirements. and organizational options.
    • HIPAA statutory and regulatory background training should include coursework focusing on the general principle for uses and disclosures, enforcement and penalties for non-compliance and state law. Additional sections include other provisions, such as how to deal with personal representatives and minors.
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    Learn on the job. Many HIPAA consultants do not have a specific HIPAA certificate but instead have learned the ins and outs of the field through on the job training and learning. In fact, there are no specified requirements for becoming a HIPAA consultant. If your goal is to become an expert, and to be able to train others, one of the best things you can do is to learn as much as you can on the job and show initiative and interest in the work.
    • However, considering the complexity and professional nature of this type of work, having a bachelor's degree that includes coursework and training in the healthcare field would be a good choice in preparation for entering the field.
    • Some argue that getting a specific HIPAA training certificate is of little actual use. Instead, getting a foot in the door of the medical field, gradually learning on the job, and attending conferences to learn about what others are doing will help you more.[6]

Part 2
Getting a Job as a HIPPA Consultant

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    Visit several online job boards. This is where most jobs are listed these days. Register to receive regular updates, so that you can see newly posted jobs immediately.
    • You will be able to post your resume online to make yourself more visible to companies that are actively recruiting HIPAA consultants.
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    Register with a professional association. There are professional organizations that cater to health care professionals specializing in HIPAA consulting. In addition to networking, some associations offer resume tips, as well as posting job openings.[7]
    • If you work to make connections through your professional association, this can help you tremendously in a job search. Those in the field will know your name, and may even vouch for you or suggest you for a job.
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    Look for jobs in a wide variety of businesses. HIPAA rules are enforced in most businesses associated with the health care field. This means that in addition to traditional healthcare businesses, such as doctor's offices and hospitals, businesses that consult for doctors and hospitals also need HIPAA guidance.[8]
    • Consider working for a company that helps with medical billing or administers health plans. This type of company needs to be HIPAA compliant just as much as a hospital or doctor's office.
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    Consider attending professional conferences and seminars that focus on HIPAA training. You will have the opportunity to meet and socialize with professionals already working in the field. This will allow you to make connections and get tips on how to establish yourself in the field.[9]
    • In addition, you will have access to a rich array of information, professional resources, and tools.
    • In some instances, this is something you can do after you have secured a job. Professional meetings are a good way to keep up to date in your field, as the latest information is usually presented. In addition, if the meeting is essential to your job, then an employer may pay for you to attend.

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Categories: Health Care