Why Senior Care Organizations Should Get a HIPAA Security Assessment (HSA)

From caregiver mobile apps to “smart” homes, digital tools are becoming a necessity for seniors transitioning between types of care. As care goes more digital, it becomes more critical than ever for senior living organizations to protect their IT systems against data breaches and the costly HIPAA fines that come with them.

HIPAA Compliance in Senior Living 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a government legislation designed to protect health-related data, ranging from employee information to patient records. HIPAA helps to hold U.S. healthcare organizations accountable for protecting data when switching from paper to electronic record systems.

Healthcare is going more digital by the day, particularly in senior care. Obtaining and maintaining HIPAA compliance is an ongoing cybersecurity role, which senior care organizations may consider outsourcing. At vcpi, we understand the unique HIPAA challenges in home health and assisted living, and how they differ from brick-and-mortar healthcare companies. For example, the Covered Entity must educate all employees, including home health workers, on how to remain HIPAA compliant. Home health employees who use their own devices are at greater risk of loss and theft. It is unsafe to allow personal device use for agency work unless proper security measures are implemented. 

Vcpi HIPAA Assessment Services 

The scope of vcpi’s HIPAA Security Assessment (HSA) details the enterprise-wide administrative, physical, and technical controls that protect a company’s Protected Health Information (PHI) in multiple forms.

Typically, our team visits client sites and conducts phone calls to obtain information for the HSA, which includes their existing cybersecurity documentation. We analyze the technical, administrative, and physical security controls, assigning risk levels to each as well as recommendations for improvement. Our reports also present the client’s current compliance levels based on the HIPAA Security Rule and HITECH Act.

We present findings and recommendations on how to remediate risks to organizational management. 

Note: These reports are not intended to make a statement or declaration on the client’s overall compliance with HIPAA Security Rule, HITECH Act, or any other applicable regulations. Compliance statements are the clients’ and appropriate regulatory enforcement authority’s responsibility. 

Assessment Methodology 

Our HIPAA Security Assessment (HSA) leverages the HIPAA Security Rule and HITECH Act requirements to assemble a baseline of security control objectives.
Vcpi works with clients to perform the following:

  • Obtain necessary documentation
  • Complete assessment paperwork
  • On-site visits
  • Identify, discuss and follow up on findings

First, our team assesses the client’s existing documentation, including company policies, standards, procedures, and related Information Security governance documents. We record every piece that satisfies control objectives in the HSA.

After analyzing documentation, we meet with key client security representatives to discuss their security control environment. We typically conduct these discussions with the review and testing or remaining physical, technical, and administrative controls to measure their effectiveness.

Risk Ratings

After collecting and analyzing security control data, our team assigns risk ratings to each control. These findings explain the severity of the risk and potential impacts on the client’s business operations, information assets, and systems. The below graphic displays a typical outcome:


Cost is variable based on scope, industry, and related factors.